Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

I'm pretty sure this is one of the earliest life lessons most people get. If someone does something wrong, doing something wrong in return isn't going to change anything.

Almost everyone has seen this video:

It's highly disturbing, to say the least.

Jared Massey acted like an obvious idiot. But, so did Trooper Gardner. And the difference between the two is that Jared Massey was a private individual. The Trooper is in a position of responsibility and authority. If a kid in school throws a pencil across the room because he's mad at the teacher, he's probably going to get a time out, or some minor punishment. If the teacher throws a pencil because he's mad at the kid, I'd say he deserves some time off of school and an anger class. If a private citizen drives drunk, he deserves a ticket and a court trial and probably doesn't deserve to lose his job. If the county sheriff drives drunk, I'm guessing he already knows he needs to step down.

This Trooper has a responsibility to make us feel safe, but with his actions, and the subsequent lie(s) about his actions, I don't feel safe. I don't feel that if I get pulled over on a lonely stretch of highway, that the officer of the law will uphold the law. Getting tasered is one of my worst fears - I could never ever submit willingly. And when my imagination runs away with me, and I put myself in the position of being threatened with a taser like that, I can only imagine myself becoming hysterical, and trying to follow directions, but not quite making it, and having to endure the tasering.

I know that this scenario is not what happened in the video. However, the Trooper wrongly used his taser on a citizen, and my fears have now found justification because this. And the fact that he is not being disciplined takes the fears to a new level.

Call on the Utah Legislature to standardize rules about the use of a taser.

Call on UHP to punish the Trooper.

Much thanks to the blogging community for covering this injustice.

Ethan, SLC Spin
Tom Grover, KVNU's For The People
JM Bell
Marshall, Wasatch Watcher
Kelly Ann Booth, A Progressive Utahn

(Let me know who I'm missing for the list of links!)

1 comment:

  1. When I saw that video my first thought was that neither of the two was acting responsibly.

    It's been a long time, but I still remember the adrenaline rush and minor panic that can set in when being pulled over. Despite that, Mr. Massey should have known better than to act as he did.

    My brother is an officer in New Mexico and I've heard plenty of stories of how police work is often unpredictable, but Officer Gardner had not been pushed far enough to justify using the taser - and I still think that Mr. Massey would not have pushed him that far no matter how long he had waited.


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