Don’t mess with Texas. Especially a Texas cop, ‘cause they’ll taser your great-grandmother’s behind in a heartbeat (that is, if granny’s ticker can survive the blast). That’s what Kathryn Winkfein found out the hard way recently when she refused to sign a speeding ticket. (Which, come to find out, is not illegal in Texas.) You’ve no doubt seen the footage of the 72 year-old getting tasered by the big, young, Richard McCain, one of Travis County's finest pictured below. True, grandma was speeding, and true, she was short with the officer and even used profanities. I wouldn't like someone talking to me the way she was to him, and having two teenagers, I have a lot of experience in this area. Still I can't taser my kids for mouthing off. (Child Protective Services made this clear to me in no uncertain terms.)
Should Kate be in trouble for speeding and then mouthing off? Yes. In the tape she keeps reminding the officer she is a 72 year-old woman. Wrong is still wrong no matter how old you are, and at that age you really should know better. Should the big burly copy have tasered the little old “lady?” I think she scooped out a big ol' helping of wrong and then he topped it off with a generous dollop of inhumanity. Overall, it could have been handled much better by both of them. Mama always said, "Two wrongs don't make a right!"
Tasers are serious business. According to Amnesty International, at least 351 people have died after being shocked by police tasers in the United States since June of 2001. Cops in Utah just “tasered” a man to death Tuesday. Studies show that the elderly suffer a higher risk of dying from a taser blast.
Should you take out a taser and do more physical harm to us if we happen to speed a little while completing this daunting to-do list? That is not the answer. Chocolate and carbohydrates are. Imagine how differently this would have played out if ol’ Kate had been presented with a brownie after the officer saw she was feeling a little testy. Instead of him being short back at her, he could have said, “Here, I think you could use a brownie while we talk this over.” She probably would have teared up at the humanity and compassion and apologized for being ugly. Who is going to be mad at someone handing them a brownie? Or a donut! I always hear that cops are hanging out at Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts anyway. They could have a daily allowance for buying a little stash of emergency donuts to have on hand for such situations. Donuts and brownies are way cheaper than tasers and they aren’t going to kill anybody. I mean, isn’t the goal of pulling someone over for speeding to keep them and others SAFE? Good grief! I need a brownie just thinking about it!
Really dudes – think it over. Brownies and donuts make for better outcomes at traffic stops.
What do you think? Please take the poll in the left column and/or leave a comment below by clicking on "comments." POLL NOW CLOSED. 30% said using a taser was the right way to handle this situation; 70% said it was the wrong way to handle it. Thanks for voting!