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New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones 936

Posted by timothy
from the it's-for-your-own-good-lady dept.
turbosaab writes "A woman who said she was asked to leave New Hampshire's Pheasant Lane Mall because she wanted to buy too many iPhones was pinned down by Nashua police and zapped by a Taser (video) as she shrieked in front of crowds of shoppers Tuesday. The Chinese woman from Newton, Mass blamed a language barrier for the confrontation outside the Apple Store in the Pheasant Lane Mall Tuesday afternoon. Police say Li knew exactly what they were telling her and simply refused to comply. Police said Li had $16,000 in cash in her purse at the time of her arrest and may have been purchasing the phones for unauthorized export resale."
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New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

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  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:13AM (#42273117) Journal

    You mean selling her own property for a profit? God forbid.

    • by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:18AM (#42273201)
      Not really relevant. A store doesn't have to sell you multiple copies of something. You can't take the store hostage to force them to sell you more.
      • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:11AM (#42274231)

        Not really relevant. A store doesn't have to sell you multiple copies of something. You can't take the store hostage to force them to sell you more.

        And the proper response to this is to taser her.

        • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:24PM (#42278863)

          And the proper response to this is to taser her.

          No, the proper response is to call the cops, which the store did. The police then proceeded to taze her, which may or may not have been excessive but is not the store's or Apple's fault either way. Or at least that's what I got from the summary.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:20AM (#42273251)
      No, they mean violating US law by purchasing export-restricted devices within the US for the sole purpose of taking them outside the US to resell.

      Certain cryptography software is legally blocked from export, and as a result any software that includes those crypto features is also restricted. PuTTY is a great example.
      • by Z00L00K (682162) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:27AM (#42273397) Homepage

        And the reality is that the law is obsolete - cryptography isn't best just because it's built in the US.

        What this proves is that Apple is jacking up the price and availability more on some markets than other.

        • by Wansu (846) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:37AM (#42273599)

          "What this proves is that Apple is jacking up the price and availability more on some markets than other."

          Exactly. Whenever something doesn't make sense, ask who benefits.

      • by Vintermann (400722) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:28AM (#42273415) Homepage

        That is totally irrelevant here. Only a few nations are on the list of "rogue states" that you can't export cryptography tools to, and China is obviously not one of them.

        • by netscan (1028690) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:05AM (#42274133)

          That is totally irrelevant here. Only a few nations are on the list of "rogue states" that you can't export cryptography tools to, and China is obviously not one of them

          Which isn't exactly true. While the iPhone is classified 5A992 and OK to export to CN, 5A00* items are restricted from export to CN without a license or exception.

  • This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:14AM (#42273133) Homepage

    Police are now so badly trained and so out of shape they can't even handle a 44 year-old, 80 pound Chinese woman, they have to resort to high tech weaponry.

    • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sprouticus (1503545) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:18AM (#42273197)

      This.

      Seriously, I dont care how irritate she was, how on earth could she be a risk. I do love the export comment, like it mitigates their actions...I mean tasering an illegal exporter is totally justified, right?

      • by hjf (703092)

        Why is it illegal to "export" iphones anyway?

        • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TheLink (130905) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:53AM (#42273957) Journal
          Why is it illegal to export iphones that you pay for while legal for corporations to export profits so that they don't pay tax?

          Because the corporations make more money that way that's why.
      • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:53AM (#42273963)

        I dont care how irritate she was, how on earth could she be a risk.

        It doesn't matter with cops (with tasers). Me being 5.11 and upset will simply get me pinned to the floor hit with a nightstick, ZAPPED and handcuffed just for being emotional about an issue in front of them. I.E I'm upset therefore it's justification to assault me. Being tall and athletic means gives grounds for 5 bouncers in a nightclub to attack me even if I'm not irate but cheerful and drunk (they legally classify it as disorderly and label me a potential threat).

