A video has been making the rounds on YouTube and Facebook this week that shows just how difficult the job of policing can actually be. This female officer, responding to a call at a McDonald’s restaurant, finds a man behaving erratically. She confronts him, and pulls her taser, then the man punches her in the face.
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What the video captures is intense. After the officer hears that her back-up isn’t as close as she’d like, she decides to handle the situation herself. The man in front of her seems calm, so she holsters her taser. In that moment of distraction, the man hits her.
The bystanders, perhaps the ones responsible for the 911 call, can be heard in the audio narrating the incident. Their language is colorful.
When she does zap him, the man falls hard. Some can withstand the shock of a taser, especially if they’re under the influence of narcotics. This man can’t. He falls hard. She lets off, and gives him verbal commands.
Surprisingly, though he has gone rigid when shocked, he refuses to do as he is asked. She tells him to turn over and put his hands behind his back, but he won’t. Instead, he crosses his hands on his chest and remains on his back.
This happens a number of times. 8 separate times, by our count. And that’s all the man can take.
What this shows, in the larger sense, is a bigger issue. Many want police officers to go for their non-lethal weapons before drawing their actual guns. While the strategy here works, the officer’s life was at risk. When this man lunged for her and struck her in the face, deadly force could have been justified. Had he been larger, the punch itself could have been lethal. If he’d had a knife or gun, she wouldn’t have had time to defend herself.
Tasers don’t always bring down their targets. Check out this video, also from a McDonald’s. The officers here have a very difficult time bringing down this subject. In the end, it isn’t the taser that gets the job done, but the brute force of two officers.
The video below, though, captures one woman’s courage and determination to do her job. The man she is forced to subdue needs help. Hopefully he’s receiving it. The officer, though, deserves more respect than she’s receiving, at least publicly.