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Police use taser on deaf woman
KIRO ^ | 8/5/12 | Chris Halsne

Posted on 08/06/2012 6:18:41 PM PDT by mom4kittys

KIRO TV’s investigative unit has discovered Tacoma police used force to arrest and handcuff an innocent deaf woman after she called 911 for their help.

Instead of an apology, she ended up bloody and in jail for nearly three days without an interpreter before a prosecutor declined to press charges.

After months of digging, investigative reporter Chris Halsne found significant discrepancies in the official police version of events leading up to Lashonn White’s arrest.

Late in the evening on April 6, White said she called for police assistance after a guest reportedly attacked her in her own apartment.

Deaf since birth, White used a special video-equipped phone, connected to a TV and a Web camera, to call 911. A certified American Sign Language interpreter on the other end verbally relayed White’s pleas for help to a Tacoma police dispatcher.

“I said, ‘Please hurry! There’s a person here beating me up,’” White explained to Halsne during a television interview last month.

A recording of White’s 911 call from that evening reveals her urgency.

“Right now! This is serious!”

“She’s fighting at me, then she chokes me. She’s coming right at me!”

Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) logs show Tacoma police officer Ryan Koskovich and his partner, Michael Young, were outside White’s apartment complex in about six minutes.

It also reflects that officers received texts along the way stating, “Person doing the hitting is a Sophia” and “Vict. is Lashonn White.”

In addition, it appears from internal police records obtained by KIRO Team 7 Investigators, Koskovich and his partner were repeatedly given information that the victim could not hear a thing.

On the 911 calls, White herself made it perfectly clear.

“I’m deaf. I can’t hear if they’re out front knocking or whatever … I can’t—are they going to the front or back? Where are the police at?”

Dispatch: “They want her to go outside the front door.”

“Oh, they’re here? Okay, I’m on my way to meet them. I’m going right now.”

White showed our investigative team the route up to the front door from her basement apartment. It’s only one flight of stairs -- a 30-second trip.

To her, what happened next defies common sense -- especially, for a woman with no criminal record, no arrests and just one minor driving violation on her record.

Within seconds of running outside to meet police, Officer Koskovich pulled his Taser and fired a two-barbed electric wire into White’s ribs and stomach.

“All I’m doing is waving my hands in the air, and the next thing I know, I’m on the ground and then handcuffed. It was almost like I blacked out. I was so dizzy and disoriented,” White said.

Witnesses said White began bleeding heavily from her knuckles and the right side of her face swelled up immediately after she hit the pavement following the Taser jolt.

Pictures acquired by Team 7 Investigators also show injuries to her cheek, chin, ribs, neck and arms.

Worse yet to White was the incredible confusion that came with suddenly being handcuffed, under arrest and without the ability to communicate with Tacoma officers, who had no sign language skills.

“The next thing I know, they took me to jail. Told me to stand up, you’re going to jail. I said, ‘What? What have I done?’ I couldn’t figure it out. I had no idea what was going on,” said White.

Officer Koskovich and his partner submitted nearly identical descriptions of the arrest in their reports.

Koskovich wrote in part: "I yelled for White to 'stop' and held my right hand up to signal for White to stop. White ignored my commands.”

He added, "White was making a loud grunting noise, had a piercing stare in her eyes and had a clenched right fist in the air."

Team 7 Investigators canvassed the area near the Taser incident for witnesses because Koskovich and White’s stories are so vastly different.

Margaret Sims’s apartment is right over the spot where White fell to the ground after being tased. She said it was around 11:30 at night and dark, but she heard Lashonn screaming in pain and ran to the balcony.

“I hollered down and said, ‘She’s deaf and can’t speak!’”

Sims says she went down to the street and spoke with officers while Lashonn was still in handcuffs. She told us during an on-camera interview that the police officers at the scene admitted there was a misunderstanding.

“They had tased her because he thought she was coming at him, but what she was doing was running to him. But he said, ‘stop’ and he didn’t put his hand up. He just said, ‘stop’ and she couldn’t understand that,” replied Sims.

Another apartment tenant, Geraldine Warren, said she also heard the commotion and talked to police.

“They just told her to halt. She kept running, she can’t hear—she’s deaf. I said, ‘Aren’t you supposed to say halt like that?’” asked Warren holding up her right hand.

