Monday, December 10, 2007

Cops taser deaf man for not listening.

Trigger happy cops strike again and once again these power-mad cowboys hit the wrong house.

In Wichita, Kansas the police broke into the home of Donnell Williams. Mr. Williams had just gotten out of the shower was wearing a towel only. He is hearing impaired and without his hearing aid is basically deaf. He had removed the hearing aid to shower.

As he exited the bathroom he found himself under attack by numerous men with guns. The police claim they were responding to a shooting but no shooting could be verified and certainly none in the residency of Mr. Williams. The police started screaming orders at the man who couldn’t understand a word they said. He told the media: “I kept going to my ear yelling that I was scared. I can’t hear! I can’t hear.”

The cops were not listening to what they were being told -- they never do. And kept yelling orders to a deaf man who can’t understand what they are demanding. Because of his “refusal” to obey orders they tasered him.

The police are immediately circling the wagons and making sure that nothing will come of their behaviour. The Deputy Chief Robert Lee argued that the event happened during one of the worst calls they received: the alleged shooting that didn’t actually take place. He said it was import to get “control of the scene” which was Mr. Williams own home.

Lee said he wished the police “were notified in advance this gentleman was hearing impaired.” Clearly the deputy chief has a brain lesion. Remember they attacked Williams with no advance warning so precisely how could Mr. Williams inform them in advance of their botched raid that he was deaf? Since the police didn’t inform him that they would break into his home in advance he was in no position to tell them he was deaf in advance.

He did tell them when he saw them. He told them several times and they ignored him and shot him anyway. Exactly how much advance notice do the police need for the words “I can’t hear.” to sink into their pea brains?

Police say they are reviewing the incident. In police language that means: “We will wait a short time before announcing that everything we did, no matter how botched, was entirely justified and no action will be taken.”

Because tasers are marketed as non-lethal, in spite of killing numerous individuals, the police apparently have no reluctance in using them. The idea of the taser was to remove the need to use deadly force. But by lessening the consequences of a bad shoot it also “lowered the price” of responding in a violent way. The police thus minimize the effects of using the taser and are far too willing to use it in cases where it isn’t warranted. In reality tasers only make the police more trigger happy.

Yet, as we have documented here numerous individuals have been killed as the result of being tasered. And the police have little reluctance in using this weapon under relatively minor circumstances. Often they are merely too impatient to resolve the situation peacefully.

The sad truth is that when the cops go too far the police force rallies to their defense and refuses, in most cases, to ever discipline the officers involved. Criticism of such officers usually brings whines from police officers saying that all police officers shouldn’t be painted with the same brush. Yet those police officers are enablers of bad cops or inept cops and the police system white washes such incidents repeatedly. If good officers don’t want to see the reputation of all police tarnished then instead of attacking the critics they should do something to clean up their own house. That they are not doing so indicates they deserve to be tainted by the bad cops who they support.