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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

When sports turns into news
Will Lester, Photographer
Ontario | CA | USA | Posted: 1:00 PM on 05.04.10
->> One hell of a photo by the ap's Matt Slocum last night.

http://blog.syracuse.com/sports/2010/05/excessive_force_phillies_fan_t.html
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Paul Cacciapaglia, Photographer, Assistant
Houston (Friendswood) | TX | USA | Posted: 1:04 PM on 05.04.10
->> just saw it on yahoo.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Teen-fan-tasered-by-P...,238457

Awesome photo.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 1:06 PM on 05.04.10
->> He wasn't doing any actual physical harm to anyone, nor was there apparently the potential for it... They just used a taser to save themselves 10 seconds of chasing him, and that's just dirty...

Legal? probably... But dirty? Absolutely.
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Daniel Putz, Photographer
Owings Mills | MD | USA | Posted: 1:09 PM on 05.04.10
->> Dirtier than tackling him and breaking his leg? Sounds ok.
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Derek Montgomery, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 1:12 PM on 05.04.10
->> It's only "dirty" until he pulls out a knife and stabs one of the players or does some other type of serious harm. Nobody knows what people have in mind when they do things like this and the moment a player gets seriously hurt despite security having non-lethal and effective means to dispatch the person, criticism will rain down on security for not using that force.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 1:14 PM on 05.04.10
->> Tasering the kid after a couple of minutes of "keep away"... works for me!
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 1:32 PM on 05.04.10
->> Remember, he did not have any kind of weapon whatsoever. He was running around the field swinging a t-shirt around. Not being aggressive towards anyone, just causing a show.

I'd hate to have this escalate to the point where, if I have a misunderstanding with a police officer while shooting photos, I were tasered instead of just handcuffed and questioned as is the usual procedure... Especially if they didn't bother to ask, "Are you on any medications or do you have a heart condition which could result in this device being lethal?"

Here's a nice read on the unintended effects of tasers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taser_safety_issues
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Jack Megaw, Photographer, Assistant
Pittsburgh/Philadelphia | PA | America | Posted: 1:36 PM on 05.04.10
->> I'm really annoyed at myself because I almost went to that game (as a fan) and changed my mind at the last minute!

(I hate that Murphy bloke!)

-Jack
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Primoz Jeroncic, Photographer
Kranj | SI | Slovenia | Posted: 1:46 PM on 05.04.10
->> My first though was "That kid is lucky, cop didn't take his weapon and shoot him dead". I mean come on, is something like this really necessary? This things are happening regularly on matches here in Europe. It takes few seconds to catch that guy, tackle him down and get him off court, and everyone have fun with it. But noone is being "tackled down" with taser.... yet. But I guess things might change now.
But otherwise it's one helluva photo :)
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 2:00 PM on 05.04.10
->> In most departments I have worked around, the rules for using tasers are the same with using deadly force.

I don't think that the police should be able to use tasers at will on anyone who is being stupid. If they can taser a kid running around a baseball field, they can taser anyone walking down the street.

Nice spot news, Matt Slocum.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 2:01 PM on 05.04.10
->> Isreal, unless your analogy involves your repeated failure to comply with a lawful order while behaving in an unruly manner, I'm not sure it's really comparable. At the ballpark the cops first tried to do it "the old fashioned way", when that didn't work the cop opted to go for "Plan B".
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 2:07 PM on 05.04.10
->> David, Persons with law enforcement backgrounds may correct me, but I don't know if "most" is necessarily true. Case in point is the famous "Don't Tase Me Bro'" incident. In that case the dude was on the ground with cops holding him down while they tried to cuff him when they tased him. Those actions were later ruled to be consistent with that department's use of force guidelines.
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Daniel Celvi, Photographer
Schaumburg | IL | United States | Posted: 2:20 PM on 05.04.10
->> Common misconception about tasers: they aren't non-lethal, they're LESS lethal. They can still kill you, do in fact cause serious pain, and can light you on fire if used in conjunction with mace; they're just not as likely to kill or cause permanent damage as guns.

