Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I try not to read Mary Mitchell but every so often the headline grabs me and I find myself sucked in and usually pissed off. Today Mary questions the use of a Taser by Chicago Police on an assailant. The assailant in question is an 82 year old women. What made her an assailant? The fact that she was swinging a hammer at the responding officers. Since I wasn't there I am not going to second guess the decision made on scene besides I'm certain Mary is cherry picking the facts.
But in Fletcher's case, police officers showed extremely poor judgment. Even if she didn't look elderly, there was no question she was mentally disturbed.

How do these police officers justify using such force on an elderly woman? Where was their compassion?

By Mary's own account the police were on a well being check requested by the city's Department of Aging. The department had received a tip that Ms. Fletcher was alone and in need of assistance. Mary claims there is no excuse for the police to use a Taser on an elderly women. None. However, Mary is an apologist for a family that is possibly guilty of neglect.
Normally Fletcher is looked after by a homemaker or by her own daughter and Taylor. Only recently did these women find themselves between homemakers.

Convenient! Had this women fell and broke a hip and died as a result of no "homemaker" being available to assist her, not a peep would have been heard from Mary Mitchell. Had this women attempted to cook a meal and as a result burned down her home and died, not a peep would of been heard from Mary Mitchell.
Have an incident involve the police and a sympathetic figure, preferably a minority, and you can count on Mary to contort the facts to make the police appear as jack booted thugs. Want to take the police to task and second guess all their actions? Try asking your "victims" or their families to take some personal responsibility once in awhile then maybe your second guessing won't appear so partisan.


Anonymous said...

My response to the Metro Editor of the Scum-Times (In re: Mope-rah's latest ignorance):

What a remarkable piece of journalistic garbage. Mary Mitchell, who knows absolutely nothing about police work, judges police officers for using force (taser) on an assailant wielding a hammer because the assailant is old and mentally ill?

The taser is an effective tool because it works on the mentally ill. While many pain compliance tactics do not, the taser temporarily overrides the central nervous system, and allows officers to put an end to a potentially dangerous situation quickly.

The police are criticized because they forced entry into Fletcher's home. But what would have happened if they did not? What if Fletcher did harm to herself? Given her history of "belligerence" and mental illness, that is a distinct possibility. The bottom line is that the likes of Mary Mitchell would still have her anti-police story whether the police went in or not.

I was especially fond of the granddaughter's comments. Yes, the same granddaughter who now advocates on behalf of the grandmother but was nowhere to be found when Grandma was in crisis:

"There has to be another way to stop her -- use your stick and block the hammer," she said. "Knock it out of her hand. How hard is that?"

Great idea, use an impact weapon, break an old woman's arm and once again blame the police for overreacting.

Tasers have been proven to be safe despite numerous media-driven reports to the contrary. In many cases they are a viable alternative to deadly force.

Mary Mitchell does the community a disservice by reporting such sloppily researched drivel. The involved officers used a taser to control a woman in a mental health crisis. They then took her to a mental health facility for treatment. That is the purpose for using a taser. Tasers do not cause stroke, heart attack or other permanent injuries (aside from those small burn marks which do eventually disappear. And there is a risk of injury when a tased subject falls to the ground). The effects of being tased (and I have been tased for 5 seconds) are over immediately after the electricity stops.

Mary writes, "Also, it's worth noting that Fletcher hasn't been charged with violating any laws." Do you know why Mary? Because the Chicago Police do not routinely charge people with crimes they lack the mental capacity to understand. We get them mental health treatment instead.

I completed Chicago Police Department crisis intervention training. I can assure you that the officers' actions in this incident were fully consistent with training techniques taught in this week-long class (And endorsed by NAMI--the National Alliance on Mental Illness).

The Sun Times does its readers a disservice by "headlining" this garbage by prominently featuring it is as the "Top News Story" on their website.

Anonymous said...

The famly is lucky I just would have shot her had she come at me with a hammer.

Anonymous said...

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rosco said...

Lets all stop buying or reading the Scum Times!

rosco said...

Oh, come on take a hit and be off for X-mas and New Years. And get a tax write off too...

Anonymous said...

Tasers do not cause stroke, heart attack or other permanent injuries

Yes they can.

Anonymous said...