Tacoma police arrested Lashonn on two criminal charges, simple assault and obstruction of a public servant (law enforcement officer). Then they carted her off to jail. She spent 60 hours there – also without an interpreter- before a city prosecutor reviewed her case and asked that charges not be filed at all.

We asked KIRO TV police conduct consultant and former Bellevue police chief Don Van Blaricom to review the conflicting witness and officer accounts of Lashonn’s arrest, plus the officer’s official reports.

He told Halsne the officer’s reports “were obviously written in concert, after the fact, to CYA.”

“The question to ask yourself is: why would she run at police in an assaultive manner when she had asked for them to be there and was going out to meet them?” Van Blaricom wondered aloud.

“A Taser is a very useful device under circumstances which necessitate its use, but it’s too easy to use and frequently used too quickly. This looks like one of those cases,” Van Blaricom told Halsne during an interview.

State law on the employment of ASL interpreters for deaf suspects is clear.

RCW 2.42.120 (4)requires law enforcement agencies conducting an investigation to “appoint and pay for a qualified interpreter throughout the investigation.”

RCW 2.42.120 (5) states “If a hearing impaired person is arrested for an alleged violation of a criminal law, the arresting officer or the officer’s supervisor shall, at the earliest possible time, procure and arrange payment for a qualified interpreter for any notification of rights, warning, interrogation, or taking of a statement. No employee of the law enforcement agency who has responsibilities other than interpreting may be appointed as a qualified interpreter.”

White said despite her repeated requests to police for a certified ASL interpreter, one was never provided.

The story is complex and the officers at the scene clearly had a different point of view. KIRO 7 Investigators have tried to get their explanation for six weeks and while we've talked to Tacoma Police on the phone they would not respond to the allegations. We've also sent them emails and left several messages.

If Tacoma police want to explain their side of the story, we'll have a follow-up.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: deaf; donutwatch; taser
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1 posted on 08/06/2012 6:18:46 PM PDT by mom4kittys
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To: mom4kittys

If she would have had a service dog, they probably would have shot it.


2 posted on 08/06/2012 6:21:40 PM PDT by mom4kittys (See you in another life, brotha)
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To: mom4kittys

She should’ve worn a burqa and none of this would’ve happened.


3 posted on 08/06/2012 6:23:28 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: mom4kittys

This story, if accurate, and I have no reason to believe it
isn’t is beyond words. What can one say in regards to this level of abuse that would be cogent or meaningful.
The only appropriate response I can think of involves rope and a tree. We as citizens can no longer allow these thugs
to continue to operate with impunity. The system has been
corrupted and perverted to where these monsters never need
fear being held accountable by the courts. Therefore it’s time they were called to task and punished outside of the
courts.


4 posted on 08/06/2012 6:28:24 PM PDT by nvscanman
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To: mom4kittys

It’s NOT a complex story. It’s simple: police officer assault, tase and severely injure a deaf woman, then try to cover it up. Very simple.


5 posted on 08/06/2012 6:28:44 PM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
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To: mom4kittys

Please let’s not be too hasty with adjudication of anything.

Look at the article and the woman, and then let’s ask ourselves why we’re just hearing about this now, a month later?


6 posted on 08/06/2012 6:30:06 PM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: mom4kittys

It would appear that she’s got multiple witnesses, and proof that an interpreter was not provided to her throughout her stay in jail. She needs to sue the PD, and the officers need to be fired for covering up their gross error in responding to this call. The taser shot is bad enough, but could possibly be understood as them thinking it may be necessary to protect themselves. The way in which she was handled after the fact that it became clear (within minutes) that she was the deaf victim and not the perpetrator is obscene.

Did they ever even bother to actually attempt catch the person who she called them to get? There is no mention of that... So, they took the victim to jail, and apparently the suspected assaulter got away???


7 posted on 08/06/2012 6:30:28 PM PDT by LibertyRocks
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To: righttackle44

Fear the cops more than the criminals


8 posted on 08/06/2012 6:31:13 PM PDT by dc27
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To: nvscanman

At the very least, the 3 days in jail with no interpreter is true and is inexcusable.


9 posted on 08/06/2012 6:31:21 PM PDT by mom4kittys (See you in another life, brotha)
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To: mom4kittys; a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows

Silver lining: she didn’t her it go off!


10 posted on 08/06/2012 6:31:37 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: treetopsandroofs

Because the police were covering it up and the journalist had to investigate to uncover the story.


