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Old 06-12-2009, 07:53 AM   #61
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All I can say is God help whoever lives with this woman. You know this outburst is not the first.
Yes, and that makes the "grandma" description relevant to the story.

She has (unfortunately, IMO), passed down these genes. That (again, IMO), is sad.

If she has any contact with her offspring, she sure is setting a bad example. Hopefully, the offspring are wise enough to see it as a lesson on what NOT to do.

BTW, I also think the other "good cop, crazy guy" video is dubbed in. I'm not going to listen again, but I got that impression - check to see if the sound changes as the guy gets in/out of the car. You should pick up some directional cues, and I recall it sounding the same all the way through. Like someone reading into a microphone in a static position.

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Old 06-12-2009, 08:58 AM   #62
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Seems just about every one is in agreement that it was ok for the officer to taze the old woman, kind of a sad state of affairs when every one agrees that the cops only recourse to a mouthy grandma is to taze her, wonder what he would have done if he didnt have the tazer,shoot her?
It is a more sad state of affairs to use such poor reasoning. Agreeing that the police officer took appropriate action does not mean approval for an escalated response.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:09 AM   #63
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i would not have had her exit the car, her verbal rantings would have been ignored,she would have got the ticket whether she signed it or not,
The police officer was arresting her (I don't know the ticket signing aspect) but, the arresting aspect is not something, once announced, that can not be ignored.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:13 AM   #64
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:14 AM   #65
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I saw some news coverage last night saying the District Attorney was preparing to present the incident to a grand jury for possible (although highly unlikely - this is TX ) indictment of the officer. It was also mentioned the lady was facing a charge of resisting arrest.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:25 AM   #66
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I believe your choice is to sign the ticket or go to court.
I think it is sign the ticket, merely acknowledging receipt so you can't later argue you were never presented with the ticket. I assume if you do not sign the ticket, you can elect to be arrested for the offense and be processed like you normally would if you were arrested for any other offense.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:30 AM   #67
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Wonder what he would have done if he didnt have the tazer,shoot her?
Generally speaking an officer cannot use deadly force to effect an arrest unless the one being arrested is resisting with deadly force or force that would cause serious bodily injury. Think if she had a knife or a gun, then, generally speaking he could shoot her. Short of that, probably not reasonable force to shoot her to effect the arrest.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #68
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I think it is sign the ticket, merely acknowledging receipt so you can't later argue you were never presented with the ticket. I assume if you do not sign the ticket, you can elect to be arrested for the offense and be processed like you normally would if you were arrested for any other offense.
That's my understanding. I wish the OP would answer the question as to whether or not the fact that she was a 72 year old grandma instead of a 22 year old man influences their opinion of the cop's actions.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:38 AM   #69
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That's my understanding. I wish the OP would answer the question as to whether or not the fact that she was a 72 year old grandma instead of a 22 year old man influences their opinion of the cop's actions.
OP probably won't answer, because it is a loaded question. To assume ALL senior citizens are angels is a bad assumption. How old was the guy who shot the security guard at the Holocaust Museum, 80 something?
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:52 AM   #70
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My original post was why did the cop let the situation get to the point of having to use the tazer,arent cops trained to diffuse situations just like this one? why didnt he just give her the ticket after her refusal to sign it and walk away and let the legal system take care of it,people get tickets every day and some people refuse to sign them but they dont all get tazered for getting feisty with the officer, i think this bully just wanted to find an easy mark to try out his new toy and a 72yr old grandma was his speed.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:11 PM   #71
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I believe your choice is to sign the ticket or go to court.
No, the choice is sign the ticket or go to jail. A traffic violation like speeding is a criminal offense - the lowest category of criminal offense to be sure - and there has to be some kind of surety that the defendant will satisfy the court on the charges. That means pay the ticket or go to court.

In most places a promise to pay the fine or appear in court will satisfy as surety. But, at the officer's discretion, and in compliance with local court rules and the police agency's policies, you can be arrested for minor traffic offenses and be required to make cash bond. Although in Texas, a resident of the state cannot be arrested for speeding if he or she agrees to appear in court or pay the fine.

In Texas, there are only three ways to not have to sit in jail awaiting trial for any criminal charge: Pay a cash bond to the Sheriff of the County, have bail agent put up a guarantee that they will pay the cash bond to the Sheriff if you don't come to court, or be released on a personal recognizance bond. The latter is just a written promise to appear in court as required. Without one of those three being satisfied, you sit in jail until the judge makes a final disposition on your case. In the case of a traffic citation, the violator's signature is a form of a personal recognizance bond
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My original post was why did the cop let the situation get to the point of having to use the tazer,arent cops trained to diffuse situations just like this one?
We agree partly, you always attract more flies with honey than vinegar. But, there are some factors to consider here that you are not taking into account.