As for the case studies I've read regarding the use of tasers and force, my understanding is they're supposed to be used in sitautions to replace deadly force, not because the cop hasn't gone for a run in three years and can't keep up. So the question will become, was deadly force necessary or did the guy have reasonable belief that someone would have been in serious danger. I'm gonna guess he'll say he felt it necessary, but you know–between the security and athletes on steroids, I'm gonna guess no one actually perceived the 17 year old as a real threat.
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Derek Montgomery, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 2:23 PM on 05.04.10
->> Israel,

Did anyone know at the time the kid didn't have a weapon? No. You are talking in hindsight. What you are talking about in your photo analogy and what this kid did are two completely different scenarios. Suppose the kid did have a weapon on him... how would people be viewing this incident now?
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 2:30 PM on 05.04.10
->> "Common misconception about tasers: they aren't non-lethal, they're LESS lethal." The same can be said of the efforts of police to retrain a resisting person they are trying to arrest. We can sit here all day and trade stories of people that died after being tasered vs. people that died while the cops were struggling to get the cuffs on them. There's "risk" whenever an officer and a person they're trying to subdue tangle.

How about we let folks go look at the PPD use of force policy before we start passing judgment on what happened???
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Derek Montgomery, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 2:30 PM on 05.04.10
->> I'll just add that I just like to be on the cautious side. Of course, in hindsight, this could be considered an overreaction. I just as easily see people condemning the police/security for not using the taser if he would have pulled out a weapon and attacked a player. My motto in those situations would be better safe than sorry.
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Jeremy Harmon, Photo Editor, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 2:31 PM on 05.04.10
->> Taser deaths have been in the news in Utah lately.

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_13824651?IADID

They could have killed that kid.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 2:38 PM on 05.04.10
->> Derek-
Look at the video. It's very clearly a kid waving a t-shirt out in the outfield of a baseball game. There is absolutely no reason to believe otherwise. Both his hands were in clear view and he did not at any point reach in his pockets or anything of the sort. He also did not approach anyone but was instead avoiding them. Being on the cautious side doesn't mean you can stop being reasonable and consider everyone walking by you a threat.

Geoff-
This is about police using a weapon on someone who was not intending to cause harm; he was trying to run away when it was used on him.


Obviously there is no way to guarantee that someone will be arrested safely, but that's not the point of the discussion - police used a weapon on someone who was not a threat to anyone or anything's safety.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 2:39 PM on 05.04.10
->> While there will be an official report, senior Philly police officials that have reviewed the video tape have stated that the taser usage was an "appropriate use" within department guidelines in their opinion.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100504&content_id=9783864&vkey=ne...
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Joseph Zimmerman, Photographer
Howard | Pa | USA | Posted: 2:47 PM on 05.04.10
->> He's a Phillies fan so doesn't that mean by default they can taser him?
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Jeremy Harmon, Photo Editor, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 2:52 PM on 05.04.10
->> ---"senior Philly police officials that have reviewed the video tape have stated that the taser usage was an "appropriate use" within department guidelines in their opinion."

No shocker (no pun intended) there. C'mon, it's reasonable to suspect they're trying to do some PR damage control so that the kid's parents don't sue them.
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Anthony Vasser, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 3:06 PM on 05.04.10
->> "He was running around the field swinging a t-shirt around. Not being aggressive towards anyone, just causing a show."

It's always hard to tell someone's intent when they do something crazy, which is why they created non-lethal weapons. Not saying you should taze everyone, but evading police isn't smart. I give them credit for successfully deescalated the situation without injury to the players, the security, the athletes, the fans, and the person (aside from getting zapped).

Here's another great example. In this video, the first time you watch, at what point is force appropriate? Isn't the old guy just reaching for his walking stick?
http://policelink.monster.com/videos/videos/14724-deputy-kyle-dinkheller
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Derek Montgomery, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 3:08 PM on 05.04.10
->> Israel, I will have to respectfully disagree. The guy who stabbed Monica Seles looked like anyone else walking by before he pulled his knife on her. And simply because he did not attack anyone or show a weapon right away does not preclude him from having a weapon. Again, nobody could have known what his intentions are.
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Jim Comeau, Photo Editor, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 3:14 PM on 05.04.10
->> And Günter Parche was clearly just trying to help Steffi Graf regain the number 1 ranking in the tennis world...

