by John Hawkins | October 20, 2004 4:56 pm
Boy, this should be fun. There’s nothing like publicly supporting using a taser on injured 75-year old woman. But sometimes, ya gotta do what cha gotta do….
“The Rock Hill (South Carolina) Police Department is investigating why an officer used an electric stun gun on a 75-year-old woman who refused to leave a nursing home where she had gone to visit an ailing friend.
The woman, Margaret Kimbrell, said she suffered bruises on her leg and face after she was knocked to the floor by the force of the weapon, called a Taser.
Police Chief John Gregory said Tuesday the department is reviewing whether Officer Hattie Macon’s use of the Taser was appropriate — a step that is taken in unusual or high-profile cases.
“On face value, it looks like it was,” he said. “We have a person who was asked to leave, who refused and who attempted to assault the officer.”
Gregory did not say when the review would be completed. Kimbrell said Tuesday she’s considering legal action against the department.
Kimbrell went to EdenGardens of Rock Hill, a retirement home on Constitution Boulevard, Friday evening to visit a friend who was scheduled to have colon surgery this week, she said.
Soon after she arrived, a staff member called police to have her removed for trespassing. A relative of the friend told an EdenGardens administrator she did not want Kimbrell there, said Larry Boesen, the home’s executive director.
Police and Kimbrell offer two different versions of what happened after police arrived.
According to the police report, Kimbrell was sitting in a chair in a waiting area when Macon, 35, ordered her to leave several times. Kimbrell refused, jerking her arms away when Macon tried to lead her toward the door.
Police say Kimbrell eventually got up but walked toward the cafeteria after spotting someone she knew. At that point, the officer blocked Kimbrell and told her she was under arrest. Kimbrell then swung her arm at the officer, according to the police report.
That’s when Macon used the Taser and placed Kimbrell under arrest.
Kimbrell on Tuesday disagreed with that version of events.
She said she did not swing her arm or threaten Macon.
“As weak as I am, how could I do that?” said Kimbrell, who has arthritis and suffered six broken ribs in a recent fall in her back yard. “Maybe I was trespassing, but I didn’t know it. I thought they would understand.”
I know, I know…you’re thinking,
“Hawkins, she’s 75 years old and she has broken ribs! You can’t use a taser on a 75 year-old woman! That’s just wrong”.
Look, I understand that if at all possible, you go easy on the woman because of her age and her injuries. However, you have to look at this from the policeman’s point of view. Her job is to enforce the law. She can’t just say,
“Yes, I know this woman is breaking the law, but she’s 75 years old and feeble, so there’s nothing I can do about it”.
So how is this cop going to deal with this woman who’s trespassing, refusing to come along peacefully after she has been arrested, & attempting to assault her? Should she have slapped a chokehold on her? Given her a couple of whacks with a billy club? Tossed her on the ground like Pedro Martinez did to Don Zimmer? No, she did what she was trained to do; she tased her, took her down, and arrested her.
Did she deserve that? Yes, she brought what happened to her down on her own head and the only reason anyone is even questioning it is because of her age. I mean think about it: if she were 30 years old, would anybody care? What about 40? 50? At what age are you supposed to be allowed to assault a police officer without serious consequences?
As far as I’m concerned, there is no such age.
*** Update #1: Whoops! Turns out the police officer in question is female. I corrected the post to reflect that. Other than that, the content remains unchanged.
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