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View Diary: Former cop Johannes Mehserle sentenced to less than 2 years for killing Oscar Grant (80 comments)

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  •  I saw Meherle throw up his hands in shock (5+ / 0-)

    and I actually believe the story of taser confusion.  But tasering a subject who is already down and restrained by several officers, is egregious to begin with.  I think the verdict of manslaughter should have been voluntary manslaughter, and not at the minimum sentence either.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 02:23:01 PM PDT

    •  But the taser looks and feels nothing like a gun. (3+ / 0-)

      Also, eyewitnesses claim that Grant asked specifically not to be tased.  

      "The ironing is delicious!"- Bart Simpson

      by QuietObserver on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 02:38:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What the suspect wants doesn't matter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plasmon

        In any use of force situation the suspect needs to follow the orders of the law enforcement officers who are giving them. Had he simply shown his hands there would have been no need for a taser. Also, everything is clear in 20/20 hindsight and given the heat of the moment as well as the possibility of a hand being in his pocket (that has not been searched) he had no idea if there was a weapon there or not.  There are many school of psychological study that shows many things can go on in a person's head during tense situations with people yelling. Remember, cops are human.

        •  Shooting someone because of the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp, Faeya Wingmother, plasmon

          possibility that they could be reaching for a gun in the pocket is a premature. But, in the act of drawing or producing it into view, it is not. Many victims of police shootings have been shot reaching in to produce I.D., or dope, etc. Plenty of drunks, drugged, or angry people don't comply with police officers; this is where true professionalism comes in. This officer and his partner lost their composure because of the crowd noise/excitement and failed in quick efficient tactics...SSK

    •  Pretty clear that neither weapon was justified (5+ / 0-)

      But also clear that a Taser feels nothing like a loaded firearm.

      •  There is entirely too much use of Tasers (4+ / 0-)

        by law enforcement, imho.  Because they are considered "non-lethal" it seems to me that some cops have become 'Quick Draw McGraw' with a Taser in just too many situations.

        I agree that neither a Taser or a gun was justified in this situation nor can one be confused with the other.  I have held both weapons at one time myself.

        •  I don't think that similarity of weapons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aquagranny911

          is really a very good metric for ability to confuse them. Forgive the flip analogy, I don't take it lightly that Oscar Grant is dead -- but my glasses are not too similar to a carton of ice cream, yet I did manage to store them in the freezer once.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 04:43:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, but I have to LOL at you comment. (0+ / 0-)

            That's called a 'senior moment' and has nothing to do with "metric" confusion.  That young cop lost his cool and his head.  Bad training, racism, just being plain too frightened to think before he shot, he killed a man and justice was not served in this case.

            •  Senior moments happen more often to seniors (0+ / 0-)

              but plain old bad judgement and lapses of stupidity happen at any age, as well as (alas) more so with increasing age.

              He did all exactly those things that you say.  And making mistakes THAT big, calls for significant social sanction, up to and beyond what were applied in this case.  He blew someone away, quite unnecessarily, without consciously planning it, and yet totally and for very bad reasons enacting it in that moment.  Which is why I feel voluntary manslaughter could have been a just verdict, or involuntary with a higher penalty.

              But I stick to the point that the [hysical dissimilarity of tasers vs. guns, speaks very little to the frightened, reactive, primitive impulse to use the wrong one.  

              "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

              by lgmcp on Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 09:20:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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