I'm not a fan of tasers, nor do I support what this kid did, but you never know what someone's going to do until it's done sometimes.
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Jim Comeau, Photo Editor, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 3:15 PM on 05.04.10
->> Dang, Derek beat me to the punch...
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Jeremy Harmon, Photo Editor, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 3:23 PM on 05.04.10
->> Derek, the only way to prevent what happened in the example you cite would have been for cops to detain everybody who "looked like anyone else walking by" before anything actually happened.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 3:27 PM on 05.04.10
->> Lots of security guards and many cops love using excessive force. Sorry tasering someone who's running away from you? I could see it if he made a threatening advance towards players of filed officials but that's bu##s**t. and I'm sorry but this whole knife senario is just another smoke screen trying to justify the use of excessive force. I'd love to hear someone take this stance after they get manhandled by the police for doing their job....like last week at Ohio State. With that kind of skewed reason the cops had a right to taser the student photographer for shooting the photos they didn't like.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 3:28 PM on 05.04.10
->> Jeremy, or perhaps there's a less conspiratorial reason for the statement: The usage was in fact likely within departmental guidelines.
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Derek Montgomery, Photographer
Duluth | MN | USA | Posted: 3:39 PM on 05.04.10
->> I hear you Jeremy. The Seles incident was different from the Phillies fan incident. It would have been hard to single him out before he actually committed his act. I think the cautious side of me is coming out on this board. If the Phillies fan were to do the same thing in a park (not the baseball kind) by running around and refusing an officer's orders to stop for whatever reason, I think my reaction to the incident would be different. That being said, I can see where people are now saying this is an overreaction and I will respect their viewpoints.
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Jeremy Harmon, Photo Editor, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 3:49 PM on 05.04.10
->> Geoff,

Perhaps, but I doubt it. With the kind of bad publicity this has already stirred up nationally the department really needs to cover their ass. This incident will likely go to some kind of independent review and after that the parents will likely sue and after that there will likely be a change to department policy about taser use in Philly and after that...

Unfortunately this sort of thing happens in our country. Just because the cops are trying to say they didn't make a mistake, doesn't mean they didn't make a mistake. That's "Common Sense 101".

Let's wait and see how this develops, but in the meantime let's remember that Tasers can kill people. Is it ok for cops to use a potentially deadly weapon on a kid running around waving a t-shirt above his head?

Here are the first three paragraphs from a story we ran a few months ago.

"The Hurricane police officer who deployed a Taser on 32-year-old Brian Cardall before Cardall collapsed and died this summer aimed for the spot officers are instructed to target: the chest.
But now the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based manufacturer of the 50,000-volt stun guns used by departments across the country suggests police should avoid shooting suspects in the chest.
Taser International Vice President of Training Rick Guilbault said in an Oct. 12 bulletin the decision was based on best practices research and will help police avoid lawsuits from those who claim the devices cause injuries and other health problems."

Here's the entire article if you want to read it:

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_13614146
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 4:04 PM on 05.04.10
->> Same as Jeremy said - you can't detain people for walking by, even if there's potential for them to be crazy.

It's not right to fire a weapon at someone, use a billy club on them, or shoot them with a nonlethal weapon (taser, rubber bullets, etc), unless there is an IMMINENT danger.

Example - at a traffic stop, you pull your wallet out of your pocket. There is a much much greater danger to the police officer than there was in this incident - he doesn't know if you're getting your wallet or a mini revolver. However, the officer then using a taser on you because you reached in your pocket is completely unreasonable, even though you just broke the law by speeding/driving recklessly/causing an accident.

Wanting to be cautious around people is completely understandable. The problem here is when someone is overprotective of themselves or others to the extent that they harm someone else preemptively for the sake of their own safety.
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Chris Cecere, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 4:14 PM on 05.04.10
->> Just a few more pokes at this debate...

I agree that tasering is a little much but if you were in the crowd are you gonna rush on the field the next Philies game?

What about the Royals first base coach that was jumped by the father and son duo a few years back?

The cops threw the book at this kid also even though he is a juvenile... maybe a little more CYA.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 4:45 PM on 05.04.10
->> Jeremy,

I get it... there are risks involved in using a taser on a person. If you want me to post stories of people that collapsed and died while the cops struggled to cuff them, I can do that too. There are always risks to both parties when someone resists arrest.

