Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Is How It Will Go

The author at Excited-Delirium, affectionately referred to here as Mr. E-D, notes that American media is widely ignoring Taser International's recommendation (or here) that people not aim Tasers at other peoples' chests.

Mr. E-D is, of course, correct. Even as taser horror stories pick up in Canada, Australia, and Europe, American PDs continue to add Tasers to their arsenals (see
here for a fitting example), seemingly oblivious to problems with taser overuse, the manufacturer's chest recommendation, and the mounting number of successful large settlements against cities in cases involving tasers.

The sad short of the long is that while the rest of the world may become outraged over taser abuse, don't expect most of America to blink.

Part of the reason for this lies with our media. Reporting on police activity is widely absent from our news. It's sometimes there in the back pages, or occasionally on the front pages when a huge incident like the Sean Bell shooting happens. But, to the largest extent, here in America, the police always receive the benefit of the doubt starting with
a lack of critical examination from the press. After that, we have a large contingent of police apologists ready to attack anyone wanting to exam law enforcement implementation. Our police are kept in a protected hero class.

Another aspect of America that makes any resistance to taser, and police brutality in general, difficult, is that we love to see minorities suffer. We have a long tradition of enjoying that. We are the home of Bull Connor and the show Cops.

So, to my international friends who find the lack of American attention to taser abuse shocking, I have sad little to offer. We're a nation of fat savages and don't change unless we're forced to.

Oh, and to my fellow Americans. I'll complain as much as I like, you can stick your "love it or leave it" up your arse.