        There is a serious problem with how enforcement works these days and they get away with assaulting people without justification all the freaking time whether it be bouncers, police or any other form of crowd control and they do it because they are usually just a bunch of low lives themselves. When it involves tasers it changes enforcement from "deal with the situation with your brain and apply a more measured approach" to simply "ZAP ZAP ... ZAP ZAP ZAP ... problem solved".

        Further to this cops are usually just thugs as it is, give them a set of toys to assist with their thuggery (such as tasers) they'll use them. It doesn't matter if you're the front-line on the NFL or a 45kg Asian woman they'll take you down just the same. So the difference between and NFL player and this small woman is it just looks bad on camera and poses as evidence, if say it were me there and I took it further I'd get laughed at but she takes it further she could have their badges for breakfast.

        But lets look at it this way, without the gadgets, 2 lazy ass cops do that to me over an iPhone they'd better be good otherwise I'd be pinning the fuckers to the floor and really that is the precedence they then blanket over everyone else and allows them to justify it.

        Couple that with the fact they carry guns which can easily be disarmed by anyone quick enough and what happens is the concept that "cops always have to be on top" falls apart, so he potential of them getting fucked by their own tools of protection means they give them more toys (tasers) which now has given them that luxury of ZAPPING people.

        I hope she gets them fired and takes taser banning one step further, god awful things.

        • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by unkiereamus (1061340) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:32PM (#42275749)

          It doesn't matter with cops (with tasers). Me being 5.11 and upset will simply get me pinned to the floor hit with a nightstick, ZAPPED and handcuffed just for being emotional about an issue in front of them. I.E I'm upset therefore it's justification to assault me. Being tall and athletic means gives grounds for 5 bouncers in a nightclub to attack me even if I'm not irate but cheerful and drunk (they legally classify it as disorderly and label me a potential threat).

          I'm 6'8 and weigh in at about 300lbs, of which probably about 40lbs of it is fat. I've never been asked to leave a bar, let alone been approached by a bouncer or five. In the times that I've been confronted with cops, I've never had one draw his handcuffs, nightstick or taser, let alone try to use one of them on me. If you have, perhaps the problem here isn't your size, it's your attitude.

    • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:27AM (#42273395) Journal

      Police are now so badly trained and so out of shape they can't even handle a 44 year-old, 80 pound Chinese woman, they have to resort to high tech weaponry.

      You seem to be operating under the assumption that using 'pain compliance' tools on people weaker than they are, with minimal chances of any significant personal consequences, is something that cops are trying to avoid...

    • Re:This just in... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by abigsmurf (919188) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:48AM (#42273845)
      The problem isn't that they can't handle a small woman, it's that they can't subdue her in a way that doesn't risk injuring her. Couldn't hear the video but it looks like she was thrashing around even when held on the floor. Very easy for her to slam her head against the floor when struggling or to twist around in a way that puts her arm at risk of dislocating or breaking.
      • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:19PM (#42275485)
        There is something wrong when a police officer cannot wrap an 85 lb woman in a bear hug and just hold her until she realizes that continuing to struggle is going to get her nowhere. The key thing is a lack of patience and the mistaken belief that tasers are non-lethal. A taser should only be used in a situation where an officer would use a gun if necessary but would rather not. If shooting the suspect is not justified, then neither is using a taser. So, would the officers have been justified in shooting this woman?
    • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HaZardman27 (1521119) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:18AM (#42274361)
      I have some police training from when I was in the military, and with it, training on the use of force. Use of a taser or pepper spray should be limited to subduing threatening individuals where lethal force is not necessary. The question you should ask yourself first is "Is this person going to harm myself or someone else without much risk of fatality?". If you can answer "yes" to that, then it's permissible to use a taser. These cops are assholes and should be held responsible for their abuse, and anyone in their chain of command who is covering for them should receive at least the same punishment. As long as we allow cops the indiscriminate use of weapons like tasers and pepper spray to subdue non-threatening citizens, this is only going to get worse.
    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:24AM (#42274461)

      high tech weaponry.

