Our view: Don’t tase me bro…

The Kent City Police are in the news again. But this time it doesn’t involve pepper spray balls, rubber bullets and riot gear.

This time it involves a party, a Taser and a cell phone video. Last week, Kent City Police reportedly showed up to a party in College Towers and tased a 20-year-old man. The sequence of events leading up to the tasing varies by whose side of the story you hear. Police claim the man was resisting arrest, while the man who was tased claims he wasn’t. And to top it off, there is a YouTube video that shows about 30 seconds of the incident.

But no matter whose actions are justified in this situation, this is only one more reason for students to have a poor opinion of the police. For many reasons, law enforcement in Kent has had a bad public image in the eyes of students, and it has only seemed to worsen after last spring’s College Fest riots. Granted, law enforcement has a tough job watching over the campus and city, but they’re only making their jobs harder by tasing someone possibly unjustly.

If you watch the show “Cops,” you know that protocol for arresting someone is putting them in handcuffs and taking them away in a police car. If that doesn’t work and the subject is resisting or being unruly, then police may use a Taser or gun, but only if it is justifiable. In the case of the College Towers tasing, after watching the YouTube video, it appears that Kent City Police may have been better served by using minimal force and taking him away, rather then creating another public relations disaster.

Though the relationship between Kent law enforcement and the student body is damaged – it can be fixed. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but maybe in time.

The Kent City Police must stop pretending that they’re roaming the Watts region of Los Angeles and remember they’re roaming a relatively safe Mayberry of Kent, Ohio. And students must stop acting like Kent law enforcement is the Gestapo, roaming the streets, looking for reasons to arrest you. We all must learn that respect and trust is a two-way street – and remember that a Taser does nothing to gain trust, either.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.