Saskatoon writer defends Taser killers

The Saskatoon Star-Pheonix published this rare and silly defense, by Les MacPherson, of the RCMP’s taser attack on Robert Dziekanski, the Polish guy at the Vancouver airport.

Man’s lack of co-operation necessitated force

I wrote him this email in response:

Mr MacPherson,

Your definition of resisting arrest is novel. Walking away = violent.

Once in a while, people behave irrationally. Should we all carry tasers so that we can zap anyone who makes a false move?

That old lady who shoves into you on the crowded bus, then refuses to back off, because she doesn’t understand your english? Taser her! Immediately! She might have a pocket full of hep-C aids needles! Shoving is violent – at least, more violent than walking away.

The Taser is meant to be an alternative to deadly force. NOT an alternative to NON-DEADLY force, i.e. dealing with a cranky but otherwise innocent person. It wasn’t a bank holdup or hostage situation. It was an angry guy at the airport. Your suggestion that he might have had a weapon borders on immoral fantasy. A weapon! In the secure international arrivals area after clearing customs!

Four police officers with guns and tasers are a very formidable force. This so-called violent person showed some rationality by NOT confronting them. The pro-police argument, constantly used, that police feel endangered and threatened by harmless individuals is really quite sickening.

Sure they felt threatened. And teeny little George Bush couldn’t sleep because he was so scared of big bad Saddam Hussein.

As a filmmaker, I’ve worked with footage of the VPD harrassing people, publicly strip-searching women – yes, publicly strip-searching women on busy street corners, and you guessed it, these were drug-addicted street prostitutes with no way to defend their bodies or their rights – and personally witnessed cops beating a handcuffed man’s head against the hood of their car. Not all police officers are corrupt brutes, but unlike you I don’t defy rational interpretation of clear events because of some automatic trust in police motives and behaviour.

Co-operating with police, by the way, is difficult if you have no idea what they’re saying.

Flick Harrison.

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