To Nov 7 at 5:44pm...NO THEY CAN'T!! I am a certified "Instructor" trained by Taser International and any death that has occured after utilizing a taser has ALWAYS been in conjunction with an existing health complication or the use of narcotics...they do NOT CAUSE DEATH plain and simple. The taser has no more amps than a transistor radio...and they are designed to interrupt the central nervous system causing the assailant to loose control of his ability to strike the officer and therefore be "controlled". The taser does not cause long lasting injuries and in fact affords the assailant almost instant recovery after the application. The tool was designed to be a safe, effective means to control an assailant in a less than leathal manner and it does so very well. I am of the opinion that the taser is the single BEST tool law enforcement has available for controlling an assailant. Ms Mary Mitchell is nothing but a racist, she hates white people and hates the police...she should be fired for her racist views, God knows if that was a white man writing the same things in a national leading newspaper...we would be fired and possibly sued!! She is allowed to write her racist views and beliefs under the guise of journalism....what a great idea!! She needs to be fired.

Anonymous said...

A stroke is caused by an arterial blockage to the brain, there is no way possible for a taser to cause that.A taser has 50,000 volts, a defibulator has 300,000 and is used to re-start a heart during myocardial infarction(heart attack) not cause it, again it isn't the taser.

Anonymous said...

{I am a certified "Instructor" trained by Taser International.}


Please save us all the "I went to the class" BS and reading me the sales brochure.

{"they are designed to interrupt the central nervous system"}

You still dont think this can affect your heart??

{"less than leathal manner"}

Why the less than lethal catch all??If TASER was completely safe wouldnt they call it NON LETHAL??

TASER is now the choice of those following the modern failed police model.Anyone can be a policeman,but can you really call yourself a COP?

Anonymous said...

To Mr/Ms November 8th,2007 at 2:13pm....Ok...I see that you need several items clarified...Not that I "Need" to clarify them for you but I will...First of all...I am a Chicago police sergeant..I was trained by the Chicago police department in their taser course,there I am certified by the city of Chicago to carry / use a taser while working. ..I have been trained as an INSTRUCTOR..meaning I am certified to teach and certify others to use and carry a taser...I traveled to Arizona for this certification which was a very extensive course requireing me to attend a 40 hour course and take (3) three hits from the taser myself...to see what the effects are and feel like...this is NOT OPTIONAL..you MUST TAKE THE HITS or you cannot be certified as an instructor. I think that should clear up item #1 for you. The next topic you chose is that of the disruption of the central nervous system that the tool is designed to do...The answer to your starement / question is...NO it cannot affect your heart in and of itself...it is designed as not to be able to kill an individual...ANY and ALL instances where people have died as a result of a taser incident have ALL been associated with narcotic useage and or a pre existing medical condition which precipitated their consequence...ie: death. The tool taser x26 that we currently utilize...does NOT have the power to deliver a lethal amount of amps to any human being...that is a simple fact...it has less ampitude than a transistor radio...ask any electrician what kills people?? They will tell you it is NOT electricity...but the "amps"..that is a FACT. The taser x26 puts out approximately 50,000 "volts" of electricity...but that's not "true" voltage...and again ask any electrician if the voltage kills you of its the amps. Ok done with item #2. Your "Less than lethal" question is simply answered as Yes the taser is a less than lethal application used by law enforcement to control assailants...as is a bean bag gun...that is also classified as less than lethal..and if you do not know what that is ...it is a
1" x 1" square synthetic "bean bag" fired from a shotgun designed to incapacitate an assailant as does a taser...the taser will not leave a lasting bruise as the bean bag will...Another less than lethal weapon is OC or olean resin capsicum or "pepper spray" which can cause an athsma attack which can lead to death...right?? This application often burns for several hours after recieving the effects ...tasers do not. These are only two examples of less than lethal tools that we use as law enforcement...another would be our batons...but we all know that they cause great damage...unlike tasers...and finally your comment about how "anyone can be a police officer but can you really be a cop"?...My first question to you would be "Can you be either"? I already know the answer..don't bother. Being a police officer in the 21st century is more of a challenge than ever...we are often "handcuffed" by bureaucratic laws designed for the offender and not for the law abiding citizens...I always say..."You never need to utilize the law unless you have done something wrong" and then the law is designed for the criminals not for the good citizens...Look at those charged with homicide(s)...there are more loop holes in that law than a slice of swiss cheese...many of the offenders either get off completely or are sentenced to lesser punnishments...I am a police officer...we don't like being called "cops" for your information...like I said earlier...I understand that you are NOT one...as I can plainly tell from your post and being called a "cop" is like being called a punk...in other words it is a slang term...I prefer police officer or you may also call me "sir" if you like. Your comment about the "modern failed police model" is somewhat correct...we are allowed to "fail" because of the political intervention(s) that impede out ability to carry out our jobs properly weather they exist in the court system or on the street or in the roll call room(s)..they certainly do exist and certainly do interfere. (sp?,sorry) I must add another point of interest regarding the Tasers...Taser International has their own team of legal professionals who will defend an officer if there is litigation brought forth involving their product...I would say that is very costly and I am sure that they would not care to spend the thousands of dollars to defend a product that causes death or will be found to cause permanent damage...what sense would that make?? If I am going to develop a tool/product that eventually causes death (illegally) would I spend my money to defend it?? or would I become a poor man...In other worsds they have never lost a case and the Taser has NEVER been the sole cause of an individual(s) death without contributing factors...ie: narcotics,pre existing medical condition(s)..You might want to visit their web site and inquire into their product further to educate yourself...or you can just continue to be ignorant...your choice. Hopefully I educated you and informed you on your misguided opinions....I always try to serve and protect.. CPD Sergeant

