eugene taser cop acted "within policy"

Remember that police Taser incident last fall in Eugene, Oregon? A police officer used a stun gun on a man he mistakenly believed was trespassing. Turns out, the guy was in his own apartment.

The man tased did not file a complaint. But police did launch an internal investigation. This week, officials publicly announced that the officer acted within policy: Eugene Police Chief: Tasing of Chinese Student Was Within Policy.

On September 22, police received a report of trespassers at an apartment. When officers arrived, they believed the two men were transients and tried to take them into custody. The men didn't speak English. The officer used a taser to detain one man. Police soon learned the two men were, in fact, tenants in that apartment, and had just moved to that unit a few hours earlier. Oops.

Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns sent a lengthy memo to the mayor and city council outlining the decision, including their investigation's detailed breakdown of what transpired that evening.

As far as I can tell, according to the memo, the whole thing can apparently be blamed on jetlag, a clumsy cop, and of course, a language barrier. I don't know how that results in a kid getting stun-gunned. Somebody got jumpy, and that's how people get tased, bro.

While it's great that the Eugene police department has expressed a desire to improve its level of "cultural competence," I won't hold my breath. Asian American community members are not happy with this decision: Eugene Asian-American community on Taser incident.

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