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Tylerdurden
09-03-2009, 06:50 AM
Police use Taser on 76-year-old in a dispute about where to end procession


updated 5:50 p.m. ET, Wed., Sept . 2, 2009
GLENROCK, Wyo. - Bud Grose seemed like the last person who should attract the attention of police when the 76-year-old retiree hopped on his antique tractor and rumbled through the annual parade in this small Wyoming town.
But what was supposed to be a day of fun at an end-of-summer festival ended abruptly when police shot Grose with a Taser in a dispute about where to end the parade route.
The incident nearly incited a riot as outraged neighbors rushed to his defense. Now residents of this tight-knit town of 2,400 are seething over what they see as police brutality, and town officials are scrambling to ease the tension.


The Glenrock Police Department has placed two of its seven officers on paid administrative leave and hired a consultant to conduct an internal review that began last week. Prosecutors have decided against filing any charges in the Aug. 1 confrontation, and Police Chief Tom Sweet acknowledged the situation has "highly inflamed the community."
‘We're taught to respect the law, not fear it’
"To me it doesn't matter if this was a town of Glenrock's size or New York City. This kind of stuff can't go on," said Grose's son, Mike. "It doesn't matter if there's 10 officers or a thousand, this is just totally unacceptable. We're taught to respect the law, not fear it."
The fracas at the annual Deer Creek Days arose from confusion over whether members of the tractor club could deviate from the parade route shortly before it ended.
Grose wanted to head directly to the town park for a tractor pull like in previous years. But the police department had a different plan, which apparently was not communicated to the tractor drivers.
As a result, Grose encountered a Glenrock officer attempting to direct the tractors along the regular parade route. Grose said he drove around the officer. The officer said he was struck by the tractor and injured his wrist, according to a state review of the incident.
"He, for some reason, said no, and I, for some reason, thought to myself yes," Grose recounted.
The police chief said the officer then chased Grose on foot until a fellow officer joined the pursuit in a police SUV and caught up to Grose's tractor. The police pulled in front of the tractor, and the tractor came to a stop as it bumped the SUV.
That is when the officer shocked Grose with the Taser. Grose eventually managed to pull the tractor around the police SUV and to a parking area down the road. An angry crowd formed as police kept ordering Grose off the tractor. Police did not arrest Bud Grose because of the tension at the scene, Sweet said.
"At the time, it was very close to having a riot right there, and that probably would have created a full-scale riot," Sweet said.
Grose's son, Mike, agreed. "There was some very good people there ready to make some bad choices that would have affected them for the rest of their lives," he said. "That's the point it had gotten to."
‘He should not be regarded as a folk hero’
A lawyer for the two officers issued a statement Monday saying the officer who fired the Taser did so only after Grose "slammed" his tractor into the police SUV, resisted police commands and kept driving.
"They ultimately de-escalated a volatile situation created by Mr. Grose's actions. If anyone violated the law that day, it was Mr. Grose," Casper attorney John Robinson said. "He should not be regarded as a folk hero."
Police fired the Taser five times, according to a state review.


Residents are not letting the matter fade quietly. Mike Grose and his wife have printed T-shirts with a cartoonish drawing of a police officer using a Taser on a tractor driver. The caption reads "If you missed Deer Creek Days 2009, you missed a shocking experience."
The police chief acknowledges that the situation could have been handled differently.
"I think there were some contributing factors on both sides, from the law enforcementhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/2.gif (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32662315/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/#) side and from Mr. Grose's side that maybe could have prevented some of the problem," Sweet said. "There probably was some better judgment that could have been used by everybody involved."
An estimated 2,000 people were on hand for the parade, which is part of a festival offering cookouts, an art show, street dances, sports tournaments, car races and a Christian revival.Mike Grose was driving a tractor following his father and managed to catch up to see an officer about to shoot his father with a Taser. Mike Grose said he yelled at the officer not to shock his father because of a heart condition. Bud Grose underwent heart bypass surgery in 2000.
"It hurt like hell," said Bud Grose, who suffered bruising on his left upper body but no serious injuries.


