Friday, November 17, 2006

Teaching torture 

Once the President and the Secretary of Defense have said its OK to torture "bad" people, where do police draw the line? Here's today's story from UCLA in Los Angeles:
. . . Tabatabainejad had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack. When an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, the witnesses said, Tabatabainejad told the officer to let go, yelling "Get off me" several times. "Tabatabainejad encouraged library patrons to join his resistance," police said. "The officers deemed it necessary to use the Taser."
Officers stunned Tabatabainejad, causing him to fall to the floor . . . "It was beyond grotesque," said UCLA graduate David Remesnitsky of Los Angeles, who witnessed the incident. "By the end they took him over the stairs, lifted him up and Tasered him on his rear end. It seemed like it was inappropriately placed. The Tasering was so unnecessary and they just kept doing it."
And there are other incidents in LA also being investigated:
One video showed a Los Angeles Police Department officer dousing a handcuffed suspect in the face with pepper spray as the suspect sat in a patrol car.
Emphasis mine -- the point being that, in both these incidents, the police were in no danger whatsoever but inflicted pain anyway. Digby writes:
. . . police are not supposed to be in the business of meting out punishment nor are they supposed to use excruciating (even if shortlived) pain to make suspects comply with their orders unless they have absolutely no other choice . . . It's the coldest application of pain I've ever seen.
Well, when it comes to "cold", I think the UCLA incident does have some competition:

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