"We followed all our policies and procedures."
Whenever a police official utters some variation on that phrase, we can safely assume that he is defending an act of potentially lethal violence by one of his subordinates that normal people would regard as excessive and potentially criminal.
Yesterday (December 2) that phrase emerged from the tax-devouring skull cave of Capt. Jeff Teschner, head of patrol for the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department, in an effort to justify the use of a taser on an "out of control" 10-year-old boy.
Deputies Mark Myers and Randy Mondragon were dispatched to the home of Daniel Biby, the child's foster parent, after Biby requested help to deal with the rampaging child. In addition to damaging property, the boy had reportedly threatened his foster father with a pipe and a stick.
When the police arrived, the boy quite sensibly fled from the armed strangers. Arming himself with a "two-foot-long pipe," the child took refuge in a confined space between a camper trailer, a pontoon boat, and a fence.
This created a potential hazard for the Heroes in Blue, Capt. Teschner explained: "They couldn't get close enough to deploy pepper spray without putting themselves in danger." Doesn't danger come with the job? Isn't it true that peace officers used to be able to deal with misbehaving 10-year-olds without using weapons on them?
In any case, Deputy Myers "deployed the Taser at the boy" -- that is to say, he shot him with a reliably deadly weapon -- causing him to drop the pipe. The child was arrested and booked into a local juvenile detention facility on suspicion of "menacing with a deadly weapon."
In the world inhabited by armed tax-feeders and the media creatures who retail their self-serving prattle, a small pipe in the hands of a frightened 10-year-old is a "deadly weapon," but a portable electro-shock torture device in the hands of a fully grown male is -- what? An instrument of gentle persuasion?