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More Taser Silliness

I’ve been critical of Taser use before but this one is quite odd:

Officers responding to a welfare check of a man in a tree in Kitsap County accidentally shot the man in an attempt to use a Taser on him.

The man had been holed up in the tree for hours. An officer used his Taser on the man and after it had no affect, the officer asked another officer to Taser the man. The other officer accidentally used his gun instead of his Taser and the man in the tree was shot.

Poor training? A cop stretching the truth? Incompetence? Beats me.

Update: Whoops. No one is dead. Headline changed since I screwed up.

17 Responses to “More Taser Silliness”

  1. Standard Mischief Says:

    I don’t think the victim is dead, they said they took him to the hospital.

  2. Austin Mike Says:

    Holstering pistol-gripped tasers and handguns on the same belts will invariably lead to accidentally using one instead of the other in a moment of stress. In manufacturing we use a concept called poke-yoke (a Manglish alliteration from Japan) wherein on a device with several connections to wires or hoses, each connection can fit in only the correct socket due to a unique connector type. By design, it is thus impossible (without ingenuity and a leatherman tool) to connect the wires or hoses anywhere except where they belong. Eventually the police will realize the necessity of this regarding tasers and will make the taser grip completely unlike a pistol grip (maybe a baton-like unit).

    And maybe the second officer felt a really strong need to get the person out of the tree, without delay.

  3. Brutal Hugger Says:

    WTF are they doing tasing a guy in a tree? Unless he had a weapon and was threatening them, physically assaulting a guy for refusing to leave a tree is just wrong.

  4. Standard Mischief Says:

    The other officer accidentally used his gun instead of his Taser and the man in the tree was shot.

    I’m not meaning to be so persnickety, but I think the shooter here was a she.

    Fish or Man quotes a subscription only story:

  5. Standard Mischief Says:

    Fish or Man quotes the entire thingy, because it’s subscription only, but it seems that the news site will give you a free pass if you surf in with a referrer string. try it:

  6. Guav Says:

    Sounds like a bald-faced lie to mehow the hell do you ACCIDENTALLY confuse an actual firearm with a Taser? They are nothing alike, either visually or how they feel, weigh or work.

    I could see in a split-second situation or a shootout or something grabbing the wrong item, but this was not a fast-moving, life-threatening situation. Dude was sitting in a tree. I think they got impatient and frustrated is what I think.

  7. markm Says:

    I can see a mistake happening when you’re in the middle of a fight. With a struggle going on at point-blank range, I could certainly grab the wrong handle, draw, point, and pull the trigger before I noticed what was in my hand – but then, I know I’m not the right type to be a cop. However, this was not a stressful situation and the officers had all the time they wanted. Someone who doesn’t notice the difference between a gun and a taser in their hand under those conditions shouldn’t be a cop, and shouldn’t be carrying a gun at all.

    I’m also very doubtful about using a taser to get a man out of a tree. IT’S NO LONGER A “NON-LETHAL” WEAPON WHEN THE EXPECTED RESULT OF USING IT IS TO CAUSE SOMEONE TO FALL OUT OF A TREE. There are very few circumstances under which the cops couldn’t just wait him out. At a minimum (e.g., the guy’s been up there a week and the construction schedule is slipping), I’d expect a reasonable cop to show the taser, warn him to come down or get tased, and then wait a minute or two before firing. And if in all this time, the cop didn’t notice the thing in her hand was nothing like a Taser in size, weight, appearance, or balance, then it isn’t enough to fire her – whoever hired her is also incompetent.

  8. Ravenwood Says:

    I think this kind of mistake happens all the time. Just the other day I went to change the channel on my TV, and grabbed my gun instead of the remote. I shot the screen three times before I figured out why it wasn’t changing.

  9. Guav Says:


  10. straightarrow Says:

    I was born at night, but not last night. Contempt of cop will get you shot everytime. That is what happened here. They are notoriously insecure when civilians aren’t sufficiently scared and all of a sudden “fear for their lives” or some other crap that they get away with.

  11. Zendo Deb Says:

    police usually carry tasers as cross draw and their service weapon as strong side draw. At least all the ones I know – or even bothered to notice – do. How do you confuse that? Also, I don’t own a glock, but wouldn’t a loaded service weapon – even something light-weight like a glock – weigh more than a taser? A lot more?

    Anyway, I agree that tasering someone in a tree – I didn’t read the story did it say how high he was? – is a stupid risk. He could fall and break his neck.

    Sounds like the polce were pissed this guy was not obeying their commands, and so decided to teach him a lesson. If so, I hope they hang these guys out to dry. And even if not, a negligent discharge like this has got to carry some penalty, otherwise no one will be careful.

  12. Spank That Donkey Says:

    WTF are they doing tasing a guy in a tree? Unless he had a weapon and was threatening them, physically assaulting a guy for refusing to leave a tree is just wrong.

    Can we get you some cheese to go along with that Liberal Whine…. OK, if it were a cat in the tree, that would be fairly inhumane to Tase it, but humans do not belong in trees, and what if the cops had left psycho tarzan in the tree, and he later fell and broke his stupid neck? the cops get sued by his family or the ACLU…

    I’d have called in the Fire Department and unleashed about 2,000 gallons of H2O on his ass, and maybe figure a way to break his fall…

    either way law enforcement is tough… Especially with Libs criticizing your every move, WTF.

  13. SayUncle Says:

    but humans do not belong in trees

    Dude, cops should not taser unless the level of force warrants it. A guy in a tree is not a threat. Wait him out. he’ll have to eat or shit eventually.

  14. Spank That Donkey Says:

    I disagree, we have an 8 man police shift to cover my city of 25,000 people.. If two officers are sitting around for hours watching some idiot in a tree… they could be busting some dope dealer on the corner….

    Knock his ass out of the tree, and maybe the freaks in town will have some respect for the cops…. Cops are not social service lunatic attendents….

  15. Phelps Says:

    I wouldnt’ consider “busting some dope dealer on the corner” to be a productive use of police time either. How about solving some crimes with victims, like robberies or murders? Oh, that’s right, the police don’t do that. That’s dangerous. Much better to call in SWAT over a couple of ounces of marijuana.

  16. straightarrow Says:

    STD, has anybody noticed the other use for those initials? Now, STD, do you beat your wife to make her respect how tough you are so you can get out there do some other safe but Impressive shit?

  17. Spank That Donkey Says:

    How about Stimulating Thoughtful Discussion? Nice personal attack, obviously you and BH are bretheren…. He has yet to show up to defend himself… and you have nothing actually intellectual to add, so you say something like what?

    do you beat your wife to make her respect how tough you are so you can get out there do some other safe but Impressive shit?

    Maybe Uncle can start a “thread” where the two of you can really display your intellect 🙂 I’ll be your “Huckleberry”

    If a drug dealer moves in on both sides of your house and starts dealing to your kids… guess you’d be all about that?

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