‘Taser happy’ police use stun gun to subdue Occupy DC protester

 
A video of police using a Taser stun gun against an Occupy protester at Washington DC’s McPherson Square has garnered widespread attention as the movement fights to maintain its 24-hour presence at the site despite a ban on overnight camping.

Police announced on Friday, January 27, that they would begin to enforce an existing regulation prohibiting overnight camping on federal land by noon the following Monday after concerns over health and safety were raised.

While blanketing the campsite with warnings of the approaching deadline on Sunday, the police were confronted by a protester identified as Ryan Lash. In the video below, Lash is seen shouting an insult at the officers, who proceed to follow him as he walks away. Just before he is tased, Lash tries to pull away from the police as they attempt to detain him, shouting “I have done nothing wrong”.
 
Police tase protester at 1’41. Video posted on YouTube by MrFr0zak.
 
According to a May 2011 report published by the National Institute of Justice, more than half of a sample group of 500 law enforcement agencies allow for the use of Conducted Energy Devices (CED), such as a Taser, in the event a subject “tensed and pulled when an officer tried to handcuff him or her”.

Police have reportedly confirmed that Lash was stunned by a Taser and arrested, saying that a routine inquiry into the use of force has been launched.
Contributors

“Lash was so upset police told him he needed to step away”

Sara Shaw, an Occupy DC protester, witnessed the police tase and detain Lash at McPherson Park on Sunday.
 
The police had come into the tent area to post warnings about Monday’s noon deadline. They were putting notices on everyone’s tents, including Lash’s, and he came out and started yelling at them and began removing the papers. He was so upset police told him he needed to step away, which he did. He walked to the other side of the park, but they decided to follow him. It’s not really clear why – he did exactly as they asked him to. Maybe it was because he was the only person verbally assaulting them.

I saw Lash fall to the ground right after he was tased. He was still shaking as the police detained him. They called an ambulance to the scene, but didn’t wait for it to arrive. Even though Lash didn’t look well, they just picked him up off the ground and escorted him to the police van. The ambulance arrived five minutes after they left.

The incident put everyone in the camp into a very sombre mood. Some people were crying because it was such a horrible thing to witness. Others were angry and yelled ‘shame!’ at the police as they walked away.The police had also been agressive the night before, after they approached a group of us while we were hanging out. They were very physical with us – there was a lot of shoving and pushing. The two incidents combined just made it feel as though the situation was building up. Everyone in the camp is now very wary of the fact that the police seem to be prepared to be much more brutal with us”.

 

Comments

Whats next,bullets?Kent State

Whats next,bullets?Kent State wasn,t that long ago!!!

No police officer should

No police officer should assault someone because of ANYTHING they say. Police are not members of the general public, they're the public peace keepers, they need to be trained to blow off speech they dislike, even public insults. If someone isn't able to do that, if they can't control their temper, they're not qualified to be a police officer and they should be fired. These officers behaved incorrectly and need to be disciplined, whether that includes counseling or retraining or harsher measures.

Very plainly, in the video, the guy who gets tased does what he is told to do, he walks away. There doesn't seem to be any reason, at all, for these officers to follow him and assault him and this is very disturbing. The police should not look at the public as their enemies and the public should not look at the police that way. If they do, something is seriously wrong.

Whether or not you like or agree with what a person is protesting about has nothing to do with their right to protest and in no way effects it. American citizens are all guaranteed that right and the right to pretty much speak as we please (beyond "fire!" in a crowded theater).

Tase happy?

As was pointed out by others this person was yelling and cussing at the police which is considered assault. They wanted to detain him for questioning and he resisted. He knew they were following him and he kept walking away and when they finally caught up to him he resisted and started to fight. Use of the taser was brought in to prevent harm to him and to the officers. If it hadn't been used then he would have ended up with more officers on top of him bringing and holding him to the ground while restraints were applied and most likely would have ended up with more damage to him being taken down that way as well as to the officers. It is a no-win situation for the police. They are looked at as jack-booted thugs when all they are trying to do is enforce the law which these people have been breaking for some time. They should know by now they aren't accomplishing anything other that turning more and more people against them and their cause. If they had been following the laws then none of this would have happened in the first place. The old adage applies - don't do the crime if you aren't willing to do the time.

"the police seem to be

"the police seem to be prepared to be much more brutal with us”.

Well, I certainly hope so. Go home. Get a job. Be productive. Stop whining.

0:11

taser happy? he called the police " fucking pigs" @ 0:11. and resists arrest.

guy should have known better.

guy should have known better. don't smart off to the cops.

tazzer

the protester egged on the police with his off screen comments using verble remarks that can be heard on the video,he wanted to provoke a confrontation so as to protray the police in a negative light.it seems to me that this video was a setup and he wanted the police to tazzer him.the real question is this ,what is this supposed protest about?Is this another set up by the obama white house to confuse the public prior to an election that will be about how bad he has managed the countries affairs.

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