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back to article Won't follow Apple Store rules? How 'bout an iTASER TREAT!

Police in New Hampshire have defended the tasering of a 44-year-old woman by one of its officers after she refused to leave a local Apple Store. Xiaojie Li, a Chinese national who doesn't speak English, had bought two iPhones in the Pheasant Lane Mall last Friday, and tried to buy more but was refused due to Apple's two-iPhones- …

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FAIL

> "The iPhone 5 is not on the market in China yet," he said.

> That market is expanding rapidly in China, the world's fastest growing mobile market,...

Now, for any other company, that would be a big warning sign right there.

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Anonymous Coward

"The iPhone 5 is not on the market in China yet,"

it is now.

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Anonymous Coward

Personally I think everyone who buys an iDevice needs tasering as a form of aversion therapy and to put some common sense into their heads.

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Boffin

"Personally I think /any developer/ who /develops specifically for/ an iDevice needs tasering as a form of aversion therapy and to put some common sense into their heads."

there, fixed that for you. The only reason I'm saddled with an iDevice is because of one developer who refuses to develop apps for anything else other than an iDevice.

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Anonymous Coward

Yep, they just needed to wait another day.

The weird part, if all these people are waiting for it and have money to buy one, home come the reception has been lukewarm?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/14/apple_china_iphone_5/

"The iPhone 5 has finally launched in China, but reaction has been lukewarm."

It is cheaper to buy them in the US, but does deflate the that it isn't available and people really want to buy it.

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Paris Hilton

> Apple is taking an increasingly hard line against bulk purchasers in an effort to keep a lid on the grey market for hardware.

I thought they actually wanted to sell their stuff?

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Anonymous Coward

Try it in any phone shop. If you're buying a PAYG or SIM free they won't like you buying up all of the stock, they like to connect people on contracts more since they get some commission or fees for connection.

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Very true, due to subsidies offered on payg phones part of the store and staffs comission is based on the percentage of phones that register and are used over a period of time and 'boxers' who just come and buy several phones at once over and over again with no intent to use them on network cost the network / store / salesperson money and therefore they try and catch them. Yes selling more iphones is what apple (and their stores and sales ppl) wants but in reality they want them on net and making more money for them especially if supplies are limited. I'm not passing comment on it being good or bad, just why I believe they have that policy.

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Thanks, that makes sense.

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Happy

I thought they actually wanted to sell their stuff?

You would be surprised.

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Anonymous Coward

That is the case with locked phones - i.e. they are often subsidies so it's not in their interest for you to buy loads. With Apple the phone is SIM free so limiting the number you can buy is to try and help ensure as many people who want them can get them.

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FAIL

Please try to spot the obvious flaw in your reasoning there.

Now try suggesting that they go about it by making more.

Or is Apple the next deBeers? Inflating prices by creating scarcity?

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Stop

"I thought they actually wanted to sell their stuff?"

I'm going to actually stick up for Apple on this one. Shock, horror!

They want to sell their stuff to local customers, rather than grey-market profiteers. It's a common 'problem' in Apple stores for people to walk in and blatantly try to buy in order to sell onto the grey market (particularly India and China). Apple don't want this happening, and quite rightly so. (I guess they feel that one over-priced mark-up on their goods is quite enough, or something...)

Let's make a comparison to gig tickets: Venues are often quite happy to flog a dozen tickets at a time within seconds of release to people who will peddle them on Ebay for twice the price. It's bad for the 'intended' punters and creates bad feeling amongst the customer base. Customers would be happier if better measures were in place to prevent it.

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Facepalm

Xiaojie?

Her name is 'Xiaojie Li'? This is 'Miss Li' in Chinese ('xiao jie' is 'young female'), not her actual name.

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Re: Xiaojie?

May be an in-family name, though. Informal names like 'Little Sister/Brother' are in very common usage, often used more than the person's formal name in anything but formal settings.

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Law

Re: Xiaojie?

I know a couple of people who go by the name Xiaojie in our chinese offices.

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Devil

Frankly, my dear...

Whilst I think the idea of non-lethal weapons is a good one, the problem is training - surely the issue here is that the guy went over the top - using a taser to shut a woman up because she's hysterical and a bit difficult to get handcuffs on sounds like a 1950's solution...

Then again, maybe he was another Jobs cultist in disguise? Protecting the hive and all that...

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Re: Frankly, my dear...

Whilst I think the idea of non-lethal weapons is a good one

Actually it isn't (IMHO). A taser is the equivalent of a whip. It hurst like hell and your muscles won't work for a while, but because it leaves no marks it encourages abuse. Law enforcement using tasers on anyone but people about to go violent is in my opinion the equivalent of a wife beater who never hits the face because that would be visible.

