4th Circuit – Taser Use Unconstitutional: Officers Forced to Say Pretty Please

4th Circuit-Taser use unconstitutional

The 4th Circuit (federal) Court of Appeals has ruled it a violation of the 4th Amendment for officers to use a Taser on any subject unless they are a clear and immediate risk. This includes the use of the device in “drive stun” mode (stun gun). This ruling, so far, applies to the states within the 4th Circuit—North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The court says the pain caused by Taser use is excessive force.

I guess officers in those states are now forced to return to the days of painful and sometimes injury-inducing baton strikes, clouds of choking pepper spray, and a dozen or so officers piling on top of unbelievably strong suspects who resist arrest. After all, extreme combativeness and violently resisting are generally not considered to be “risks.”

Here’s a fun fact – Believe it or not, wearing a badge and uniform does not give an officer super-human strength, and the minimum amount of defensive tactics they’re taught in the academy is of little use when attempting to arrest The Incredible Hulk on meth, a person who typically feels no pain and who pepper sprays often do not affect.

So stand by for a new wave of cellphone/YouTube/agenda-driven media videos, and for a list of officers who’ve been treated or hospitalized for injuries received while attempting to handcuff someone twice their size who’s doing whatever it takes to prevent their arrest.

Police Officer – definition: uniform-wearing human designed as a punching bag for anyone and everyone who cares to take a swing. Hated by all until they’re needed. Not to be confused with politicians, who are rarely needed.

Politicians definition: gun-hating people who surround themselves with gun-toting police officers as a means of insulation from people who want to punch them in their lying mouths.

Lying Mouth definition – untruths spew violently forward with each movement of the lips. 1st requirement to become politician. Also a known trait of narcissists and people who blatantly steal the ideas of others (these are often one and the same).

Agenda-Driven Mediadefinition: lying mouths who are sometimes former politicians. Never needed but you can’t make them go away. Taser use encouraged.

But yeah, Taser use in the 4th Circuit, in all but extreme cases, has indeed been ruled to be a use of excessive force. Therefore, police officers are now required to say “pretty please” as the first step in each encounter with suspected criminals. “Pretty please, stop punching me in my face.” Pretty please, let go of my gun.” Pretty please stop strangling your mother.” Pretty please, remove your hand from my chest cavity.” “Pretty please, remove your knife from my intestines.” “Pretty please, help me find the teeth you knocked from my mouth with your extremely large fists.”

This new development reminds me of the good old days when cops carried little more on their belts than a six-shooter, a pair of handcuffs, a flashlight, and a radio (if there were enough to go around). There was no pepper spray to squirt, nor were there Tasers to light up the eyes of the guy who was bashing your brains out onto the pavement.


Back in “the day,” officers didn’t have the luxury of non-lethal devices. Instead, we had to rely on fast talking and sheer muscle power to get out of jams.

Sometimes, the only thing that kept us from getting hurt, badly, was to use a flashlight as a tool to deliver a properly-placed “love tap” to an attacker’s thick skull (an aluminum shampoo). Of course, that’s no longer an option, but the tactic saved my butt more than once. And there’s one such event will forever stand out in my mind.

While arresting a very big and unruly man, a guy who just happened to be twice my size (and I’m not small), my future prisoner decided he was allergic to handcuffs. And, during a brief struggle, my neck somehow wound up in the gentle grasp of the behemoth’s skillet-size hands. In other words, he was “hands-around-the-neck” choking me with every ounce of strength he could muster. I couldn’t breathe, and I knew then how it must feel to be icing inside a pastry bag, because he was squeezing so hard that I thought my eyes would pop out of their sockets at any moment.

The thug had me pinned against a wall in a position that made going for my gun (a .357 in those days) impossible. However, I finally managed to get a hand on my metal Maglite. So I starting swinging (short strokes because of the odd angle), hoping to force the guy to release his grip. Finally, after a few hard whacks to his head, he let go. And, as they say, it was game on!

I finally got that big moose handcuffed and then promptly delivered him to the jail. But, my car was not equipped with a cage to put him in for safekeeping (none of our cars had cages back then), so I made him ride up front with me. And I made a point to let him know that my gun was in my hand with my finger on the trigger, and if he so much as looked at me wrong I’d shoot him. He behaved nicely on the ride in.

We must have been a real sight when we arrived at the jail—clothes torn, badge ripped from my shirt, bloody lips and clothing, flashlight-shaped knots on his head, fingerprint-shaped bruises on my neck, and more. But that’s how it was back then.

Yep, those were the good ‘ol days.

If only we’d had Tasers back then. Maybe then we’d have lost less blood and suffered fewer injuries, both to officers and suspects. I know, I know. The mere sight of a Taser could hurt someone’s feelings, and we can’t have that, right?

Oh, I know, we could have safe spaces for violent people who want to don’t want to feel the effects of a Taser, pepper spray, and/or handcuffs. That’s the ticket. Hmm… Is it okay to say ticket, or is that too offensive?

I’m going to close my blinds and shut my office door so I don’t have to deal with this stuff. It’s too scary…

*This post, although mostly factual, was meant to be slightly humorous. Please don’t turn it into a cop-bashing, religion-shunning, politically-driven argument on gun control and “I hate everything and you offend me.”