Lisa Tanner was cited on March 24, 2005, for playing music too loud at her house and was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct. Lisa says she asked for a breathalyzer test and was refused. She was banging on a window. Police say she was “a possible danger to herself.” Inside her cell, she was ordered to get on both knees. When she refused, four officers entered the cell and tied her down in a device called a “pro-straint” chair.
This case may not be an isolated incident since other people treated in the same way might not have had the connections or the resources to hold the police accountable that are available to a woman whose father is a prosecutor.
From what I read about this case, it like so many others, seems to be a procedural and training problem rather than a case of rogue officers. That makes it more problematic since the situation won’t be resolved by disciplining or firing police officers.
What makes it even more serious is that improper restraint by multiple officers can lead to cutting off the restrained person’s airway. To a poorly trained officer, the person’s frantic struggle to breathe may be seen as violence and result in more pressure being applied.
That’s a deadly combination. And one that puts those who are trying to uphold the law and our justice system at risk of becoming scapegoats for problems they didn’t purposely get involved in.
As my other posts related to police/authority abuse or misconduct show, abusive and unethical treatment have a greater scope than any one agency or police force:
Also posted on my blog, http://abyss2hope.blogspot.com