Monday, December 03, 2007


Thank goodness no Taser involved in this one

by Larry Geller

Some comments to my Taser articles and some emails indicate that people should just go along and obey the cops and the fact that they have Tasers won't matter.

This is a very naive position, but then, I listen to the nightly news on WBAI via the web so I catch whenever the New York police have erroneously broken into someone's home, thrown the occupants onto the floor, injured or killed them perhaps in front of their kids, and destroyed property. All on a bad tip or mistaken address.

Hawaii is not immune to police abuse. This article is just over a month old, from the Garden Island News—‘Wrong house’ raid costs county $325K:

The couple baby-sitting their grandchildren when police mistook their home for a drug dealer’s residence has been awarded a $325,000 settlement, their attorney said yesterday.

Police had been tracking a package that allegedly contained 11 pounds of marijuana that had been picked up at the Koloa post office by a man who was driving a Toyota truck on March 15, 2005, according to court documents.

Though police followed the car onto Kaumuali‘i Highway and onto a private road with seven houses, when the transmitter inside the box went off indicating the package had been opened, police had lost visual contact with the vehicle.

That’s when, without a warrant authorizing entrance into the home of William and Sharon McCulley, but rather with an “anticipatory search warrant” that authorized them to search any property where the marijuana was transported, police entered their home.

Though the Toyota truck they had been following and the transported box wasn’t at the McCulley’s home, police then threw Sharon McCulley on the ground next to her grandchild and handcuffed her, pressing a gun so hard into her head it left a circular mark, according to the complaint.

Her husband, William McCulley, who has a severe nerve disorder and has a walker and leg brace, was also ordered to lie on the ground, but was unable to do so quickly because of his disability. Thrown to the ground by an officer, William McCulley’s implanted electronic shocking device to alleviate pain malfunctioned causing him to convulse, court documents state.

Attorneys Michael Green and John Rapp said in addition to the pain and suffering the McCulleys endured, their privacy rights were violated.

In addition, they alleged that police not only failed to ensure they were entering the right home authorized by the warrant, but also committed assault and battery, trespassing, and negligently inflicted serious emotional distress upon the McCulleys. 

Can you imagine what would have happened to Mr. McCulley if police in that instance tased him?

To all those out there who are thinking of commenting on this post that Mr. McCulley should simply have followed police orders, skip it. And think: one day you too will be older and perhaps in this man's situation. Or your family, friends or neighbors.


Post a Comment

Requiring those Captcha codes at least temporarily, in the hopes that it quells the flood of comment spam I've been receiving.

<< Home


page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Newer›  ‹Older