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

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

    by Sprouticus ( 1503545 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:18AM (#42273197)


    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?

  • Taser mania (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lucas123 ( 935744 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:24AM (#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.
  • Re:This just in... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:29AM (#42273425) Journal

    Uh.. I don't think it's because the police were out of shape. They sure could have tackled and pinned her to the ground, which likely would have caused a hell of a lot more long-term injury to her than simply getting tazed would.

    Perhaps you should try observing the police in more civilised places. The solution to an unruly 44 year old 80lb woman does not genreally require police brutality like you suggest (which was actually done as well).

    If two fit policemen can't cope with a situation like that without a taser or excessive force, then they should be stripped of their badge.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:31AM (#42273479) Homepage Journal

    Here's a crazy idea: instead of starting to shout "private property" and having the hired guns tackle a woman and break out their weapons - just ignore her. Don't take her money, don't ring up her sale. She'll either give up and go away or try to steal the phones and then it's cut-and-dry. Plus no news stories with bad publicity during the Christmas shopping season.This would also save two Nashua cops from the public humiliation of not being able to handcuff a middle-aged asian woman (I saw the video - there's no fear that she's a kung-fu master).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:38AM (#42273623)

    That's dumb, the iPhone is MADE in China, it's also SOLD in China. There's no such export restriction and no such law (just think how dumb what you said is, in effect a product made in China can't be inside China... the mind boggles).

    The rule is an Apple arbitrary sale limit rule. The article mentions Apple uses police officers to enforce it because they've had trouble in the past with people buying too many for unauthorized export. As if they get to tazer customers based on some EULA or something!

    ALL SHE WANTED TO DO WAS BUY A LOT OF IPHONES AT FULL PRICE! (BTW they're the same price in China).

    Right now I'm going to go to an Apple store and diss the products in front of other customers, complain they're overpriced, underpowered, not as good as the Android ones, maybe bring my Android quad core tablet and do visual compares. Until they ask me to leave. Then I'm not going to leave, I'm going to kick up one hell of a stink. Maybe do a bit of shouting about how they tazered a woman in an Apple store. f*** Apple. Really f*** em, corporate scum.

  • by SleazyRidr ( 1563649 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:40AM (#42273661)

    Giving tasers to the police was supposed to be a way for them to protect themselves from violent people without using guns. If this old lady was really threatening them then they need to be kicked off the force for being too unfit to serve as a police officer.

  • by dirk ( 87083 ) <dirk@one.net> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:43AM (#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.

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

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:53AM (#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 @11:53AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:07PM (#42274173)

    disclaimer: I am I cell phone salesman.

    No, the PATRIOT Act has caused the rationing. Buying phones without a contract is limited to two per customer because of "potential terror uses".

    Seriously, go walk into a Walmart or a Costco, grab three ten dollar Tracfones, put them on the belt, the cash register will not let you buy them. Take one of them away and the transaction will work fine. Alternately, call a local Walmart, ask for electronics, ask them how many non-contract phones you can buy. If you're in the US, the limit is two.

  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:19PM (#42274383) Homepage Journal

    Calling the police/security is reasonable. Using physical/electrical violence isn't.

    Its only going to get worse. With measures like this [wsj.com] being put into place without congressional over site how far can we be from a total police state?

  • by rabtech ( 223758 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:25PM (#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.

  • by mattr ( 78516 ) <mattr@@@telebody...com> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:42PM (#42274791) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:59PM (#42275107) Homepage

    Since when is two "dozens"? She was tazered by rent-a-cops[*] for buying two phones and attempting to buy another two, having seen Suzi Whitebread being sold more than that in store.

    Good job on jumping to the same assumption as the "geniuses" in the Apple store though. Looks a bit foreign, probably buying for export, TAZZZER HERRRRR.

    [*] Yes, literal rent-a-cops. These were actual cops taking a second salary for acting as Apple store security.

  • by jittles ( 1613415 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:10PM (#42275327)
    I guarantee there are plenty of women out there who could beat the crap out of you and me both. I am not saying this Chinese woman was one of them, and I am not saying that taser should have been used, but I would not use the sex of a person to determine their level of threat. Certainly they could have overpowered her given enough people. I would wait to see the video surveillance before I decide whether excessive force was used.
  • by j00r0m4nc3r ( 959816 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:20PM (#42275509)
    it's actually illegal for them to sell them to her if they think she's going to export them
  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:33PM (#42275759)
    Back in the day, in mental hospitals they often used violence to enforce compliance by mental patients who got unruly. Then the Korean War came along and they assigned a bunch of farm boys who refused to serve in the military no matter what form of coercion was used to work as orderlies at the mental hospitals. Now these farm boys weren't going to use violence here anymore than they were going to join the military. So, what did they do? Well, they did what they did when they had a stallion or a bull that would not do what was wanted. They restrained the patient. Two, or more, if they thought that was necessary, would go into the patient's room and approach calmly and carefully despite what the patient would do to resist their approach. When they got close enough, they would take hold of the patient and prevent the patient from moving. The thing about it was that it rarely took more than two of them, even if the patient was large and the two farm boys were not so large. That's because they had learned their techniques against animals that were larger than them, animals that were valuable so you didn't do anything that might damage them. There was one other factor that was very important. They were patient. They were willing to wait until the animal or the patient gave up. The thing was it rarely took that long because there is something very "calming" about dealing with someone who will continue to move towards their goals no matter what you do.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham