Posted by Edmond Geary | Posted in Assault, Justice Abuse, Law enforcement | Posted on 02-08-2010
“Don’t taze my granny,” Lonnie Tinsley cried. He was yelling at the police he had called to help his 86-year-old grandmother in his home in El Reno. Actually, he had called for help for his grandmother, thinking medical personnel would arrive. The police arrived. But the police didn’t listen to him. When the grandmother, Lona Vernon, ordered the police out of her home, they decided she was being aggressive-as she lay in her bed-and used their tasers on her.
Tinsley had called for help, expecting he would get help from medical technicians. But he got the police who had their own agenda, a dozen of them. Police used their tasers on Mrs. Vernon because she had taken an aggressive posture lying in her hospital bed. One taser wasn’t enough, however, so another police officer shot her. But the tasers followed a special move that was based on “officer safety.” Officer safety required stepping on Mrs. Vernon’s oxygen hose until she suffered oxygen deprivation.
Meanwhile, the police saw what they thought was obstructive behavior from the grandson, so the police took him from the room, threw him to the floor, handcuffed him, and took him out to a police car.
Aggressive hospital bed posture is not a crime familiar to most citizens, but when police need to excuse their excesses, they must get creative. When they’re in a hurry, however, their creativity gets transparent. Suffocating grandmothers in their beds is a little hard to sell, except to the hard-core “police-are-right-no-matter-what” crowd. No facts will sway this crowd. They will find some cover to excuse the police no matter, no matter, no matter what the police do. To them, everything the police do that is ethically questionable or even illegal has some way to justify it.
The police finished up on Leona Vernon by handcuffing her, roughly, of course, and taking her away, proud, no doubt, of nipping the aggressive hospital bed behavior that so threatened the peace and dignity of the commonwealth.
Some people just cannot imagine the police would do anything illegal. Some people cannot imagine the police would lie under oath. They’re just doing their job, they posit, so why would commit perjury? Do they ever get caught? No, so there is no risk to their perjury. Whey would they abuse a citizen? Because some police officers think the citizen had it coming. Police deal in the blame business every day. That judgmental attitude can make an impact on some police officers, those who come to have contempt for those whom they believe are criminals. For those police officers, the legal system is an obstacle to their brand of justice, an obstacle they can circumvent on a daily basis.
When a police officer testifies he observed a traffic violation or a driver moving excessively in the front seat on a car, what judge will doubt him? The police officer knows that. It is futile for an arrested party to dispute it. Only when external evidence challenges the statement of the police officer can some doubt be raised, never when it is a police officer’s word against the accused. When this goes on for long enough, the result is all the wrongly-accused prisoner’s on death row in Texas. It took irrefutable DNA evidence after years and years of questioning to prove these people did not commit the crimes of which they were convicted. What those reversed convictions show, however, is an underlying question about the truth in which convictions in all criminal cases rest.