Small victory for people who like to bicycle Taser-free
I could have sworn I posted about this back when it originally happened, but I can’t find any such post among my oh-so-prolific output. Here’s some encouraging news for our chances at avoiding a full-fledged police state:
The word is in — Phil Sano was found not guilty of resisting arrest on the night of June 10, 2008.
A Portland man says he was tackled, pushed off his bike, and then tasered repeatedly by a Portland Police officer in Southeast Portland last night.
The Portland Police Bureau, in a written statement about the incident, say that Phil Sano (a.k.a. “Rev Phil”) did not have a front light on his bicycle and that he refused to stop when officers requested.
The police officer was dressed all in black with, allegedly, no insignias or other identifying marks, a claim which seems more likely given the not guilty verdict. A good followup read is the paraphrasement of the [A?]DA’s summation:
Officers had no good options. Chose Taser…
Officer is justified when using force when officer believes it’s necessary in making an arrest. Not just when threatened.
Obviously this is subject to transcription error, and the [A?]DA may not be a huge jackass. But this idea of “Taser as option” rather than “Taser as a weapon of second-to-last resort” is pernicious, and thankfully the jury saw past it.
Update: It was Pam that wrote about it. You can see how I got confused.