Wednesday, November 09, 2005


This is either pure genius, or irresponsible madness. I can't quite make out which.

Behold, the Taser Cam!

On the one hand, this sort of thing is the good policeman's best friend: an honest witness. It's just an extension of the squad car video that's been standard equipment for the past few years. If a cop follows policy and does the right thing, the video will show for sure that he did the right thing, and save him lots of trouble afterwards when things go cubist.

It's also the bad cop's worst nightmare: an honest witness. If he's the sort to throw his weight around and harass innocent citizens, the video will tell the tale, and he'll reap his just reward. Cops are real popular in the Stoney Lonesome.

On the other hand ... this sort of thing just begs for abuses, in the wrong hands.

I can see these videos leaking out, and being circulated amongst drunken adolescents. Maybe even some not-so-drunken adolescents. You can be sure they'd make the rounds on the Internet. Some sad bastard is bound to loop one, sooner or later. To borrow Marv Albert's old phrase: "Let's see that again!"

I think I'll pass on that.

But in the end, I think it'll be a good thing, for the first reason stated above. There aren't too terribly many bad cops out there, but what they do makes it all the more necessary for the good cops to have as much information as they can gather, in their own defense. This gives us, the citizens, one more tool to separate the sheep from the goats. And it gives peace officers one more less-than-lethal weapon, so that they have a real choice between doing nothing, and maiming or killing.

In the end, we'll all be better off for that expansion of options.

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