Monday, April 27, 2009

The "Naked Wizard" - Did the Police Use Excessive Force?

I first noticed this story on Huffington Post, about a guy dressed in a wizard costume at a music festival who decided to take off his clothes. He was encountered by three police officers who tried to convince the guy to put his robe back on. When he refused, it got ugly. After unsuccessfully trying to take the guy down and cuff him, they took out the taser.

Whether or not nudity should be against the law is a whole other argument, but the fact remains, it is illegal.

My personal experience with police at festival-type situations like these, is that they are primarily concerned with keeping things from getting out of hand and not out to arrest people if they don't have to.

The police here appeared to give this guy ample opportunity to put his robe back on and go on his way. They only arrested him when it got to the point where they had no choice.

Now, I think three able-bodied police officers should have been able to take this guy down without tasering him, but they were correct in arresting him. He was clearly trying to provoke them.

If I were one of these cops, as obnoxious as this guy was, I may have been tempted to smack him in the head with my nightstick. Not sure if I would want to tase him. I'm not sure whoch is worse.

So, do you think the police were justified in tasering this guy? If you were one of these officers, what would you do?

Here is the link to the video (warning - disturbing to watch)

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