September 18, 2012
Are police and other law enforcement officers in this country Taser happy?
This week, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Rep Jackie Speier (D-Calif) "ripped" the National Park Service for using a Taser on a man who was running with his small dogs off-leash. When the jogger was confronted by a ranger about a mandatory leash policy, which was newly-introduced to the neighborhood, he was allegedly uncooperative and wouldn't provide her with his name. At this point, the ranger tasered him in his back and arrested him.
This sequence of events happened months ago, on January 29, in a park within the Golden Gate Recreation Area in Northern California. However, the issue of how it was handled has been ongoing. Rep Speier said in The San Francisco Chronicle, "Many of my constituents are understandably angered by what appears to be an excessive use of force by a park ranger." She added, "From the information I have to date, it does not appear that the use of a Taser was warranted." Speier has also requested information about Taser training for park rangers, including appropriate utilization and risks. She asked how the public was informed about dog policy changes at Rancho Corral de Tierra which now require all dogs to be leashed.
Speier has recommended the appointment of an independent investigator to evaluate whether park regulations were violated and excessive force was utilized in the tasering incident.
If I were jogging with my canines, confronted and tasered all within a matter of minutes, I'd be pretty steamed. I'm with Speier on this one.
How about you? Do you believe the ranger in this situation was out of line and used excessive force?