If an officer is incapable of restraining a slim and fragile individual without such excessive use of punishment (let's call it by its proper name) than that officer should be retrained or taken off any duties that involve interacting with public.

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Re: Frankly, my dear...

It's always difficult if not impossible to judge such a case with the little information provided. But the question I'd like to be answered is whether officer Murphy would have shot her with a gun in the absence of a taser. That's, in my opinion, the only justified use of a taser: when the siuation is that bad that gun use is justified but can also (and better) be handled with with leathal force.

I guess, this hysterical iPhone punter didn't qualify to be shot.

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Re: Frankly, my dear...

Take off and nuke the site from orbit - it's the only way to be sure

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Frankly, my dear...

The problem with this discussion is that tasers are LETHAL often enough that I don't know if they should be considered a non-lethal weapon.

The cases when people die from being tasered are covered up (or at least obscured) by taser manufacturers, who obviously want to encourage use of their product, and the police, who want to shirk blame and continue using their electronic toys.

But the fact is that it's hard to predict how any given human body will respond to a taser shock. Somebody might have a minor congenital heart defect or an unusual nervous system and be perfectly healthy but die if they are tasered. A number of people have simply died for no reason that anybody can determine.

These weapons should really be carefully regulated and used only as last line of defense before using firearms.

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Coat

Re: Frankly, my dear...

>After five minutes of struggling, Murphy eventually used the taser

Well, normally Officer Murphy would've led with "Drop it! Dead or alive, you are coming with me."

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FAIL

Re: Frankly, my dear...

"The problem with this discussion is that tasers are LETHAL often enough that I don't know if they should be considered a non-lethal weapon."

Citation?

Well over 10,000 uses in the UK with no reported deaths.

Try subduing 10,000 possibly violent, possibly drunk people with a wooden stick and see how dangerous it is, comparatively.

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Re: Frankly, my dear...

> Well over 10,000 uses in the UK with no reported deaths.

Citation?

How about 3 people in one 8 day period in 2011 (or at least 2 as one of them seems to have died due to a pepper spraying):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/24/taser-deaths-investigated-police-watchdog

Amnesty International reckon at least 500 people have died in the US due to tasering (although the US Justice Dept *only* admits to 184):

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/usa-stricter-limits-urged-deaths-following-police-taser-use-reach-500-2012-02-15

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13326185/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/justice-department-review-taser-deaths/

Here's a Brazilian student tasered to death:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/taser-death-police-branded-thuggish-131838264.html

There was a bloke in Vancouver airport who was killed this way, too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Dzieka%C5%84ski_Taser_incident

As reported in this fine journalistic establishment, there is approximately a 1 in 870 chance of dying when tasered (although this figure is probably out of date now).

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/13/the_odd_body_taser_stungun/

Personally, I agree that the taser offers a higher survival rate than a bullet to the torso and so is a good thing in that respect, but it should be used appropriately and not willy-nilly.

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Stop

Re: Frankly, my dear...

"How about 3 people in one 8 day period in 2011"

Erm... No. One of those STABBED himself to death, one was pepper-spray and one was pepper-sprayed AND tasered, meaning it could be either. So that's...half a case, not three.

"As reported in this fine journalistic establishment, there is approximately a 1 in 870 chance of dying when tasered"

Not in this country, by our own police statistics. As the article states: "But Dr Bozeman acknowledges that any such estimate is based on very little data". Luckily, we have better data in this country which makes the claim look highly sensationalist. It holds no real water.

"I agree that the taser offers a higher survival rate than a bullet to the torso and so is a good thing in that respect, but it should be used appropriately and not willy-nilly."

Or indeed a baton to the skull. I don't think anyone is claiming that they should be used with much less in the way of willingness to an actual firearm, and only in circumstances where people are in actual *danger*, rather than being inconvenient or non-compliant. That seems to have been what happened in this case: The cop resorted to a taser simply because it made his job easier, rather than because of risk to the public or himself.

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Re: Psyx

Yeah, fine, so my UK references weren't the best - although in Dale Burn's case where he was on the receiving end of both pepper spray and a taser it seems more likely that the taser is what did him in (pepper spray seems to be less lethal than a taser), but that doesn't mean that the 184/500 in the US are not valid death-by-taserings, or the one in Vancouver airport which was recorded and duly posted to Youtube.

