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GoldieAV16's avatar

Was this an appropriate use of force? Why or why not?

Asked by GoldieAV16 (5388points) February 7th, 2012

A woman was tased in front of her three yo daughter for cutting in line at a McDonalds drive-thru window, and then refusing to move her car.

What do you think?

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25 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

They should have tazed her twice.

YoBob's avatar

Yep, what @digitalimpression said… except that she was tazed twice… should have been three times….

marinelife's avatar

If she refused to respond to police instructions to move, then she was subject to escalating efforts at control. What are they supposed to do, shoot her?

CWOTUS's avatar

On the face of the question I’d have said “no”, but after reading the link and getting the details, I guess it probably was justified. After all, they didn’t tase her “for cutting in line” but for “refusing to move” afterward – and then for exhibiting “threatening behavior”. That’s a different issue.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It should have been done sooner. At first I was thinking she skipped her medication.
Then I saw in the details: “The employee told him the woman frequently comes to the restaurant and cuts in line, and that, “We’re not having it anymore, so we called the cops,” that this was a regular pattern.

I hope they charge her with all kinds of things – not just voltage.

wundayatta's avatar

It would have been nicer if they had a trained negotiator who could have gotten her to voluntarily leave. I wish I knew how the cops spoke to her. I’m pretty sure it was in such a way as to make her more defensive and less likely to comply, but I wasn’t there, so that’s just based on the assumption the cops behaved in the standard way most cops behave.

However, assuming she had been spoken to respectfully for a while, and she still refused to move, I guess they might taze her. But I think McDonalds needs to should some of the blame, too. After all, not only did they let her get away with this for a while, but they also fed her food that probably messed up her brain.

I am pretty sure they put some strange chemicals—mind-altering chemicals—in their food. There is a reason that when I find myself at McDonald’s, a good sixty percent of the time, it’s when I’m in a depressed mood. Maybe this woman’s brain chemistry was out of whack and she needed her meds sugar and grease fix pronto!

LuckyGuy's avatar

If she needed her food fast she should have gotten out of her car and gone inside. They said this whole fiasco took 20 minutes. I’m sure it has all been recorded on video and there is lots of evidence. Also the employees are recorded too. I’m sure they were respectful. Anyone care to bet how long before the video shows up on youtube?

Judi's avatar

Another reason to hate fast food!
I am appalled at the crazy things people will do with food.
I have been attending a diet class for the last 5 years. The teacher offered to let people help themselves to a treat, a candy bar type bar that the diet class offers. I was appalled at the frenzy that happened. Instead of taking 1 bar, these former and struggling fatties went into a frenzy and took them all ! They scared me straight and even though I
Within my goal range, I lost weight the following week.
Yes, tasing her was probably the only option but it is a symptom of a higher societal problem.

GoldieAV16's avatar

What would they have done before tasers? Shot her?

I would think that multiple officers would be trained in how to restrain and apprehend an uncooperative suspect. If the violent threat was her car, couldn’t they have parked one of their cars in front of it? Am I missing something?

wundayatta's avatar

Well, Fayetteville is a medium sized city (pop 200,000), so you’d think their cops would have some training. There may have been some racial issues going on. Who knows? It’s all pure speculation.

zenvelo's avatar

@GoldieAV16 raises a question that I was discussing over the weekend. What would they have done ten years ago?

I am pro the use of tasers instead of guns, but I fear the police now use tasers much too often because they can. We had an incident where a park ranger tased a man who would not listen to her about walking his dogs off-leash.

In the case of the fast food drive through, I guess it was an effective way to get her out of the way.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I guess I don’t understand why they didn’t just refuse her service. Plain and simple.

Since it did go down and the police were called, I think the police did what they felt was necessary to remove her from the escalated situation she created.

After all, a vehicle can be used as a weapon.

jca's avatar

I think I read somewhere that she got charged with trespassing, also. Think about it, she refuses to move out of the way. This messes up their business, it messes up other people’s plans that are stuck in that line, all because of some nut. They could not reach into her car and struggle with her, because that would probably be a losing battle where the cops would get hurt. So tazing was probably the only choice.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@SpatzieLover They did refuse her service. She refused to leave the drive-thru, thus blocking the other customers already in the drive-thru and interfering with their business. That’s why they called the police.

YoBob's avatar


“I would think that multiple officers would be trained in how to restrain and apprehend an uncooperative suspect”

Erm… they are… and that training includes the use judicious use of a taser when required.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Seaofclouds The employee told him the woman frequently comes to the restaurant and cuts in line, and that, “We’re not having it anymore, so we called the cops,” Rich said.

This happened more than this one particular time. I think, had the manager spoken with her firmly the first time, and stated “if you do this again, we’ll refuse to serve you and we’ll call the police”...possibly this could have been avoided.

Hindsight is 20/20. I side with the police in this particular case.

stardust's avatar

I’m shocked. Tasers? Thank goodness they’re not in use where I am.

mrrich724's avatar

Maybe now she learned not to cut in line, and how to act in front of her children.

I think it was justified.

Berserker's avatar

As @wundayatta says, I only know what I just read, so I’d say it was justified, especially if harm was indeed a potential threat to the people around her and to her kid. I think the cops did what they could, given the situation, especially if she was showing threatening behavior. I also agree that MacDick’s should be given some responsibility for letting her off the hook for so long. Then again, there aren’t really any laws for cutting in lines, are there? What can they possibly do? As far I know, they can’t refuse to serve her food if she has the cash. I’m assuming you can only see someone arrested if breaking in line leads in to actual offenses. (which I believe is what took place here)
But in this situation, she did defy the police, and they’re supposed to know what to do when this happens. I suppose I must assume they acted rightly. I really don’t like the idea of any kind of violence used on people, but the cops do have to be ready to stop HER from fucking shit up, if they perceive that she might.
While I certainly believe that there are better methods that could have been used, she seemed obnoxious and provocative, so I wonder if any alternatives would have worked. Like Wundy says, we don’t know how it all really went down, and if the cops did infuriate her even more. But on one other hand…she sounds like a real freakin’ bitch who wouldn’t be told. Maybe they could have just tried to restrain her physically. I know, prolly easier said than done as the article suggests, but don’t the police receive martial art courses of some kind or another in their training?

Ah fuck it…this is how you handle this type of business.

jca's avatar

If she were sitting in her car, and the police tried to restrain her physically, it would be very hard to do from outside the vehicle. She could drive off with the cop hanging out the window, and harm or kill him, and/or hit another person or vehicle. It would be really interesting to see video of the occasion.

GoldieAV16's avatar

I hope they release the video.

CWOTUS's avatar

I think that’s why they invented the taser, @Symbeline – it’s not so messy for clothing, floors and furniture.

YoBob's avatar

@GoldieAV16 – I agree. However, if they do I hope the press chooses to publicize the whole video rather than just the snippet showing “those evil cops” tazing “that poor innocent civilian”. Context is very important in these matters.

GoldieAV16's avatar

@YoBob I agree. It’s important to see the events that led up to the use of force.

jca's avatar

What would be really interesting would be to see the entire thing from the cutting in the line to the McDonald’s employees asking her to leave, and seeing the escalation (or, sometimes when cops come, people get more polite but still remain crazy). I would be willing to bet the entire thing from start to finish took about 45 minutes.

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