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back to article Jedi light-sabre beats Taser in Oregon parking-lot fracas

For those of you who've ever wondered, like you do, whether the Jedi lightsabre or the Taser is the more effective weapon, we're delighted to report that the electric dispenser of justice is no match for Obi-Wan Kenobi's mighty glowing tool. Police mugshot of David Canterbury For proof, look no further than the case of David A …

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So...

They tasered him first and it failed, THEN wrestled him to the ground.

Typical example of trigger happy, lazy policing and reliance on inappropriate weapons - can't be bothered to get physical, I know i'll taser him.. Oh crap that didn't work, I guess i'll actually have to do my job properly.

Good on the man I say if a plastic toy can beat the police.

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FAIL

You're being an old fart.

I'd rather the copper taser someone than risk them getting injured and them having sick leave due to a concussion.

Also think about it from a risk point of view. You are looking at someone that is fit and strong, they are acting out of character. Perhaps they are high on drugs and still have the needle in their pocket.

Which approach would you take to minimise risk to yourself and the suspect?

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Yes, if only they'd display the kind of bravery it takes to make withering comments on the Register we'd all be so much safer.

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Boffin

@Nextweek and Audrey S.Thackery

Remember that the Taser is supposed to be a Non-Lethal (oops, I mean *less* lethal) alternative to using firearms yet, despite that, there have been around 500 deaths linked to Taser use, more than a few of which have been related to the target having using illegal narcotics.

Given that a plastic light-saber is not a deadly weapon, using a Taser in a situation like this was completely unnecessary and I don't see that as "minimising risk to the suspect".

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Sigh

"can't be bothered to get physical"

Have you seen the damage done to a human body when a bunch of burly men throw it to the ground of a car park?

Presumably if they had done that, and he had lost a few teeth, or broken his nose, or broken a rib (you know, the usual), then you would be complaining about their violent bully tactics, and that they should have used the tools provided for exactly this situation... The taser.

There is no safe or harmless solution in this situation. Any action is going to have a potential harmful outcome. Thank god we have people like you to criticise any and every action taken.

"Good on the man I say..." Yeah, he attacked three innocent people in the store, and you say "Good on the man...".

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HMB

Because people never hit their head when falling after being tasered. They never get concussion, fits or convulsions. It doesn't sometimes cause ventricular fibrillation either.

Tasers are an important tool in a cops arsenal, but they are a very long way from safe. When you see a taser demo on TV with cops, they're usually set up so the person doing the demo doesn't have to fall on to a hard surface like concrete and there are paramedics on standby.

It's quite possible while you can't control your body to fall and hit your head on something hard enough to kill you.

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If a police officer breaks official procedure,

HE winds up in the clink instead of the perp. The rules come down from central, the plods on the beat just follow them. Even when the plods think they are the most stupid thing to come down from on high since, well last week.

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Facepalm

Anyone who thinks a taser is more likely to cause injury than a physical altercation has never been in a physical altercation.

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WTF?

@"If a police officer breaks official procedure"

"HE winds up in the clink instead of the perp"

Sure, just like the officers who killed Jean Charles de Menezes (and then lied about it) are now languishing in jail...

Or the ones who gave Rodney King a good kicking...

Or...

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Especially not one with Cops or Military Police. Id rather be tased than have a bunch of cops beating the holy living shit out of me. And Ive been thrown on the ground and on hoods of cars by the cops on a number of occasions (I grew up in a "bad" neighborhood, its a common experience). Yeah about 500 people have been killed over about 20-25 years since tasers started being generally issued.

Which isnt too bad, and obviously not very dangerous if you look at how many "escalation of force incidents"* occur on a daily basis around the United States, If they were still relying on regular old firearms, there would be many many more dead.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Escalation of Force is Cop and Military lingo for anything requiring a weapons discharge.

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WTF?

@FrankAlphaXII

Oh, so 500 deaths "isn't too bad"?! I'm sure that'll be a great comfort to, say, the family of Robert Dziekański who died after being Tasered by Canadian Police, restrained, cuffed and *THEN* repeatedly Taserered *again*.

And if the cops in your "bad neighbourhood" were unable to effect an arrest without "beating the holy living shit out of you", the suggests that, given Tasers, they'd just Taser the "living holy shit out of you instead" and strikes me as a stunning lack of professionalism on their part (or a desire to be Judge, Jury and Executioner).

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Flame

Bloody liberals

In the good ol Days the officers partners.... one Smith and the other Weston... would have had a loud and fairly definitive chat to the perp after which the perp would have lodged a complaint to our old friend St Peter.

If the US old bill wasn't so scared of the words "Rodney King" and some tard with an iPhone they wouldn't have any need for Tasers. What's wrong with someone fucking up getting dealt with quickly and simply nowadays?

As for your critique, my personal view is stuff it back up your arse and let the police do their job.

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"I'd rather the copper taser someone than risk them getting injured"

Down the road in Fullerton (California) it isn't about the cops not risking injury; they use tasers to make it easier to beat people to death. If the cops are trying to beat me to death, I think it only fair they should risk being injured.

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Trollface

@graham

And how many deaths have occurred when police did not have the opportunity to use less than lethal tools? Night sticks , chocking victims while restraining them...

The point is that if you put this in perspective the police acted appropriately.

Pity that many readers just don't grok that

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Linux

re "plastic lightsaber not a deadly weapon"

How do we know he didn't steal a pack of D cell Energizer batteries as well and make it "Live" :)

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Anonymous Coward

He attacked the customers with a plastic toy light saber; kids do that same thing to each other all of the time. It was a Bad Thing to do, but he was not a threat. It seems to have turned out alright, and I hope that he gets the mental health treatment that he seems to need.