‘It didn't have to come to that’
Brad Jones' 9-year-old son was riding with Bud Grose in the parade, helping steer the tractor. An officer removed the boy from the tractor before Grose was shocked with a Taser.
"I mean this guy's a senior citizen with heart problems, driving a tractor. Whether or not he disobeyed, it didn't have to come to that," Jones said. "If the town don't do something with the officers, I think it's going to be really bad for the town. Our last two council meetings, the whole town is in an uproar."
After reviewing the state Division of Criminal Investigation's report, Converse County Attorney Quentin Richardson said last week that prosecution was not warranted for "any individual involved in the incident."
Bud Grose, who has retained an attorney, said he was relieved by that decision. He said he hopes the police internal investigation comes to the "correct decision."


"I'm a back-row person. I'm not enjoying the attention that I'm getting. It's totally out of character for me," said Grose. "I'm getting a tremendous amount of support from people I've never met before."
Sweet, who joined the Glenrock police in February, said communication will be key to settling the town's nerves.
"There's a lot of distrust now, and I'm relatively new here, but I'm going to have to build that trust back up," Sweet said. "At some point in time, people are just going to have to trust that we are going to do the right thing and take it for what it's worth."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32662315/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

skuthorp
09-03-2009, 07:01 AM
Sounds like there's at least one policeman who shouldn't have been hired. It's a small town, wonder how he got the job? Contacts, nepotism? Might find it hard in the future now.

Joe (SoCal)
09-03-2009, 07:06 AM
This thread brought to you by the
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skuthorp
09-03-2009, 07:09 AM
I'm just not comfortable with how tasers seem to be used. And the police down here have applied to use soft nosed bullets in their new pistols because of their 'stopping power' The same bullets are forbidden to military powers under the 'dum-dum' treaty. The various jurisdictions of police in the US and the political component in their hiring make it seem very dodgy to me.
But I take your caution to mind.

botebum
09-03-2009, 07:20 AM
It's my understanding that tasers are supposed to be used in lieu of regular firearms as a non lethal alternative. More and more I see stories where tasers are being used in lieu of verbally diffusing a situation and good old fashioned police work, in essence, escalating a situation rather than dissapating it.

Doug

Tylerdurden
09-03-2009, 07:27 AM
It's my understanding that tasers are supposed to be used in lieu of regular firearms as a non lethal alternative. More and more I see stories where tasers are being used in lieu of verbally diffusing a situation and good old fashioned police work, in essence, escalating a situation rather than dissapating it.

Doug

It has become a device of torture now. Used to be the billy club and if it got out of hand the bruises and broken bones told the tale.
I am not against the use of tasers completely but they should be used only by supervisors with the same investigation as a shooting.
They do save lives in very narrow circumstances.

Phillip Allen
09-03-2009, 07:32 AM
It's my understanding that tasers are supposed to be used in lieu of regular firearms as a non lethal alternative. More and more I see stories where tasers are being used in lieu of verbally diffusing a situation and good old fashioned police work, in essence, escalating a situation rather than dissapating it.

Dougthere are volumes in that post...

Nicholas Scheuer
09-03-2009, 08:00 AM
Jesse Jackson is in Rockford, IL trying to buff up his image over the shooting of a guy by two cops who had chased him into a Church/Day CareCenter.

There were kids in the Day Care who saw the shooting!

We will send Jesse out to Wyoming IMMEDIATELY. Watch out for him, though, will'ya? Not sure whether Jesse knows which end of a tractor NOT to stand in front of.

Moby Nick

Bruce Hooke
09-03-2009, 11:15 AM
It seems to me there are some key questions of fact that should be resolved here before we totally condemn the police. Two lines jump out:


The officer said he was struck by the tractor and injured his wrist
the officer who fired the Taser did so only after Grose "slammed" his tractor into the police SUV, resisted police commands and kept driving.If, in fact, it is correct that Gross first hit the officer with his tractor, causing injury, and then intentionally ran into a police vehicle, then it seems to me the police would be reasonable in using some level of force to stop someone who seemed intent on causing personal injury and serious property damage.

There should be plenty of witnesses (not to mention some pretty severe damage to the SUV if in fact a tractor was driven into it) so getting at least a little better handle on the truth of what really happened should not be that hard.

Using a taser on a 76 year old man seems a bit extreme, but I also wonder what the officer was supposed to do when, if the police story is correct, Gross was driving to endanger and resisting arrest. If Gross had been a 20 year old black man driving a car and he had been shot I'd guess a lot of people would be saying he got what was coming to him.