You're right that changes may be made to PPD use of force policy after this incident. It might also be the case that the MLB management might request changes be made in the way that fence hoppers are taken down in the future. But what I was refuting was the notion that the use was likely out of bounds under common police procedure or was similar to a news photographer being tasered for simply not complying with a request to move shooting positions.

As for the kid's parents suing... for what? Unless he suffered permanent injury he'd have to rely on a claim of something like police brutality. If so, in their defense, the PD would likely show video of the cops initially trying to tackle the fan failed while the teenager disobeyed the orders to halt... and then the police resorting to using the taser. They'd also likely go over the use of force policy to show that the officer had followed procedure. See this story of the final findings in the "Don't taze me bro'!!!" incident:
http://www.wftv.com/news/14413428/detail.html Also if you read the official report from that case, look at the established "Use of Force Matrix". Assuming that PA or Philadelphia has similar guidelines I think a jury would likely buy the notion that the taser was an acceptable secondary means to trying to get compliance from the fan after initial efforts weren't working. It's also worth noting that the taser isn't treated as a "weapon" but a "pain compliance" device, so it's use isn't limited to self-defense by many departments and states.
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Mike Anzaldi, Photographer
Oak Park | IL | USA | Posted: 4:49 PM on 05.04.10
->> when did this kind of gag become such a serious offense? the white sox/royals incident where the first base coach was injured was not a 'fan taking a lap' kind of a deal. apples and oranges. idiots have been entertaining the masses by running onto fields for decades. tackle the guy and move on. taser...not so much. the "what if" argument is weak. what if he had a knife or a gun? please. if he had a knife or gun, he would have stabbed or shot someone well before the fat ass organized himself enough to chase and point a taser. a physically fit cop would have enjoyed the challenge of chasing the trotting drunk. the bottom line is that this cop would have died trying to run after this guy. the police are taking themselves way too seriously these days.
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Jeff Barrie, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 5:13 PM on 05.04.10
->> The best ever "fan on the field" being dealt with was in a Chicago Bears game. Mike Ditka, still playing saw the guy running around and when he got close enough "Iron" Mike ran over and layed a forearm hit on him. They carried his butt out and I am betting he wasn't treading on anybody's turf anytime soon after that.
Ditka later said that this clown was in my office, messing with my job so I did what I had to do to get back to work...or something along that line.
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William Guerro, Photographer
Galloway | NJ | USA | Posted: 5:28 PM on 05.04.10
->> Speaking for myself a "Retired Police Officer" you Bleeding Hearts kill me. In today's day and age, a Police Officer is to take NOTHING for granted. Thank God no one took a parked car for granted in NYC over the Weekend.

If someone breaks into your home at night do you assume that he's only going to run around the house and then run out the back door?

Maybe now the next "Jack ASS" that is thinking about running out onto a playing field will think twice. It's a shame it wasn't an NHL Hockey game, because I bet the clown would have had his Ass Kick long before the Police or Security got out onto the ice to get him.

The clown was Tasered and taken into custody and was on his way off the field under his own power in under a minute. Now if the Cop & Security guards had tackled the guy and beat the crap out of him on National TV. You same Bleeding Hearts would have been crying foul about that too. ( Just a note in this example if they had him handcuffed and were beating the crap out of him. I would be crying foul also)

