Last night, a towel-waving fan ran onto the field at Citizen’s Bank and got tasered by the popo. Who doesn’t love a happy ending?
DAN RUBIN: The Phillies and police met yesterday to work out some procedures for future run-ons. Here’s my vote: Sending a cop out with a Taser gun is plain idiocy. Let’s start with what could go wrong. This year, CNN investigated police use of Tasers because a California man went into cardiac arrest after an officer fired an “Electronic Control Device” three times into his chest. The man, Stephen Butler, had been drinking. Butler is now disabled – his brain was left without oxygen for 18 minutes. His family has sued Taser International. In court filings, Taser argues that there’s no proof its devices cause cardiac arrest in humans. The manufacturer has changed its recommendations for the use of its devices, CNN noted. Officers should no longer aim at the chest of someone they want to subdue, the company suggests. They should target arms, legs, and buttocks. Amnesty International, meanwhile, in a report called “USA: Less Than Lethal?” found that 334 people had died between 2001 and 2008 after being struck by Tasers. MORE
WILL BUNCH: My gut instinct when I first learned of it was the same as I feel about it a day later: That while it wasn’t exactly a Rodney King affair, clearly the officer had used excessive force. I’ve been watching baseball games for more than 40 years, and the drills is always the same. The fan isn’t trying to do harm, just get attention; it used to be that the TV cameras never even showed a field-jumper for exactly that reason, back before ESPN needed an endless stream of fodder for its “Top 10 Plays. People forget that the whole justification for police to get Tasers in the first place was to subdue potentially violent suspects in cases in the past in which they might have been tempted to use lethal force. But the notion that the cops would have pulled a gun and shot 17-year-old field jumper Steve Consalvi is absurd, which means the rationale for tasing him is…what? MORE
RELATED: At least a couple of Phillies players believe Steve Consalvi got what he deserved Monday night when a Philadelphia police officer used a Taser on the teenager after he ran onto the field at Citizens Bank Park. “If he was on the street running from a cop, doesn’t the cop have the right to Tase you because you’re fleeing from the cops?” centerfielder Shane Victorino said. MORE