I was just pointing out that you have called someone out for not having citations for their "fact" and you then state your version of the "fact" with no citations. There are plenty of hits on the web for "taser death" but nothing saying they're "safe" apart from manufacturer gumf. Tasers *can and do* cause death, whether deliberately or accidentally, but they are a tricky thing to use as some folks can die, and some folks (possibly hopped up on drugs) can seemingly shrug them off (there was a vid going round of some knife-wielding, drug-addled chap getting zapped a few times before getting shot in what was probably a good example of it being used properly).

On the other stuff I agree with you - application of force only if justified for safety and other reasons.

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Re: Psyx

"Yeah, fine, so my UK references weren't the best"

Dude: They were awful, in retrospect!

"but that doesn't mean that the 184/500 in the US are not valid death-by-taserings"

It seems to if they are deployed and used differently here, from our policing perspective. We're seeing nothing like the taser death rate in other countries which shows they are being utilised with more care and that their use is closely recorded, which shows that they are *less* lethal in practice here. I don't see the statistics as particularly valid until they start to even come close to corroborating with use here, especially as their use doesn't seem to even be recorded in many countries.

"I was just pointing out that you have called someone out for not having citations for their "fact" and you then state your version of the "fact" with no citations."

I was *asking* for citation, hence the question mark. If you'd asked for mine I could have told you that I looked up the official 2010 figures, which recorded over 8,000 uses by 'level' in the UK, of which about 2,500 resulted in the device being discharged. So it's pretty darned safe to say that we've 10,000 uses by now given the increased deployment. A quick cross-index check for taser deaths in the UK found none 100% attributed to date: The closest being the *potential* taser-related one you cited as one of the three. Another quick search points out that he was also a steroid user, interestingly.

They aren't 100% safe, but what method of restraining someone who poses a threat to himself or others is? I think that I might rather be tasered than rugby-tackled face-first into a brick wall by a sturdy officer! As long as they are used carefully, appropriately, and every use is audited and examined, then I see them as another tool for the police and a welcome alternative to firearms.

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FAIL

Re: Frankly, my dear...

Did anyone else notice that the article said she didn't speak English? So here's a big bad cop who apparently doesn't speak a Chinese dialect trying to make a person who doesn't speak English understand that she can't buy the iPhones she wants, and has been told to leave the store, but she CANNOT understand him. Did ANYONE in that store speak Chinese, at least enough to explain that she has to leave... He can't make her understand, so he resorts to his trusty taser and has her on the ground screaming instead... but his boss says he used reasonable means... more like police over-reaction...

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grey market/tasers

Is there really an iphone grey market expanding in China? The other article said how the iphone5 is not really selling in China (probably since there's numerous better phones on the market, and for those who DO want an iphone there's like a dozen iphone clones that are much cheaper and generally have more features than an iphone.)

"Whilst I think the idea of non-lethal weapons is a good one, the problem is training - surely the issue here is that the guy went over the top - using a taser to shut a woman up because she's hysterical and a bit difficult to get handcuffs on sounds like a 1950's solution..."

He spent 10 minutes trying to get her to leave, another 5 (with backup!) trying to get cuffs on. That's not "a bit" difficult. Tasers ARE abused in the US but I don't think so in this case.

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Joke

Re: grey market/tasers

I agree, using a taser is a bit over the top. According to Sean Connery the best way to deal with an hysterical woman is to just smack her or hit her with a truncheon.

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Re: grey market/tasers

Really? And what about the 61 year old BLIND man who was tasered because the BRITISH police thought his cane was a "samurai sword"? Of course, the Americans are just as bad, tazering a home-owner for trying to put out a fire in his neighbour's house before it spreads to his. They ordered him not to, telling him that's what insurance is for. What was the problem? Did this cop sell insurance too? Or is one of his family/friends in the fire department?

The police in Britain and America seem tazer-happy. Why didn't he call for help to remove her? Just pick her up and carry her out. That's how they get uncompliant motorists out of their cars.

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WTF?

Re: grey market/tasers

A Bit over the top???

What, like Hermann Goering was "a bit dodgy" to quote Kryten...

The Taser is a lethal weapon to some people, despite its misnomer as a "non lethal" weapon.

Plod are being trained to use the Taser in WAY to many situations in which a clip-round-t'-ear or a stern talking to followed by a stern escorting off the premises would be MORE than suffiecient.

I know there are difficult people out there, hell i encounter at least a couple a week (bloody public) but simply electrocuting them is like us being back in the fucking dark ages.....

And police the world-over wonder why respect for them is dropping....

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Facepalm

Re: grey market/tasers

"Really? And what about the 61 year old BLIND man who was tasered because the BRITISH police thought his cane was a "samurai sword"?"

We think that's shit, too. FYI.

