Monday, October 1, 2007

Over Aggressive Cops?

Back in November of 2006, Corporal Thomas O'Connor of the Austin Police Department stun gunned a 32 year old man after pulling him over for a minor traffic violation. After Eugene Snelling questioned why he was being pulled over, O'Connor ordered him out of the car and used his taser after only 45 seconds.

This subject is very touchy to me personally because my boyfriend was actually tasered by this same police officer. He was tasered on Guadelupe Street for 'giving a false name,' even though it was his real name. That isn't even the worst part... At the time, he was 15, hand cuffed and feet cuffed, and sitting on the curb. This officer has a reputation for being over aggressive and needs to be taken off the street.

In this article, it says that O'Conner says that this was his first time firing the weapon, but the truth is, this was at least his second time. Also, he says that he feared that Snelling was going to push him into traffic. If he was scared, he shouldn't have gone to the driver's side of the car that was closest to the traffic.

In one part of the article it says that Cheif Art Acevedo was troubled by the officer's quick use of his taser on Snelling, who is black, and by internal affairs detectives' decision that O'Connor, who is white, had done nothing wrong by using the weapon. I do not agree with the observation. I do not believe that O'Conner was targeting Snelling because he was black. My boyfriend recieved the same reactions from O'Connor as Snelling did even though he is white.

Over aggressive and arrogant police officers do not help any situation, they just make them worse. When you get pulled over you are already upset, and having a prick for a cop does not make anything better. APD needs to realize what kind of cops they have and do something about it. Personally, I am glad to see Cheif Acevedo come to Austin. He seems to be trying to make an effort to get Austinites and APD get along.


Billy said...

When did tasers become synonymous with 'hello'? In the good old days, even when the police were brutalizing the people they were 'protecting', far fewer people's lives were put at risk. I'd really enjoy an officer being sued for assault with a deadly weapon.

Nobody holds police accountable despite the laundry list of offenses against the public. As much as I would like to pass this off as 'a Texas thing', it's an international problem (ex: Vancouver RCMP, and not just the airport incident). About once a month I am severely frustrated by justice being smothered by the wall of blue. I wish that ONE of these events would prove a watershed, but I'll probably be waiting a long time...

vicky said...