11 posted on 08/06/2012 6:33:14 PM PDT by mom4kittys (See you in another life, brotha)
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To: nvscanman

“This story, if accurate, and I have no reason to believe it
isn’t is beyond words.”

Big Media likes to foment with half truths and lies all the time.

They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to publish an emotion-inducing article A MONTH LATER without making it about race.

Kind of interesting for Big Media. Also kind of interesting that it was covered up so well for a month.

Why should we EVER be willing to believe ANYTHING from Big Media simply because we “have no reason to believe it
isn’t” true?


12 posted on 08/06/2012 6:35:46 PM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: LibertyRocks

So, they took the victim to jail, and apparently the suspected assaulter got away???


Sure looks like it.


13 posted on 08/06/2012 6:36:14 PM PDT by chessplayer
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To: mom4kittys
A TASER IS A USEFUL DEVICE UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH NECESSITATE ITS USE..."


14 posted on 08/06/2012 6:37:07 PM PDT by Delta 21 (Oh Crap !! Did I say that out loud ??!??)
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To: mom4kittys

Few situations cannot be made worse via the addition of police. Reason number 867 why a gun is better than 911.


15 posted on 08/06/2012 6:37:54 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: Delta 21

I can’t hear you!


16 posted on 08/06/2012 6:38:21 PM PDT by mom4kittys (See you in another life, brotha)
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To: mom4kittys

The true violation of the law, as seen by Super Trooper: “White ignored my commands.”


17 posted on 08/06/2012 6:39:17 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: treetopsandroofs
Look at the article and the woman, and then let’s ask ourselves why we’re just hearing about this now, a month later?

So, just what are you trying to say? Are you saying that since this was a black woman, and this article was just now published indicates that she is lying???

If you actually read the whole article without jumping to your own conclusions you would see that the TV station has been trying to get a statement from the police department in regards to this event for SIX WEEKS. I'd say that's more than long enough to attempt to get both sides before running with the woman's story.

It's clear that the PD doesn't want to talk about it - which reminds me of the way she was apparently treated while in jail, and afterwards.

Just curious, do you actually think you can tell the character of a person by their appearance, or does it just apply to certain people?
18 posted on 08/06/2012 6:40:49 PM PDT by LibertyRocks
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To: mom4kittys

If this woman’s story is 1/4 accurate, this LEA is going to lose quite a bit of $$$ in a lawsuit...more if her story is 100% accurate...even more if the Civil Rights people campaign for her


19 posted on 08/06/2012 6:41:39 PM PDT by SeminoleCounty (Just because someone has an "R" next to their name, does not make them a Conservative)
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To: mom4kittys

“Those who are kind to the cruel are soon cruel to the kind...”

Fast & Furious —> This

MAKES SENSE


20 posted on 08/06/2012 6:43:14 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: mom4kittys

Somebody needs to listen to their radio communications while they are responding.

It might not hurt if a grown man in a cop uniform and armed wasn’t so frightened of a woman running toward him he had to shoot her with a taser.


21 posted on 08/06/2012 6:43:22 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: LibertyRocks

NOPE, YOU’RE ALL WRONG WITH THE IMPLICATIONS AND ACCUSATIONS.

All I’m saying is that Big Media likes to foment, and it’s VERY INTERESTING that Racist Big Media is not saying anything about race and made nothing of it in the article.

I’m asking the big WHY — why didn’t this media play the race card?

I didn’t even say or imply she did anything to deserve it.

Wow, such savagery..... I DID read the article before posting.

Your personal condescension was really offensive.


22 posted on 08/06/2012 6:48:23 PM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: allmendream

And she would have the advantage of not flinching because of muzzle blast. I am not making a joke.


23 posted on 08/06/2012 6:52:42 PM PDT by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: mom4kittys

It does seem a little like the keystone cops in this area.

Just off the top of my head, I remember Seattle cops tasering a diabetic woman who had passed out at the wheel of her car while stopped at a stop sign.

Then there was the homeless, psychotic man who had climbed a tree in Bremerton. A cop was going for her taser to bring him down and instead, accidentally grabbed her .38 and shot him in the leg.

Apparently he didn’t have a dog.