As for the "Fat Ass" comment PLEASE! Don't let the baggy pants fool you and not to mention the 5-7 pound bulky, bullet proof vest on under his shirt. If you really want to go there, next time you go to photograph an event take a look around you at some of the Physical Specimens carrying cameras.
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Shaun Ward, Photographer
Perth | Tayside | Scotland | Posted: 5:38 PM on 05.04.10
->> Thank god I live in Scotland. That's it.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 6:15 PM on 05.04.10
->> wow. "bleeding hearts"? the references some of you people use in comparison to this kid running on the field are nothing short of crazy. I'll tell you what, next time you're shoved on the ground by a cop don't come crying about your rights. attitudes like some of the ones stated in this thread are why we are losing so many rights we have long been used to. it's not 911, the taliban or extremists...it's because the police in ths day and age are more of para-military units who don't really give much of a rat's ass about people's civil rights. they hide behind their badges, over react to most situations then pull out the "we didn't know we were violating your rights" card, "we're sorry (NOT!!)". I have a lot of friends who are cops and they will be the first to tell you there a large number of under trained police out there. you can call folks like me a "bleeding heart" all you want but let's be clear, if force is justified, I'm all for it....but tasering a kid who is EMBARRASSING some not so fleet-footed, out of shape cops and cop wannabee's? screw that.
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Erik Markov, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | | Posted: 6:31 PM on 05.04.10
->> after the guy (and his son I believe) ran onto the field a few years ago at a White Sox game and tackled the coach, I think the default for stadiums is to take people down without concern for their possible intentions or where they are on the field. How it is nowadays right or wrong.
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Patrick Meredith, Photographer, Assistant
Austin | TX | USA | Posted: 6:37 PM on 05.04.10
->> Don't want to get tased, tackled, hurt or arrested at a professional sporting event? Don't climb over the fence and run onto the field like an idiot! Seems pretty simple.
Want the most epic photo of yourself for your facebook profile? Do what he did!
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 7:38 PM on 05.04.10
->> Tasering an unarmed kid who's just being a jackass fall into the category of "excessive" as far as I'm concerned.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 7:40 PM on 05.04.10
->> The cops don't know if this guy's crazy, if he's armed with a knife, gun or pipe bomb or if he's just being a stupid kid. All they know in the 3-5 seconds they have to react is that there's a dude running around somewhere he's not supposed to be and could potentially pose a threat to players.

My guess is that if this guy was allowed to run around the field, eluding cops trying to tackle him, and then was able to run into one of the team's dugouts and pull out a .38 special and start shooting players, we would be having the discussion as to why the cops DIDN'T Taser him when they had the chance.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't
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Mike Anzaldi, Photographer
Oak Park | IL | USA | Posted: 7:46 PM on 05.04.10
->> "then was able to run into one of the team's dugouts and pull out a .38 special and start shooting players, we would be having the discussion as to why the cops DIDN'T Taser him when they had the chance."



seriously? i mean, really, seriously?
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 7:50 PM on 05.04.10
->> Yeah, Mike, seriously.

I mean, do you seriously think someone would try to blow up an SUV in Times Square?

Seriously?
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 8:04 PM on 05.04.10
->> If he had a knife hidden in that towel nobody would be arguing here - fact is you don't know what his intent is until after the fact and he was taken down before any incident could happen. It turned out he didn't have a knife and is just a fricken moron, maybe he should have listened to his father and not jumped the fence, possibly?!?!
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 8:04 PM on 05.04.10
->> this is exactly what I'm talking about how can a rational, sane person even make a comparison between the Times Square incident and this? they can't. that is an irrational and totally ridiculous.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 8:05 PM on 05.04.10
->> btw, it is an awesome photo.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 8:15 PM on 05.04.10
->> Yes:
http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/36941554/ns/sports-baseball/

No:
http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/05/that-kid-in-philly-should-not-hav...

We had an incident here in Jackson during a demolition derby where the cops Tasered a drunk guy who streaked (yes, naked) into the ring between heats. No one was hurt and the cops caught a TON of heat from the community but stood by their decision.

The very next year, another drunk streaker did the same thing at the same demolition derby. This time they didn't Taser the guy and just chased him around the ring. When he was finally cornered he turned on the cops and ran full-bore into one of them, knocking him over and spraining the cop's knee.

Just goes to show you that cops simply don't know what someone's intent is when they're doing something stupid. What started simply as a "harmless" act of streaking very quickly turned into an assault on a police officer.

Again, my guess is that if this guy was allowed to run around on the field and elude cops but then was able to tackle a player or umpire, people would be asking why the cops didn't use their Tasers when they had the chance.
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Danny Munson, Photographer
San Dimas | Ca | United States | Posted: 9:19 PM on 05.04.10
->> The taser was cool but I would rather see some police dogs released on him next time. Now that would be cool!

Make bad decisions don't be surprised when bad things happen to you.
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Erik Markov, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | | Posted: 10:07 PM on 05.04.10
->> is it going to now be added to the back of the ticket or announced before the game? "fans attending today's game should be aware of the danger of flying bats, balls.... or being tasered."
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 10:33 PM on 05.04.10
->> Where is Mike Curtis when you need him?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdP2G7UtS9I

Or perhaps Rob Ray?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eElspvew7rw
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