      They were tasers, not phasers. Sheesh.

      Woman: I just wanted some phones.
      MallCop: You bought too many, ma'am.
      Woman: They're Christmas presents.
      MallCop: Ma'am. Your agonizer, please.

  • by garcia (6573) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:15AM (#42273147)

    These sorts of events are similar to what I would have expected in countries like China, not the United States. LEOs do not need to taser most people, especially a female who appears much less powerful than the officers holding her down in the video. The tool is used as a second-to-last resort, not as as way to make an arrest easier on the officers.

    Sheesh.

  • by CodeheadUK (2717911) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:15AM (#42273151) Homepage

    How are they supposed to make obscene profits if people 'illegally export' things?

  • by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:17AM (#42273187)
    ... you mean she had enough to buy a few iPhones ?

    Oh my god, arrest her, she has money, she must be doing something illegal !
    • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:29AM (#42273447) Homepage

      Cash transactions at banks over $10,000 are subject to special reporting requirements, thanks largely to the War on Drugs. It wouldn't surprise me if trying to make any kind of cash transaction for $16K draws unwanted attention in the current police state environment.

      Obviously, she was taking the money she earned selling drugs, and laundering it by buying iPhones for cash, then reselling them. Makes perfect sense to a cop, who has been trained to assume that EVERYBODY is a criminal....

      • by jkrise (535370) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:37AM (#42273609) Journal

        buying iPhones for cash, then reselling them.

        Hmmm.. makes perfect sense. Addiction to iThings very similar to addiction to drugs. Both are equally craved; largely empty and useless... they give you a 'kick' for a while, and then you feel wistful and want something slightly better for which you are ready to part with loads of cash for no reason in particular.She must be sent to a de-addiction center to help recover from the fruity company craze.

  • Cue the apologists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:20AM (#42273245) Homepage Journal

    There are times to use painful, potentially fatal, means of coercion. This isn't one of them.

    Unfortunately, we're going to get a lot of people posting here claiming that simply because the police demanded she do something, and she didn't, that they were justified. The simple truth is, no, they weren't. You don't get to do anything you like to someone simply because you have a badge and they didn't do what you told them to.

    We do not live in a police state.

  • by Hagaric (2591241) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:22AM (#42273293)

    It seems the concept that violence is a last resort has disappeared from policing.. Increasingly, even quiet, cooperative people are pinned down, handcuffed and manhandled as a matter of course. Violence has become one of the "perks" of policework, and the evil cycle of abuse and intimidation means fewer and fewer people object. Can anyone see any reason whatsoever for the violent treatment of this woman, who at worst is guilty of conspiracy to illegally export some telephones?

  • Taser mania (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lucas123 (935744) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:24AM (#42273331) Homepage
    Something needs to change in police training. Too often cops resort to BBQing people with 50,000 volts at the least sign of resistance, and, in some instances, no resistance at all. Yet, too often when you see a mall shooting or hostage situation, you don't see the police putting their lives on the line to save people. They often seem far too concerned with their own safety than the public's, and all these taser incidents seem like a part of that mentality. That's just my observation. I'm sure there are also plenty of good cops out there too, but the bad ones seem to make the headlines far too often.
  • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:33AM (#42273523) Homepage

    Didn't some state have that as their motto?

  • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:43AM (#42273739) Homepage

    The policy continues, "The weapon is a level of force normally required to overcome passive, defensive, or offensive resistance that is intended as an act of overt aggression toward the officer where an individual refuses to comply with verbal instructions."

    How exactly can "passive resistance" be an act of overt aggression? So basically, do whatever the cops say, or they will tase you. If you do not follow their orders, you are being "overtly aggressive" , the same as if you were throwing punches at them. Tasers being being overused in this country.

  • by rabtech (223758) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:25AM (#42274469) Homepage

    If you watch every season of Cops within a reasonably short period of time (say over a month or two) you can clearly see the shift in police procedures and attitudes spreading across the country. (It started before Tasers by the way.)

