A man who died after he was stunned with a Taser by a Houston police officer this weekend had a drug addiction and lengthy criminal history, according to relatives.And there you have it. Straight out of the police playbook after a suspect somehow ends up dead.
Another man tased. Another man dead without explanation.
The taser was promoted as nonlethal option for the police to use to control an unruly person. Of course the original idea was for the police to start off using the least amount of force and only escalate if necessary.
But, being that the first rule of policing is to make it home safely after the shift is over, it's more common for the police to start at the top of the force ladder and work their way down. That means instead of the taser being used as a last resort before the service revolver comes out, it becomes the default first mode of control.
Unfortunately not everyone is suited to be shot with a jolt of electricity. And the person on the firing end of the taser has no idea whether the person he's aiming it is a heart failure waiting to happen. But we certainly can't let folks go around questioning whether the police overreacted by firing a taser when a lesser alternative was available.
Nope. It can't be the fault of the guy with the badge. It must be the dead guy's fault. So out comes the dirt after the fact. Nevermind that none of the officers on the scene had any idea that Denis Chabot was an addict or that he had a criminal background.
The purpose of the statement at the beginning of this post is to trash Mr. Chabot so that the public doesn't start questioning the use of the taser. You don't want someone poking their nose around asking why the police were firing a taser running along the freeway. You don't want someone wondering why no one called medical personnel if Mr. Chabot seemed to be under the influence of something.
Why an officer decided to fire his taser at Mr. Chabot we will never know. All we know is that Mr. Chabot is dead. Needlessly.