24 posted on 08/06/2012 6:53:14 PM PDT by seowulf ("If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still---nothing"...Kira Alexandrovna Argounova)
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To: mom4kittys
Photobucket
25 posted on 08/06/2012 6:57:57 PM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (All Y'all White Peoples is racist!)
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To: dc27

“Fear the cops more than the criminals”

Yeah, in an earlier post on police misconduct someone said that we need to separate the decent cops from the scum. Well pal, here you are, more scum masquerading as LEO’s. This isn’t going to stop until some of these cretins with badges do some jail time for acts like this! But you watch, the City of Tacoma will try to whitewash this matter and the police chief will act like nothing out of the ordinary happened. Maybe liberating a couple of million bucks from the City of Tacoma will get the voters attention. Then again, maybe not!


26 posted on 08/06/2012 6:58:58 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: vette6387
Government union thugs with guns.

'Nuff said.

27 posted on 08/06/2012 7:02:07 PM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (All Y'all White Peoples is racist!)
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To: Aevery_Freeman

Scary stuff.


28 posted on 08/06/2012 7:02:34 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: vette6387
the police chief will act like nothing out of the ordinary happened.

The sad fact is that the police chief may be right.

29 posted on 08/06/2012 7:09:05 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: treetopsandroofs

Apparently I’m not the only one who misinterpreted your statement. Shouldn’t we be HAPPY that they did not make a big deal of the color of her skin? Isn’t that the kind of reporting we WANT?

As for insinuating you may be racist in your attitude I apologize — unfortunately it’s so commonplace nowadays for people “on the right” to be accused of bigotry that statements which are unclear, of the sort you posted, only feeds into the hysteria. In my personal experience, even here at FR unfortunately there are a lot of comments that end up being thinly veiled - many of which I think are posted not by “true Freepers”, but by agent provocateurs.

As for my condescension towards you, I apologize that I offended you. I have no tolerance for true “racist” bigots, so I tend to treat them with the same disrespect as they show others. In this case, I was obviously wrong. In the future, it might be a good idea to be a little more clear with what you’re trying to convey.


30 posted on 08/06/2012 7:12:18 PM PDT by LibertyRocks
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To: treetopsandroofs; LibertyRocks

Go back and read your first post. I found it confusing and thought LR was right to ask what the hell you were saying.

Although he was a little more gracious than I was.


31 posted on 08/06/2012 7:16:51 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: treetopsandroofs

Please note: I was responding to post #18 of yours, and not the explanation you gave later on the thread. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have said what I did.


32 posted on 08/06/2012 7:17:44 PM PDT by LibertyRocks
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To: LibertyRocks

“Isn’t that the kind of reporting we WANT?”

Yes, but since I never trust the media, I want to know why they suddenly went silent on this.

Apology accepted, thank you.


33 posted on 08/06/2012 7:19:42 PM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: Balding_Eagle

Thanks... I appreciate it. I was beginning to think it was time for me to stop reading and posting today! [Oh, and I’m a “she” - just for future reference. LOL]


34 posted on 08/06/2012 7:20:14 PM PDT by LibertyRocks
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To: mom4kittys

Story says she ran at the cops with her arms waving. They though she was about to attack them.


35 posted on 08/06/2012 7:34:09 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Ambition Without Talent Is Sad - Talent Without Ambition Is Worse")
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To: mom4kittys

Tacoma’s finest in action, proving their worth.


36 posted on 08/06/2012 7:34:33 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: treetopsandroofs; LibertyRocks
treetopsandroofs wrote:
"NOPE, YOU’RE ALL WRONG WITH THE IMPLICATIONS AND ACCUSATIONS...Wow, such savagery..... I DID read the article before posting...Your personal condescension was really offensive."

You rang for "savagery?" I'm going to enjoy what follows the bond collapse and repudiation of debt ahead of us. Scum-sucking local, yocal socialists all over our country (ruined by the bipartisan socialists) are going to be out of work and no longer robbing us. As they resort to more direct gang activities, they'll be the hunted "perps."

Friends, starve the beast. Be frugal. Become more self-sufficient.


37 posted on 08/06/2012 7:49:45 PM PDT by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: mom4kittys

Sue them.


38 posted on 08/06/2012 7:57:44 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (Viva Christo Rey)
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To: mom4kittys
Did I miss something in this report?

Who was fighting with her and choking her?

Why was this other person in the apartment?

How was she able to communicate through her special equipment (visual apparently) without interference from this other person?

Would not the other person be visible to the responding location if they were attacking and choking her?

