Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cop Love From The Courts

The Christian Science Monitor presents a brief summary of some of the issues with the willy-nilly taser application we're living with in the US.

The piece references a recent court decision that could be a huge problem facing those of us who don't think that our cops, aka people we pay to keep the peace, should have cattle prods at the ready for anyone they deem misbehaving. Our supreme court (SCOTUS) has declined to hear a case involving clear taser abuse:

In the case of the Florida driver, the Supreme Court justices offered no explanation for their decision not to hear his case. The move lets stand a federal appeals court decision that found the deputy's actions reasonable and justified.

"I hope [law enforcement officials] don't see this as open season to tase anyone who doesn't do exactly what they are told," says Tallahassee lawyer John Jolly, who successfully represented the deputy in the Florida case.

Do our cops now have carte blanche to tase as they please? If so, and given the political climate here in the US, there is little hope for rulings from the SCOTUS that favor liberties. Civil libertarians might get one or two more strong dissenting opinions for their reading pleasure, but civil liberties will be on the endangered list for some years to come in the US.

For reference, here is the incident that resulted in the suit the SCOTUS declined to hear:

Couple this situation with a recent ruling that cops can tase you to forcibly take your DNA and we have a scary situation indeed.