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Was Tasering of 17-Year-Old Phillies Fan Appropriate?


When a 17-year-old Phillies fan hopped the fence at Citizens Bank Park in the eight inning of the Phillies-Cardinals game on Monday night, he probably thought he was just pulling a silly prank. Indeed, it isn’t uncommon to see at least one exuberant fan hop onto the field during a game at least once during a season. Most of the time, security can catch the guy and it ends up being a good laugh for the on looking fans in the stands. However, that isn’t what happened in Philly. Instead, a Philadelphia police officer fired a Taser gun at the boy from about 15-feet away, dropping the boy on the spot.

To me, this seems like an excessive use of force. We aren’t talking about what happened at the U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago when a fan attacked Royals coach Tom Gamboa with a switchblade. We’re talking about a 17-year-old kid who was hardly a threat to other fans or the Phillies team players. Nevertheless, the Philadelphia police commissioner is publicly supporting the officer’s actions. The Phillies, on the other hand, say they want to talk about whether or not such force is necessary to stop future trespassers.

Luckily, the kid is okay and regained the ability to walk as security took him into custody. But Tasering is no joke—according to Amnesty International since June 2001 more than 351 individuals in the U.S. died after being shocked by police Tasers. What’s worse, must of those individuals weren’t carrying a weapon. Watch the video below for the footage of the incident.



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  1. edwin hartwell says:
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    How does anyone know until after the fact if the kid is dangerous?

    He wasn’t dangerous only until after they tasered and subdued him. Before that he absolutely could have been dangerous. As a former athlete who has been on the ifeld when this has occurred I would hope they continue to err on the side of caution.

    If you put yourself in a situation to be tasered then it is you that has the problem not the officers.

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    Tough week for teenagers, huh?

    First Consalvi gets tasered then Lawrence Taylor gets his hands on one… allegedly.

    http://sportschump.net is having a little caption contest at Consalvi’s expense.

  3. Mike Bryant says:
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    This has been a fascinating issue to hear the comments on. There are threads of “you get what you get” and at the same time so many assumptions. How do we know how well trained the guards are? What security do athletes need vs say teachers? Where does running on the field rank with some of the horrific crimes out there? very , very , interesting.

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    Maybe part of the problem is the disconnect between the marketing for the Taser (as “safe, safe, safe”) versus the reality that hitting someone with so many volts that they black out and lose power over their muscles might be unsafe.

    Most people are going to think that using a “safe” means to stop someone from trespassing/disrupting the game are legitimate. They wouldn’t, though, think the police should have drawn a gun and shot him dead. The question here seems to be, where does Tasering fit in that spectrum? Further towards deadly/dangerous than the average citizen (or police officer, for that matter) probably realize.