Were any of her injuries possibly from this other person?

Did the police try to locate this other person?

Did the police take this other person into custody?

Did the police reports talk about this other person in any way, such as name, address, relationship, reason for being in the basement apartment?

How did she get up the single flight of stairs so easily without interference from this other person?

Unless I completely missed something, this story seems to be missing a huge amount of information concerning who, what, when, where and why this incident started and this other person just sort of vanishes without explanation?

I'll be interested in additional/followup information if it becomes available.

39 posted on 08/06/2012 8:08:59 PM PDT by Col Freeper (FR: A smorgasbord of Conservative Mindfood - dig in and enjoy it to its fullest!)
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To: SkyDancer
Story says she ran at the cops with her arms waving. They though she was about to attack them.

Two male cops thought a woman was going to attack them? With her waving arms?

Good thing she didn't start barking like a dog.

40 posted on 08/06/2012 8:28:29 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion or tools of deceit)
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To: dragnet2
Here's the paragraph from the story:

She says she went over and talked to officers, whom she says admitted confusion, claiming they thought White was coming at them, fist clenched, not running to them for help.

So, from that it looks like the cops thought she was going to attack them.

Some poster said this story is over a month old and why now is it in Seattle news?

41 posted on 08/06/2012 8:34:41 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Ambition Without Talent Is Sad - Talent Without Ambition Is Worse")
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To: SkyDancer
the cops thought she was going to attack them.

Yeah, I've heard that many times...About peoples pets too.

Two fully trained, fully armed male cops and an unarmed woman waving her arms or making a fist...Electrocute the hag!

She's lucky she wasn't using cane to walk...She'd be in the morgue.

My advise is to avoid calling the local government for help, it at all possible. No joke.

42 posted on 08/06/2012 8:53:22 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion or tools of deceit)
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To: treetopsandroofs
Please let’s not be too hasty with adjudication of anything.

Look at the article and the woman, and then let’s ask ourselves why we’re just hearing about this now, a month later?


That's just what the cops want you to do--give them every break you will over the pain and rights of a deaf woman.

Sucker.
43 posted on 08/06/2012 9:13:45 PM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
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To: nvscanman
This story, if accurate, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t is beyond words. What can one say in regards to this level of abuse that would be cogent or meaningful.

At its most fundamental level, police do not work for the citizenry; they work for government; local, state or feral (spelling intentional). As a group, they protect themselves first and foremost. As a group, they protect those who hired them and sign their paychecks next.

Where it still exists, "to serve and to protect" needs to be painted over.

Yes, I know there are still some good ones, but you can't tell the difference by looking.

44 posted on 08/06/2012 9:19:22 PM PDT by RobinOfKingston (The instinct toward liberalism is located in the part of the brain called the rectal lobe.)
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To: dragnet2

Anybody or any animal approaching a cop in any manner other than in submission will be shot. Period.


45 posted on 08/06/2012 9:19:22 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Ambition Without Talent Is Sad - Talent Without Ambition Is Worse")
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To: SkyDancer
Anybody or any animal approaching a cop in any manner other than in submission will be shot.

So tell me, why do they carry batons and pepper spray etc?

You're comments are a joke. No offense.

Why don't cops shoot everyone at those at violent protests, throwing crap at them, as they approach in a threatening manner?

Too funny!

You should stay away from crime threads.

46 posted on 08/06/2012 9:34:00 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion or tools of deceit)
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To: vette6387

“Yeah, in an earlier post on police misconduct someone said that we need to separate the decent cops from the scum.”

Comes from poor training. Seems in some cities anyone can slip through the police academy these days regardless of how poorly qualified they are.


47 posted on 08/06/2012 9:37:10 PM PDT by ScottfromNJ
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To: dragnet2

Sarcasm.


48 posted on 08/06/2012 10:00:14 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Ambition Without Talent Is Sad - Talent Without Ambition Is Worse")
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To: SkyDancer

Oh, my apologies...Ya just never know anymore.


49 posted on 08/06/2012 10:17:53 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion or tools of deceit)
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To: ScottfromNJ

It’s not what you know but who you know. You can have the IQ of a gnat and still get a city or county job if you know the right people. That doesn’t have any effect on the quality of the product or service though ( /sarc)


50 posted on 08/06/2012 10:29:00 PM PDT by virgil
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