2009-03-27

Stunned?

Many of you know that we of the Elgin Street Irregulars are big on lists of, ummm, five. If you don't, read our archives. You'll figure it out.

Some may also recall that I take a dimwitted quadruped's dim view of high voltage electrical discharges applied to living creatures. Especially since the Vancouver death of Robert Dziekanski after he was tasered - five times, it turns out - in October 2007.

With a full-on enquiry into the man's death, Taser International, cops in general and the RCMP in particular all seem to be heavily vested in denying that Tasers, police, Dziekanski and deadness are in any way linked. These may be honestly held opinions.

But I admit that my first uncharitable thought, when I heard about the Alzheimer's-like testimonial trend at the inquiry was, "Yeah, right. Stonewall away, guys...." Because, I reasoned, these talking points may also exist because if any of 'em did hint at regrettable liability, there could be legal and financial hell to pay, in Vancouver and elsewhere.

But faced with RCMP Commissioner Bill Elliot's plea for the public to walk a mile in his police force's spit-polished boots before rushing to judgement, I am now wondering about the real victims here. Could it be that the guys behind those electric stun guns really are victims, and worse off than Dziekanski?

Because after standing nearby while one of them pulled the trigger - did I mention, five times? - all of the Mounties present seem to have suffered catastrophic memory loss about the event. I don't wish to be uncharitable and suggest that they made their original statements under the mistaken assumption that no bystander had video-recorded the entire incident. Which would now place them in a position of having to explain why their statements and that video seem to part ways on several, ummm, crucial points...

No, we coyotes will take the high (voltage) road, and a charitable view of such memory loss. Obviously, the poor sunsabitches' neurons were fried by the weapon's electrical fallout. One weeps! To think of all the incidents in which police will be medically unable to remember why they zapped anybody! We could lose respect for the Mounties. And the legal system would surely descend into chaos...

5 comments:

XUP said...

I think what's going on here is that everyone in uniform was handed a taser and told it was the best thing ever because with it they could subdue suspects without having to shoot them. Everyone in uniform was so happy about this, (because shooting people always resulted in so much paperwork), that they forgot to actually train anyone in the safe use of tasers. So, while it would be really nice, if for once they just came out and said, "Sorry, we fucked up," they can't lay it all on the officers in question without blaming a whole bunch of others, too. And then we'd lost respect for the Mounties and the entire judicial system would descend into chaos

coyote said...

XUP, that is so cynical! Here! Try this. It'll fix ya right up...

xup said...

Yellow is such a happy colour. I'm ready to face the week.

XUP said...

http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1499794

'Coyotes' lead to police takedown
Posted By SHAWN JEFFORDS, SUN MEDIA

A cardboard coyote designed to scare off Canada geese in Centennial Park proved so realistic it prompted a police takedown.
City hall staff saw the animal cutouts advertised and, hoping they might help reduce scat in the waterfront park, spent $60 on a pair last summer. But after a few weeks the cutouts vanished.
But the full story has only now emerged. A jogger out for a run came across the cutouts and was so startled she ran to a construction site. There she told a worker a coyote had "barked" at her and was afraid it would give chase, McCallum said.
The worker called 911 and police were dispatched. They arrived on the scene and quickly surrounded the coyote, only then discovering it was made of cardboard.
"They do look pretty real," said Terry McCallum, Sarnia's director of community services. "It's an easy mistake to make. Maybe they look too real."

coyote said...

Another reason to suspect police of being unreliable witnesses.

It also might explain why that cute lady coyote in the park ignored me completely when I tried a couple of the Short Guy's favourite RNDP moves on her...