First, speeding in a construction zone is a more serious offense that just speeding down the open road. The workers are usually only protected by a line of orange plastic cones, and the willing compliance of motorists with reduced speed zones. But, people have problems complying with laws all the time, workers have been hurt and killed by speeding motorists, and the state considers the danger posed by speeding in construction zones to be more serious and thus they doubled the fines for speeding in those areas.

Second, given what we know about the situation, the lady had farther to drive and there apparently are many construction zones in that area; what do her statements and attitude reflect about her willing compliance to reduce her speed for the rest of her trip? And more importantly, what responsibility does the officer have to the workers and other motorists that she will encounter in the minutes immediately following the traffic stop? Her speed was significantly over the speed limit before she was stopped and got all pissy, I don't see or hear anything that tells me she feels as if she did anything wrong or dangerous. There is nothing in her conduct to indicate that she is going to stop posing a credible threat to the lives of innocent people.
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why didnt he just give her the ticket after her refusal to sign it and walk away and let the legal system take care of it,
See all the above reasons first. But in this situation there is a real simple reason - in Texas, Constables are peace officers whose primary job and reason for existence is to serve civil and criminal orders of a Justice of the Peace for the same precinct that he serves. So, the court that has jurisdiction for the traffic citation he has just written is the very court whose papers he serves. When she doesn't pay the ticket or show up in court, who is going to have the responsibility of serving her warrant of arrest? He will.

Also, he is subject to the rules of the Justice of the Peace and the Constable he works for, and both or either of them could have established rules for dealing with violators who refuse to comply with the law or who refuse to acknowledge their responsibility to a citation. He might have been required to arrest her.
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people get tickets every day and some people refuse to sign them but they dont all get tazered for getting feisty with the officer,
No, but they usually go to jail for refusing to sign and if they don't want to go to jail the taser is one of those tools to make them change their mind.
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i think this bully just wanted to find an easy mark to try out his new toy and a 72yr old grandma was his speed.
NM

Edit to add - Forget to say this in regard to defusing the situation. It can be done provided you have the time to get through the communication roadblocks and filters that the offender is exhibiting. But, the side of a busy freeway is not one of them. It's way too damn dangerous to be out there playing games with somebody.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:13 PM   #72
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My emphasis added:

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i think this bully just wanted to find an easy mark to try out his new toy and a 72yr old grandma was his speed.
In a roundabout way, you just answered my ongoing question. Thanks. Apparently age and gender are relevant factors in determining how police respond to an incident.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:16 PM   #73
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My original post was why did the cop let the situation get to the point of having to use the tazer,arent cops trained to diffuse situations just like this one? why didnt he just give her the ticket after her refusal to sign it and walk away and let the legal system take care of it,people get tickets every day and some people refuse to sign them but they dont all get tazered for getting feisty with the officer, i think this bully just wanted to find an easy mark to try out his new toy and a 72yr old grandma was his speed.
Easy to armchair quarterback it when neither you nor I were there. Like Leonidas said, he took an ice pick in the back from a "nice old lady" one time.....

I think as a whole,cops are overworked, underpaid, and deal with the type of crap you and I can only dream about. However, that is only my opinion. I am pretty good friends with our village's police chief, and he gives me some really sober stuff to think about from time to time..........
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:21 PM   #74
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Easy to armchair quarterback it when neither you nor I were there. Like Leonidas said, he took an ice pick in the back from a "nice old lady" one time.....
And let's not forget what an 88-year-old just did recently at the Holocaust museum.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:44 PM   #75
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jambo, you are of course, entitled to your opinion of the matter. However, if you are going to claim that everyone is out of step (and "sad") but you, I think you need to at least get your ducks in line:

Speeding Ticket Urban Legends

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Urban Legend #2

“The officer did not have me sign the ticket. If I do not show up for court the ticket will be dismissed.”

Some states have a line on the traffic citation where you acknowledge the summons and agree to appear for court.
...

In Texas if you refuse to sign the ticket you will earn yourself a “Go Directly to Jail” card.
So that seems to lead right into resisting arrest, and based on the traffic and history of people getting hit by the side of the road, I'd say endangering the officer and herself. Under those conditions, I'm not willing to second guess his actions. Maybe he could have handled it better, but I do not think any disiplinary action is required. Heck, I feel sorry for him having to deal with trash like this.

I'm glad we have those cameras, much better than a he-said-she-said situation.

Hah, in googling this, I found that some sites now refer to her as a "great-grandmother". By the end of the week, she will probably be elevated to Sainthood, or maybe she sewed the first American Flag or something? We ought to let her off the hook then, right?

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Old 06-12-2009, 01:17 PM   #76
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In Texas if you refuse to sign the ticket you will earn yourself a “Go Directly to Jail” card.
That wasn't the law way back when (Ronnie Reagan was in his first term when I last wrote a citation). Back then it was mostly our discretion and responsibility to make the right decision on who to book and who to release. Occasionally we ran across someone who gave all indications that they were going to do the responsible thing, but they refused to sign the ticket because they believed it was an indication they were guilty. Go figure, it says in big bold letters, "THIS IS NOT AN ADMISSION OF GUILT". If their identification was valid, they appeared to be the kind of person who had the dough to pay the ticket, and if we felt good about it, we had the ability to write "REFUSED TO SIGN" and release them. But that decision, when made responsibly, was rare. I doubt that I ever did more than one or two a year like that. 99.999% of the people who refused to sign bought themselves a ticket to jail.