Just because excessive force was used in our country as well, we don't think it's fine.

"Why didn't he call for help to remove her? Just pick her up and carry her out."

I imagine people were too busy filming it on their phones to get involved, and the Apple Geniuses were probably of the opinion that their job was to only repair heavily scratched faces, rather than suffering them.

As to taser-happy: According to UK figures, tasers are only used actively about 25% of the times that they are drawn, which shows that they have a powerful 'calming' or intimidating effect and that the police aren't *completely* stun-happy. If the police were keen to discharge them, they percentage would probably be higher, as if you have the excuse to aim up on someone a gung-ho officer would be of the mind-set that he 'might as well' fire it.

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Re: grey market/tasers

"Chasing someone" could be lethal to some people, should the police not chase people either?

At some point, the police need to stop thinking about how this will affect the perpetrator, and instead think about how to quickly resolve a situation for the benefit of everyone else.

He clearly felt his options were:

a) Shoot her with a tazer

b) Pepper spray

c) Shoot her

Ideally, he should have called for back up and waited, or been a bit more manly and cuffed a 8 stone woman. Perhaps there was no backup available, perhaps he felt that physically restraining her until backup arrived would be more harmful than the tazer.

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Meh

Re: grey market/tasers

d) find someone on the police force/first responders (even on the phone) to speak to her in mandarin explain the situation and issue the "and if not the officer will tase you" warning before tasing the women. Then they have been forewarned and understand its escalating

she was causing a nuisance but was not a risk to herself or any other person. Spending 10 minutes on a ring round through the department phone book (or even to your nearest Chinese owned restaurant or supermarket) could of prevented the need for force

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Thumb Up

Re: grey market/tasers option (d)

Perchance the store "WOK USA" that is on the same level in the mall might have some staff that could help (although that's possibly stereotyping in assuming that folks of Chinese origin would be more likely to work there - but this guy(Facebook) seems to - perhaps he speaks the language)?

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Facepalm

Re: grey market/tasers

"Is there really an iphone grey market expanding in China? ....there's like a dozen iphone clones that are much cheaper"

Yes, there is.

The point is that people don't WANT a cheap clone, because the product is a prestige one; especially before official release.

You wouldn't want a fake Ferrari if you could afford a real one, would you?

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Anonymous Coward

One question though, if she is crying...where are the tears?

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Anonymous Coward

"Li refused, and began taking video and pictures of other customers who she felt were also breaking the two-phone rule"

She was lucky to be tasered, I'd have punched her in the face.

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Trollface

AC

To protect the Apple Hive from his/her shameful values

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Ahh yes

the cry of the closet woman beater/bully/sufferer of LMS...

You're a twat mate.....

Cowardly for saying it and cowardly for not having the balls to show yourself....

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"She was lucky to be tasered, I'd have punched her in the face"

Funny thing you know but upon reading your comment I suddenly experienced a powerful urge to treat you to 50,000 volts for some reason - can't think why.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "She was lucky to be tasered, I'd have punched her in the face"

You try photographing me Foxy boy and you'll see the shock you get.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "She was lucky to be tasered, I'd have punched her in the face"

Yes, but that's simply because of your poor hygiene :)

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Flame

Re: "She was lucky to be tasered, I'd have punched her in the face"

Ever thought of a career in uniform? I really sense you have a vocation.

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Trollface

@AC 00.35 GMT RE "Foxy boy"

If it's "!foxy boys" you are after I suggest you visit your local all male bathhouse - something tells me that you are definitely not my type.

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Devil

Re: "She was lucky to be tasered, I'd have punched her in the face"

And I would pretend it was totally justified.

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Meh

Basic question for Anonymous Puncher.

Which of the following is illegal?

a) punching someone in the face.

b) photographing someone.

Suggest you make sure you have the right answer before leaving the house.

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Bronze badge

Re: ...treat you to 50,000 volts...

May I suggest as for a location to "taze" - his nuts.

In fact, I feel that is how cops who use excessive force should be disciplined.

Repeated shocks to the nuts. Multiple times daily for at least a month. You have to make an example of someone.

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Headmaster

Re: Basic question for Anonymous Puncher.

Punching someone in the face is not necessarily illegal. If you are 'engaging in discourse' with someone, and they use 'fighting words', then it is entirely fine to lay them out. Fighting words are not 'come on then, have a pop', but 'words used specifically to incite hatred from their target'.

In other words, the defence is 'Yes, I punched him, but he forced me to do it by saying XYZ'. Police are expected to not respond violently to fighting words btw.

Similarly, it can be illegal to photograph someone.

So not as clear cut as you put it.

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