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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Respect Your Elders, Or You Will Get Tased

Two very interesting things have happened recently involving crime and the elderly. One happened a month ago, one is unfolding even as I type.

In May, a 72-year-old woman was pulled over by a police officer alongside a very busy road. She was going sixtysomething in a fortysomething. She refused to sign the ticket. She yelled and screamed and carried on. Then, after being ordered out of the car, she kicked it up a notch, moving erratically and and cursing up a storm. The officer pushed her towards the berm to keep her from getting hit by a car, and she renewed the fit, "You gonna push an old lady!?" He warned her six times to comply with his instructions, or she would be tased.

She didn't comply, and she was tased.

Granniekins was up-in-arms about the incident, calling the police officer a "liar" for claiming in his incident report that she was combative and that she resisted arrest. Interestingly enough, after the dashboard camera video was released to the news media, she shut the hell up and hired a lawyer-- which is a smart move, seeing as she's being charged with resisting arrest. The officer's superior went on ABC News and stated that his "mom is 76" and that, if she behaved the way this suspect did, he'd tase her, too.

And now, today, an 89-year-old white supremacist bastard is undergoing emergency surgery at George Washington University Hospital after he shot up the National Holocaust Memorial Museum. He was felled by bullets from two security guards after he shot another security officer in the head. In all likelihood, they're both going to die.

What should the security guards at the Holocaust Museum have done with this guy? Respect their elders? Maybe they should have turned on an episode of "Matlock" in the hopes that it would distract him long enough to be disarmed and subdued.

The images of a young, physically fit and imposing police officer lighting up an old lady are admittedly disturbing and irregular-- the general public is conditioned to thinking that all dangerous lawbreakers and miscreants look like Jean Claude Van Damme, or, unfortunately, Chris Rock. Here's the thing: they don't. Violent and unstable people come in all sorts of packaging, and this is precisely the reason why profiling doesn't always work-- because life is always pitching, and there are always curveballs just waiting for you to take a swing.

Was the tasering of a 72-year-old woman justified, the media asks? You bet your ass it was, Gram-Gram. There are penalties for non-compliance when dealing with a police officer, especially a lone officer on the side of a busy highway. We all make decisions in our lives, and our decisions and actions precipitate reactions from others.

The most regrettable incident at the Holocaust Museum is a chilling reminder that old people don't just shuffle around in their bedroom slippers with their mouths and zippers agape-- they're capable of committing crimes as well, and it is patently ridiculous to imply that somehow they should be treated with kid gloves, or that law enforcement personnel should approach them in a benign way as if they were all innocuous and incapable of criminal acts.

Guess what? Some of them are crazy and armed to the teeth, too, even if the teeth are false.


  1. I've always had a little bit of concern for that particular side of judgement and thus law enforcement.

    How do you stay level-headed when it comes to disabled or elderly people? Or even worse, ethnic minorities?

    I know there have been lots of cases of minorities being given lenient treatment because the policeman didn't want to appear 'political incorrect'...

    Tricky stuff. My friend gave me the example of an old man setting a violent dog on a policeman -- do you tase the dog? The old man? Um...

    Being a figure of the law is trickier than most people anticipate, I think!

  2. we need to put all old people in pens and dissect them for their nutrients


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