I was outraged after reading “Police defend using stun gun on 80-year-old,” T&D, June 7, 2012.
How many police officers in St. George are needed to subdue a naked and disoriented 80-year-old woman with a cane? Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn’t it, but this was a serious incident.
Clearly four officers on the scene were not enough, including the police chief who “advised one of his officers to deploy a stun gun toward the woman” and defends its use. According to the article, he said, “I didn’t want anybody to get hurt — that’s what the Taser’s for — to keep people from getting hurt.”
Obviously the lady was suffering from some medical/psychological condition and not responsible for her actions, and needed help. Did anyone even consider they could have killed the woman, who was “talking confusedly”? How many volts does it take to stop an 80-year-old heart?
The police officers didn’t get hurt, but did anyone consider how it hurt her? Come on people, all you really needed to do was wait her out — at 80 years of age, waving a cane can get pretty tiring in a very short period of time.
It was reported that they tried to take the cane away from the woman. Seems to me that any police officer who doesn’t have better reflexes than a naked, 80-year-old woman waving a cane needs to find a different line of work.
Shame on the St. George Police Department. I am certainly glad I am not growing old in your “Taser” town.
– Diane Henegar, Bamberg