This is just plain disgusting. A 17-year-old kid, tasered for running onto the Citizens Bank field? What threat was he to anyone? Tasers can be deadly weapons, and taser use by cops is completely out of control. Tasers are supposed to be an alternative to deadly force, remember?
From the video, it sure looks like the cop shot the kid in the back - one of the zones Taser International recommends police avoid.
Fortunately for the city, this kid isn't one of the 479 people so far who dropped dead after being tasered:
For the first time in Phillies history, a fan running on the field at Citizens Bank Park was subdued by a Philadelphia police officer using his Taser gun.
With 44,817 fans watching in the stands Monday night, the teenage male, wearing a black baseball cap, red T-shirt, and khaki shorts, ran on to the field during the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"This is the first time that a Taser gun has been used by Philadelphia police to apprehend a field jumper," Phillies spokeswoman Bonnie Clark said in a statement. "The Police Department is investigating this matter and the Phillies are discussing with them whether in future situations this is an appropriate use of force under these circumstances. That decision will be made public."
The fan made several loops in center field with security personnel and the police officer in pursuit. The officer appeared to fire several times before hitting the man. The man fell to the ground. He was then helped off the field.
The police officer "utilized his Taser" when a fan ran onto the field, said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore.
Running on the field during a game is a crime and has been for decades. Normally, such suspects are wrestled to the ground, escorted off the field, and arrested.
It was unclear Monday night if a Taser had ever been used on a Major League Baseball field to subdue such a suspect.
Vanore said the Police Department's internal affairs unit would open an investigation to determine if the firing "was proper use of the equipment."
I filed a complaint with the Mayor's office this morning and I strongly suggest you do the same. [UPDATE: The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board apparently agrees with me.]
Digby, the taser expert adds this:
Real Americans don little tri-corner hats and carry on about "freedom" and "the constitution" but all they know about either one is what they learned at Disneyland. They are paranoid about a non-existent invasion of killer immigrants and are freaking out about a non-existent plan to send gun owners to Fema camps. They threaten to kill census workers who ask them how many times they flush their toilets.
But torture? Not a problem. Whether it's administered by the CIA or some minimum wage security guard, they seem to think electric shock, waterboarding or any other sick form of coercion worthy of the worst low rent dictator in the world is just ducky. But only if the subject is unarmed. If anyone tried this with a guy who was packing, the screams of horror at "the government" trying to disarm a law abiding citizen would be heard for miles around. I give up.
I was watching ESPN's First Take and Skip Bayless just loved the idea of taserin' that fan. So did Rob Parker. Yep, pretty soon parking attendants will be able to taser you if you park in the wrong spot. Susie was right to file a complaint.