If Gross thought he was within his rights to drive along the route he wanted to take he should have stopped and talked to the officer, not driven around him and then rammed a police vehicle.

Phillip Allen
09-03-2009, 11:18 AM
what jumps to mind for me is a cop swerving in front of a moving tractor and hitting his brakes then claiming the tractor ran him down...have you got any tractor experience...particularly old tractors?

BTW "slammed" is a media buzz word

Ian McColgin
09-03-2009, 11:25 AM
Tasers are being used in place of brains. They are both more dangerous and less effective than believed.

The news story says the tractor "bumped" the police SUV. The chief said "slammed" and Bruce more or less quotes that with "rammed."

It's obvious that everyone could have behaved better, but the police are paid to behave better and they did not.

switters
09-03-2009, 11:33 AM
just how fast do you city boys think an antique farm tractor moves?

what a bunch of BS, hitting the police officer.

Phillip Allen
09-03-2009, 11:35 AM
just how fast do you city boys think an antique farm tractor moves?

what a bunch of BS, hitting the police officer.

they move at parade speed..3mph

unless someone can demonstrate a 20mph speed capacity for the tractor...after the "slamming" comment, everything the pollice chief says is a lie

Tylerdurden
09-03-2009, 11:57 AM
Seems the witnesses are siding with the Tractor driver.

Guess they are all anti-police and anarchists there.:rolleyes:

Bruce Hooke
09-03-2009, 12:23 PM
Please note that I said if the police story is correct. If, in fact, the police officer injured himself by trying to jump in front of Gross and then drove in front of the tractor and slammed on his brakes then clearly the police have no leg to stand on.

On the other hand, if Gross cut close enough to the officer to endanger the officer (we don't know if the officer was in a location where he could not back up or get out of the way of the tractor) when he was driving past him and if Gross actively choose to drive into the SUV then my sympathy is kind of limited.

My perspective is colored by my perception that the conduct by the officer that is causing outrage in this case is conduct that seems to me to be pretty much standard operating procedure on the part of the police in low-income urban neighborhoods. I am most definitely not saying this conduct on the part of the police is correct, but I want there to be some balance in terms of the police being held to the same standard whether they are dealing with a 76 year old white farmer or a 20 year old black kid.

Ian McColgin
09-03-2009, 12:44 PM
I agree that the police should be held to the same standard, ghetto or small town. In both places, excessive force is excessive force.

Chris Coose
09-03-2009, 12:54 PM
Where do returning young combat veterans mostly get jobs?

Study peace.

Phillip Allen
09-03-2009, 01:16 PM
Where do returning young combat veterans mostly get jobs?

Study peace.

we have a retired S.E.A.L. working as a cop in my town...that man is pretty laid back and non dangerous (defined as not likely to shoot someone because he's afraid of him)

He's what I'd call a quiet man...

Iceboy
09-03-2009, 01:34 PM
"Where do returning young combat veterans mostly get jobs?"

If being a vet were a requirement for the job there would most likely be less of this abuse of power. Most who have been in combat don't see any value in messing with folks just because they can.

Phillip Allen
09-03-2009, 01:45 PM
"Where do returning young combat veterans mostly get jobs?"

If being a vet were a requirement for the job there would most likely be less of this abuse of power. Most who have been in combat don't see any value in messing with folks just because they can.

I think you are generally right...still there are stressed out soldiers coming home

Bruce Hooke
09-03-2009, 02:06 PM
In thinking about this some more:

A. It is hard to imaging why the policeman could not get out of the way of a tractor once it was clear the tractor driver was intent on going around him and continuing on his way.

B. Even if Gross choose to ram the SUV it is hard to imagine why using a Taser would be necessary. I mean good Lord, the guy is 76 and moving at a very slow speed on his tractor. There had to be a lot of much less drastic routes the police could have taken if they really felt that stopping him was necessary.

One does wonder if the police even had sufficient justification for trying to force Gross to take a particular route if he did not want to take that route, or if the policeman was just annoyed that someone was not doing what he told the person to do, even if the policeman's directions ought to have been seen as a suggestion not an order.

Still, I stand by the thinking that Gross really ought to have stopped and explained himself rather than just dodging around the policeman and continuing on his way.