    The earliest seasons have old-fashioned policing, where cops talk to irate people and calm them down, as long as the person doesn't get violent. If the suspects put their hands up, the cops just handcuff them standing up, no degrading "get on the ground" treatment, no crushing the suspect's neck with their knees, no body-slamming people to the ground, then while resting on top of them screaming "stop resisting!"

    By the mid-90s seasons you see this wave of assaults and violence spread across the police forces. People put their hands up, the cops have no reason to suspect any violence, but they body-slam them to the ground anyway. Many times you see 5-9 cops on top of one person, often standing on the person's arms while multiple people scream "put your hands behind your back!" (Which they physically cannot do) and "stop resisting!" In other cases they demand people get down on the ground, just to humiliate them.

    The Taser is just another in a line of police battery tactics, designed to humiliate, degrade, and torture suspects, but without leaving any permanent marks that you can sue over.

    It bears repeating: don't talk to these thugs for any reason. Never answer their questions and comply with all orders, no matter how degrading. Never consent to a search of your person or car if asked. If they search anyway, say nothing and talk to your lawyer. Don't bring up video evidence or violations or they'll destroy evidence to cover their tracks, do not rely on honesty - police will always cover for themselves, no matter how heinous the crime, and the police union will get them reinstated with back pay after the public stops caring about the story. You can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride.

    We live in a police state, same as China or Soviet Russia. Deal with it.

  • Taser = Punishment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twmcneil (942300) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:34AM (#42274639)
    To anyone that still believes all that "Protect and Serve" shit, tasers are primarily and overwhelmingly used by LEOs as punishment. They are not used to protect anyone. If you do not do exactly as the officer says, no matter how unfair it may seem, you will be tasered. It is immediate punishment administered without judicial review. Plus, it relieves a lot of frustration for the cop.

    So let's all stop pretending now that use of a taser is anything legal or moral, it's a circumvention of judicial review, denial of individual rights and a travesty of justice. Tasers should be outlawed or their use outside of life threatening situations should be cause for immediate dismissal of the offending officer. Any other course of action is merely inviting a Judge Dredd type of future.
  • Before I knew about this story, in a cab this evening I was asked by a European what I thought about the U.S. I said there is something wrong with it, something fundamentally morally wrong. I mentioned how strident and militaristic the country has become over the past 20 years, how the media is complicit, how nobody ever mentions what seem to be huge numbers of civilians killed in the Iraq war, which in another country would be grounds for a war crimes trial.. and how students get tazed.

    I said I thought something has gone wrong, that there is a big moral dilemma. I see this being an American who has lived outside the U.S. for a while. He seemed relieved saying he totally agreed. Then I come home and read about a tasing in an Apple Store.

    Casual tazing and ultra-cynical liars in office and on the TV really worries me, the more I think about it the more it worries me. It isn't about export or not. Listen. There is a deep disease in the moral fiber or psychological constitution or socialized norms, whatever you call it, that reflects a ruinous self-negation in the U.S.A., that counterbalances all the wonderful things like slashdot and makers and late night comedians exposing hypocrisy, and summer barbecues and bookstores, oh lots of things. If people had their heads screwed on right the extreme prejudice of cops like this would cause them to be immediately kicked out and hounded mercilessly by the masses who are reading about it online right now. This does not happen because the actions of these officers is an organic result of a major imbalance that is unchecked.

    My first idea is that the imbalance is fueled by a power-hungry elite, by a cynical military-industrial-financial complex but to tell you the truth that is bullshit. It is because everyone, all of you, and me, and your families and friends, are all self satisfied consumers of information who, once satisfied in an ADHD kind of sense with having taken in the information, ignores it and will not act on it, because of being media saturated and socialized. People often joke about how far off the conservative edge are both conservatives and liberals in the U.S. but that is because THE NORM IS OFF-BALANCE AND SLIDING. I do not have an answer but I urge you to think about what you can do to find one.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.

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