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@Ian Michael Gumby

Since you put the troll icon on your post, you save me the trouble of having to point the fact out.

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jai
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@Stef 4

"they should have used the tools provided for exactly this situation"

Yes, an the most appropriate tool for this situation would have been to rush into Toys'R'Us, appropriate a different coloured lightsabre, and then return to the perp and defeat him in Jedi/Sith combat.

Instead, the cops took the "hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good tazer at your side kid" approach, and we all know how that ends: with the woman you have the hots for getting off with her brother instead of you.

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C'mon, ElReg ... Formosa's Law applies, Shirley?

http://www.everything2.com/title/Formosa%2527s+Law

http://catb.org/jargon/html/F/Formosas-Law.html

::wanders off, muttering::

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JDX
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used his lightsabre to snap one of the wires

Must be pretty tough if he was still abel to control his limbs once hit.

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Coat

Not really...

He is a Jedi. It is the training.

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TASERs don't fire a bolt of juice,

they mostly fire a set of wires and then you have to hit the button to apply the juice. The perp undid the wire before the juice button was hit.

These devices are notoriously difficult to use. Leather jackets can prevent the deployment of the darts, and even if they don't insulate against the jolt. Get somebody high on the right stuff and they would feel the jolt even if you hit square on the naked chest....

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Not quite

If you get it right (firing from more than 4' to get the separation, barbs penetrate) then you get the involuntary muscle spasm - you might be fine to fight through the pain, but you won't get your muscles to do what you want them to do!

Anything else and you're in pain-compliance territory. This you can fight through, with enough incentive, and actually getting the barbs to penetrate (as you rightly point out) is another matter entirely!

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jai
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Sentencing

"three counts of fourth-degree assault, second-degree disorderly conduct, third-degree theft, resisting arrest and interfering with a police officer"

I believe the current sentencing for that particular crime is carbonite freezing...

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Anonymous Coward

Throw him in cell 1138

Maybe he can share with the drunk Wookie.

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Angel

A young Obi-Wan Kenobi looks a bit ticked off there.

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Childcatcher

interfering with a police officer?

Is he an interstellar priest as well then?

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Alien

The Jedi are extinct

All that remains of their religion is a guy in a full body leather suit who breathes heavily at people - and his boss is a creepy old guy with an unnatural interest in his children.

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Terminator

Firing on all thrusters.......

...........he is not.

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Coat

Ahem...

*waves fingers loftily" This is not the drunk you are looking for..."

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Axe

Less than Lethal?

I thought Tasers were only meant to be used as an alternative to guns?

Would they really have shot this guy for playing StarWars?

Or perhaps the world is crazier than I thought?

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Tasers being less than lethal

are also used as an alternative method for subduing "potentially violent" suspects. This guy wasn't just "potentially". It's supposed to prevent having to enter hand to hand combat where both plod and perp can and do sustain injuries. Injure the plod and he's out on medical leave. Injure the perp and you're looking at ambulance chasers suing the state for millions for police brutality. Hit him with a TASER and the judge lets off the plod with very few questions.

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Anonymous Coward

Plastic Kids Toy vs Semi-Lethal Electrocution Gun

only in America would this seem proportional action to take by the cops.... sigh.. truly tis an oppressive regime.

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Unhappy

Not only in America

Be very wary as the police over here in the UK are lobbying for all police officers to carry them. Look forward to many more cases of people being tasered by a trigger happy cop if they get their way.

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Anonymous Coward

Um

How can something be "semi-lethal"?

Does it kill your expectations or something?

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Trollface

To be fair

The cops had no way of knowing it wasn't a real lightsaber.

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What would you do without the Americans?

To feel superior to, that is.

Somebody called the police because a person either intoxicated or insane was harassing people at the store. Now, he might've been tiny and frail, but he doesn't look it in the picture. So what should the cops do when discussion fails?

I'll add that according to the linked story the picture was taken during a September booking at the county jail--Mr. Canterbury seems to have some history with the police.. TNow, of course this could be a case of the Portland cops persecuting Jedis for their religion. If the UK considers it a cause for political asylum, I've got a $20 bill to contribute for his plane fare.

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Liberté, Fraternité, Irrévérence

Yanks are just proxy. You're forgetting the French...

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Playmobil...

Please :)

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Alien

Taser V Sabre?

Pokey tasers and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.

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This is why I read the Reg (on Friday)

May the Force (if you have a force) be with you.

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Well now I'll be humming all day.

Duel of the Fates stuck in my head.

I assume he used the force to cause the taser to fail the first time. Wise is he in the ways of the force. Much anger there is in him.

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Alien

Judge Jedi?

You can imagine a Jedi-run court, can't you? "Attack police officers with a toy, you did. Much alcohol I sense in you."

Hopefully they'll catch some Nigerian scammers. "A better way to make money? No. Easier, perhaps - quicker, more seductive. But when 900 years old you reach, still in prison will you be."

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You are my only hope!

The Farce is strong in this one...

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Anonymous Coward

Surely the police were interfering with him?

If walking around outside a toy store, swinging a lightsaber and babbling incoherently is a crime then I predict a surge in juvenile delinquency in the next 3 weeks.

-and it's not certain I'll avoid the clink myself if New Year goes well.

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Trollface

re: babling incoherently

maybe he was saying things like "we need to find an alternative to fossil fuels"

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Alien

"They tasered him first and it failed, THEN wrestled him to the ground."

One of these guys is guilty of excessive use of force :D

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Happy

Han Solo

But it was very long ago, not to mention very far away.

My money would be on them all being dead 1000s of years ago.

Lucas obviously based his story on a history found in a crashed UFO.

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Black Helicopters

Formosa

Not on the Statute books here.

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@ Mage

"Here" is TehIntraWebTubes. Formosa's law applies, by definition.

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