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KC Cops Disciplined for Tasering Grandmother

Police said Friday two officers have been disciplined and department policy changed following an investigation into the officers use of a taser when arresting a 66-year-old grandmother who honked her car horn at a police cruiser.
Fri Aug 20, 5:04 PM ET

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Louise Jones was arrested in June on charges of misuse of a car horn on a city street, resisting arrest and intentionally inflicting bodily harm on an officer. Her husband, Fred Jones, 74, was also arrested and charged with interfering with an arrest.

Police said Louise Jones tussled with officers when they tried to give her a ticket for honking the horn. One of the officers used the taser, which is capable of issuing a 50,000-volt shock, to stun her. The officers said Fred Jones then came downstairs and jumped on one of the officers' backs.

Louise Jones said she pulled away from the police when one of the officers grabbed her arm, and her husband said one of the officers had his knee on his wife's chest.

As a result of an internal investigation, the department has increased the threshold for when taser use is appropriate and now requires a field commander to look into each taser deployment. Police also have developed a task force made up of community members and department personnel to look into the department's current taser-use policies.

"This was an unfortunate incident that I believe could have been avoided if there would have been a less confrontational environment," said Chief Richard Easley in a statement. "Officers of this department, however, are held to a very high standard in their professional conduct, regardless of the conduct of other persons."

Police said the investigation was delayed because Louise Jones and other witnesses declined to be interviewed by investigators, though the department did review affidavits from Jones and the witnesses that were submitted by her attorney.

Police said the officers involved did cooperate in the investigation. The statement didn't indicate how the officers were disciplined.

homepage: homepage: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040820/ap_on_fe_st/tasered_grandmother

remember this 20.Aug.2004 23:48

ifu can

Remember this?
PDX cops make sure the old people are blind before they beat them!

Even blind old ladies terrify the cops

Sunday, April 25, 2004

She was 71 years old.

She was blind.

She needed her 94-year-old mother to come to her rescue.

And in the middle of the dogfight -- in which Eunice Crowder was pepper-sprayed, Tasered and knocked to the ground by Portland's courageous men in blue -- the poor woman's fake right eye popped out of its socket and was bouncing around in the dirt.

How vicious and ugly can the Portland police get? Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner. This 2003 case is so blatant, the use of force so excessive, the threat of liability so intimidating that the city just approved a $145,000 settlement.

But all those gung-ho fans of the cops can relax. Nothing has changed. Nothing will upset the status quo.

The cops aren't apologizing.

The cops aren't embarrassed.

The cops haven't been disciplined.

And the cops are still insisting, to the bitter end, that they "reasonably believed" this blind ol' bat was a threat to their safety and macho culture.

Eunice Crowder, you see, didn't follow orders. Eunice was uncooperative. Worried a city employee was hauling away a family heirloom, a 90-year-old red toy wagon, she had the nerve to feel her way toward the trailer in which her yard debris was being tossed.

Enter the police. Eunice, who is hard of hearing, ignored the calls of Officers Robert Miller and Eric Zajac to leave the trailer. When she tried, unsuccessfully, to bite the hands that were laid on her, she was knocked to the ground.

When she kicked out at the cops, she was pepper-sprayed in the face with such force that her prosthetic marble eye was dislodged. As she lay on her stomach, she was Tased four times with Zajac's electric stun gun.

And when Nellie Scott, Eunice's 94-year-old mother, tried to rinse out her daughter's eye with water from a two-quart Tupperware bowl, what does Miller do? According to Ernie Warren Jr., Eunice's lawyer, the cop pushed Nellie up against a fence and accused her of planning to use the water as a weapon.

Paranoia runs deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid . . .
Afraid and belligerent. "Cops have changed," Warren said. "When I grew up, they weren't people who huddled together and their only friends were the cops. You had access to them all the time. You weren't afraid of them."

What did Police Chief Derrick Foxworth have to say about the case? "This did not turn out the way we wanted it to turn out," Foxworth said Friday. "Looking back, and I know the officers feel this as well, they may have done something differently. We would have wanted the minimal amount of force to have been used. But I feel we need to recognize Ms. Crowder has some responsibility. She contributed to the situation."

Granted. But Eunice was 71. She was blind. That probably explains why a judge threw out all charges against her and why the city, in a stone-cold panic, settled ASAP.

"This was like fighting Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder," Warren said. "It wasn't a fair fight."

No, but it was another excuse to haul out the usual code words about the cops' "reasonable" belief that they were justified to use a "reasonable amount of force to defend themselves."

If you have a different definition of "reasonable," you just don't understand the Portland police. You need to remember the words of Robert King, head of the police union, defending Officer Jason Sery in the March shooting of James Jahar Perez:

"What sets us apart from people like most of you is that you'll never face a situation in your job where -- in less than 10 seconds -- the routine can turn to truly life-threatening," King wrote. "When that happens to us, when we have to make that ultimate split-second decision, we don't just ask for your understanding, we ask for your support."

She was 71 years old. She was blind. She was lucky, I guess, that these cops -- set apart from people like most of us -- didn't make the usual split-second decision and draw their guns.

Steve Duin: 503-221-8597;  Steveduin@aol.com; 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201



Copyright 2004 Oregon Live. All Rights Reserved.

This reminds me of pictures of Nazis beating up Jews 21.Aug.2004 07:41

Pravda or Consequences

Seems like the U.S. likes to pick on smaller entities because they are easy to conquer and still count as an enemy.

We are not an empire, that would be a compliment. Rather, we are a thug nation with corrupt values from the top down.

that is unbelievably horrible what happened to 21.Aug.2004 22:17

Eunice Crowder

and I wonder what happened to the fucking police that did this evilness? Were they fired?
Are they still on the police force, if so....why? Why haven't you people sat down at that
damneed stupid Mayor's office and goaded her damned ass into doing something meaningful?
That Mayor of yours is the main source of your police problems as I've been reading about
for years...it's unbelievable to those of us out here that don't put up with such stuff.
WHY DO YOU IN PORTLAND?

tell us all about it 22.Aug.2004 07:15

...

where is this where you don't put up with such stuff?

tell us about this magic land where bad cops go to jail!

where? 22.Aug.2004 11:24

the land

where bad-cops are sniped, that's where!

tweedledumber 23.Aug.2004 00:29

.

the only other person to advocate sniping at pigs here
when asked about his own activism
replied quite indignantly
that he was too smart to do such a stupid thing

I don't get it! 23.Aug.2004 19:25

Really I don't

I don't understand what "snipe" means in this context?????