I believe I see a lot of over reaction here. As an officer, I have to prove intent. That would apply to the D.A. or whoever would be bringing charges.
Is there intent to do harm here? Is there felonious intent here? No! Clearly an honest mistake.
So, there is a 78 year old man, 3/4 deaf, who recycles cardboard to make money to pay for his deer lease and stay active. Been doing this for 38 years. A cop pulls up to him and speaking from inside his car, asks the old man a question. The old man, being 3/4 deaf, jumps down out of the back of his pickup and walks over to the cop, still in his car, and starts to asks him to repeat the question. The cop tazes the old man.
On what grounds was the old man tazed?
He had a box cutter in his hand that he uses to cut the cardboard down to the size required by the recycler and to get more in his truck.
After 9-11, a federal law was passed making a box cutter a prohibited weapon.
But what about if a person was using it for its' intended purpose?
Did the cop take things a little too literally? Is there an area where common sense should step in?
Luckily, for the old man, when higher ups in the cops department found out about it, the charges were dropped. The old mans' biggest concerns were having a mark on his spotless record and since it was a felony, he couldn't possess a gun to go hunting with and couldn't take his grandsons hunting.
There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.
Would it make a difference if the old man was black? A deacon of long standing in his church? Totally loved and appreciated by all in his community? Works with the authorities helping young black males who are in trouble to be better people?
It is still a felony on the law books!!!