Some of my lazy brethren would not do the right thing and book someone that they should have and instead did the "refused to sign" thing. And that meant somebody had to go find them later if they didn't show up to court. The powers that be got smart and started routing the warrants directly to the offending officer's supervisor with directions for the officer to go make the arrest. The number of bogus "refused to sign" citations dropped significantly, as did the number of "failure to appear" warrants.

When my kids learned how to drive I gave both of them the same advice about how to deal with the police if they are ever stopped. The side of the road is never the place to argue legal matters. Cops are part of the criminal justice system, but they don't administer justice. They're gatekeepers who evaluate if you need to be introduced into the system and how to accomplish that as smoothly and as expeditiously as possible. They make mistakes just like anybody else, but arguing with them only leads them to reevaluate how to introduce you to the system. Better to get a ticket than have to make bond from jail and pay to have your car towed. No matter how sure you are that you don't deserve a ticket and you're being treated unfairly, just accept the ticket and get past the stop. Your shot at justice comes after you leave the scene of the traffic stop.

It's common for people to "talk their way into jail", and to run into people that you can't "talk out of going to jail." About the last thing I wanted to do most nights was make the drive all the way to downtown to book somebody for a minor offense that most people got a citation for. There I would be, practically pleading, "Just sign the ticket and you don't have to go to jail, I don't have to tow you car and cost you all that money....Please!" But, nooooo. They were too damn smart, they knew their rights and they weren't going to let some dumb cop screw them over. Most of them snapped once the handcuffs were on and said "I'm sorry, I'll sign the ticket." Then I would have to explain that there is no such thing as "un-arresting" someone. Once I put my hands on you, it's the irreversible first step toward jail.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:30 PM   #77
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No, the choice is sign the ticket or go to jail. A traffic violation like speeding is a criminal offense - the lowest category of criminal offense to be sure - and there has to be some kind of surety that the defendant will satisfy the court on the charges. That means pay the ticket or go to court.
Thanks for all that info - great.

One we all live with in this country is the fact that -"Ignorance of the law is not an excuse if you break a law."
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:13 PM   #78
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Interesting to hear what goes down from the other side. All I can add is that age is no excuse for bad behaviour.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:20 PM   #79
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This might be getting more into the inner workings than should be aired, but it is typically taught that once the decision to arrest has been made the decision shouldn't be changed at all, for any reason. The general way things go is the officer asks the subject to do something, then tells them to do something, then makes them do it. Since The officer can not make a person sign a traffic citation the last one is dropped. Even using some of the most PR friendly philosophies out there, the person is only told/requested five times. After that it is no longer in the hands of the subject, it becomes the job and responsibility of the officer to take the appropriate action. In this encounter from what was shown on the video the officer had full rights to go hands on when the woman took a "fighters' stance" just after she exited the vehicle. He seemed to use good judgment in not taking her to the ground at that point.

As to what the officer could have done other than Tase the woman, he could have sprayed her with pepper spray, or grab/strike her. Personally I don't like using pepper, because even with favorable winds it gets on everything and I really don't like it under my contacts. Not too mention it could wind up escalating the situation since many people will try to take advantage of an incapacitated officer. So that leaves grabbing and striking. As someone else eluded to that results in a violent confrontation and normally injuries to at least one person. Since I plan on going home at night, guess who is most likely going to be injured.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:31 PM   #80
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Leonidas, thanks for the great posts. I don't think there should be any more questions after that. I don't think people realize how times have changed regarding law enforcement. A short story: A while back I was stoopped by a sherrif deputy for making an illegal turn. With lights blazing, I pulled into a strip mall to await my fate. I don't know what took him so long to exit his patrol car so I got out of my car and started to walk back to him. I was always taught this was the proper respect for an oficer. The officer got out of his car, ducked down behind his car door and screamed at me to get back in my car. It appeared that he was was down on one knee and might have had he gun drawn. I was stunned and just stood there. He screamed at me again to get back in my car and so I obeyed. Then he approached my car cautiously and asked for my license, etc. After explaining why he stopped me and the general discussion about my violation and the ticket, we had a pretty good discussion. I was fumming but his explanation calmed me. He said that when you stop someone you always have to expect the worse case senario. When I got out of my car, he didn't know my intentions. I'm a pretty good sized man and I could have been "packing heat". This is the way they are trained and now I understand. After a nice discussion and noting that I was courteaus, 71 years old and meant no harm, he thanked me for my being so considerate and voided my ticket. It was a lesson well learned. That is why I posted like I did earlier. I am all for the police officers (albeit some bad ones) and respect the job they have to do.
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