Thursday, June 11, 2009

72 Year Old Great Grandmother Tasered In Texas

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.


Here’s my suggestion:  Police no doubt come in contact with a number of belligerent women during traffic stops.  There are an estimated 40 million+ baby boomer women right now in this country.  That means a whole lot of estrogen-deprived drivers out there who are often going to be mad as hell for no good reason other than Mother Nature has played a horrible, hormonal joke on us.  (That and the fact that we’re out on the road because we’re off to work, to volunteer for a thankless task, to drive carpool, to shop for too-expensive groceries, to pick up sassy teenagers, buy a gift for our ungrateful mothers-in-law...well, you get the picture.) 

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!



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'm just saying . . . when I heard the headline, I thought the same thing but when I saw the video it was a different stroy. The cop is standing about a foot from the white line on the edge of a highway trying to keep a crazy ol' coot out of traffic while she threw a hissy. I have to admit, I went from thinking he was a jerk as the video started to cheering when she finally got tased. If she were a black man or mentally retarded she might have gotten the death penalty in Texas for that behavior so she may have gotten off easy.

  3. I just wish he'd have let her sign the ticket when she finally agreed to. I know she was wrong, just wondering if a taser really had to be used. They scare me. You're right about the death penalty in TX! Thanks for your comment!

  4. This happened about a mile from my house, but I just heard about it yesterday. But now I won't be speeding anymore, so that's a good lesson right there.

  5. OMG! I can't believe you just heard! It's been ALL OVER the news! Please DO take care out there! My sister-in-law lives in TX, and we have visited many times. I am always warmed by how friendly everyone is, but obviously this does not include the pole-lease! Maybe our VA pole-lease are the same, so I will be extra careful now, too!