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TX: few Houston officers disciplined over Taser abuse

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Who is surprised at this? Sixty-nine investigations into alleged Taser abuse by members of the Houston Police Department only netted 5 officers worthy of any disciplinary charges.

The Houston Police Department has found no wrongdoing in some 1,700 incidents in which its officers intentionally fired a Taser, despite investigating about 70 complaints — including one officer who shocked his own stepson and another who discharged his stun gun on a 59-year-old woman during a dispute over laundry.

Over the last four years, only five officers have been disciplined for misusing their Tasers, although not one of the five actually shocked a suspect, according to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle. Instead, HPD reprimanded officers for threatening people with their stun guns, repeatedly discharging them while off duty and brandishing the weapon in a dispute in an elementary school carpool line.

“If that is how they deal with family problems, how are they dealing with the public?” asked Shirley Baker, whose grandson was shocked by his officer stepfather.

And look at this quote — the low number of disciplinary actions is being used to justify Taser use. Isn’t that convenient?

Police officials maintain the Taser is a useful tool that has reduced injuries to both officers and suspects. Each incident, they say, is closely scrutinized.

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“To have (69) complaints and only a few sustained — that is reflective of successful use,” said Assistant Chief Brian Lumpkin, who oversees the HPD internal affairs division. “The numbers show that we have used Tasers responsibly.”

All it tells me is that it’s not in the HPD’s best interest to find cause, after all, none of the incidents that warranted disciplinary actions involved the Tasing of a suspect.

In the above-mentioned carpool incident, a woman allegedly “drove recklessly as she pulled up to the school” and officer Nichole P. Medrano confronted the driver, who got angry as Medrano (off duty at the time), took her keys and threatened her with the Taser. The officer was caught on tape saying “I will shoot your ass.” Medrano received a written reprimand.

Hat tip, Tasered While Black.

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Pandagon

Ch-ch-changes…..

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After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.

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Pandagon

Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies

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I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.

And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.

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Pandagon

Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence

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At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:

I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.

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