Anonymous said...

All of you so called "instructors" need to understand one thing: TASER INTL conducts their own testing and do have legalese written into their speeches which amounts to the tasers that they use in producing their test results are NOT the same ones that we are issued.
There is a prominant ER M.D. at one of the city's trauma centers (need to be vague as TASER is very vindictive) who has conducted studies on his own dime that remove credibility from TASERS' claims of NON-lethal force. Dont get me wrong, it is a great tool, and in my opinion if you get tased and die, too freaking bad. Just be forewarned and if at all possible, deploy the taser from the back of the offender. I dont give a crap about their life, but I dont want to see anyone in blue going to corp counsel if they dont have to.

Anonymous said...

To 09 November @ 12:56...Where do you get your information from? I don't want to get into a pissing contest here but think about what you have written....."Taser International uses tasers that are NOT the same ones we are issued"? That's an interesting statement...so what kind do they use? and where do you get this information from? This is a ludachrist statment at best..That's like saying Smith and Wesson tests their handguns but NOT the same handguns we carry...WTF?? So their handguns would NOT kill anyone?? Think about what you are saying and how incredibly goof your statement is.The Taser is a tool made to do one thing...incapacitate an individual...and it does it well and harmlessly...You need to do some extensive reading on the subject before you make off the wall comments here..The Taser has NEVER been directly linked to a single death...in and of itself...there have ALWAYS been contributing factors...ALWAYS. The tool simply does NOT have enough amps to kill...like I said in my previous post...consult any electrician and ask them what kills...amps or volts?? As for this alleged MD that has "conducted"his own "studies" where are they published and what are his/her findings?? What is his / her credibility? or is he another joe looking to cash in on the gravy train? I am a police officer and I have been certified as an instructor by the company that invented the weapon....don't I have as much credibility as the MD?? I have used the weapon on mulitple occasions and NEVER had in incident of any injury,death etc..ever..How many times has this MD used the weapon?? has he ever taken a hit from the weapon? does he know what it feels like? has he done an autopsie on any individual who has been hit with a taser and if so what were his findings? Does he even know how the weapon works? Me thinks the MD you speak of is a Schmuck and looking to cash in on the "wrongful death train" Just a last FYI...you state to "deploy the Taser from the back of the offender"...well my friend that is exactly what you are instructed to do...and there is a reason for that too..If at all possible you are instructed to deploy the taser into the back of the offender due to the fact that the back is the largest muscle group in the upper torso and will give the greatest effect. There are other reasons as well but that is the PRIMARY reason...others may include not causing injury to eyes etc...As I stated before I am CPD sergeant and have deployed a taser multiple times since being authorized to carry one (12 or more times) and I am a certified Instructor, trained by Taser International at their facility in Scottsdale Arizona...as well as the day of training that CPD offers...I am certified to train other officers in the proper carry and use of the Taser and know how it functions, have used it and have taken hits from it, I am qualified as an expert as I am also an armourer certified to repair the weapon too...I am just fed up with all of the media hype and uneducated assumptions/statements surrounding this ingenious weapon...It saves lives..and causes little or no damage in doing so. If you have ever taken a hit you would see exactly how fast you can recover from the effects of the taser...it is instantanious...no lingering effects..once the impulse has stopped you can recover instantly..unlike a handgun, OC, etc...the weapon is a great advancement for law enforcement and saves our lives every day..It does however NOT kill.

Anonymous said...


Please keep in mind that this is an open blog
that can and is read by people other than Chicago Police Officers.