Police Tasered an 86-year-old disabled grandma in her bed and stepped on her oxygen hose until she couldn't breathe, after her grandson called 911 seeking medical assistance, the woman and her grandson claim in Oklahoma City Federal Court. Though the grandson said, "Don't Taze my granny!" an El Reno police officer told another cop to "Taser her!" and wrote in his police report that he did so because the old woman "took a more aggressive posture in her bed," according to the complaint.
Now I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Sorry, that's not what you're thinking.
You're thinking, dude's making this up. This comes from The Onion. It's a parody of the spate of recent news stories on criminal assaults by the police against civilians.
But it isn't. It comes from Courthouse News Service, which is a respectable web service quoting directly from lawsuits filed in federal court, in this case the western district of Oklahoma.
And from this, we know or can strongly suspect the following to be true:
1) Lonnie Tinsley found an attorney with the guts to make these allegations in federal court, so I assume there's some basis in fact for the allegations. The lawyer on Seinfeld wouldn't invent a story like this;
2) Lonnie Tinsley's grandmother, Lona Varner of El Reno Oklahoma, is 86 years old and hooked to an oxygen tank;
3) Lonnie Tinsley became worried that his grandmother hadn't taken her medications, so he called 911 to ask for medical help;
4) Multiple El Reno Oklahoma police officers responded instead, and shot Lona Varner with a TASER;
5) There is an incident report, filed by an Officer Thomas Duran of the El Reno police department, which says this:
Instead, the apparent leader of the police [defendant Thomas Duran] instructed another policeman to 'Taser her!' He stated in his report that the 86 year-old plaintiff 'took a more aggressive posture in her bed,' and that he was fearful for his safety and the safety of others.
6) Lonnie Tinsley, who called 911 for medical help for his grandmother, was then arrested and thrown into the back of a police car.
I don't know anything about Varner's attorney, but I do know this: no sane lawyer would file a federal suit claiming that an officer had Tased an 86 year old woman in her bed, justifying it by claiming that grandma "took a more aggressive posture in her bed," without a document from which he could quote that actually said that. And without an arrest report.
So it stands to reason that Lora Varner, 86 years old, probably demented, and hooked up to an oxygen tank, was Tased by officers fearful for their safety, because she took an "aggressive posture in her bed."
Update: Thanks to our friend Jag for the police report, which we're posting here but originally comes from Carlos Miller: 33557136-Dallas-Org-El-Reno-Police-Report-on-Lona-Varner
I'd encourage you to read Miller's link, which has a photo of Ms. Varner.
To place things in context, the very obviously demented Varner, according to Duran, pulled a kitchen knife on Duran from under her pillow. So she was shot with a Taser, placing her at risk of heart failure or (because a Taser needle can penetrate plastic tubing as easily as skin) exploding in a fiery holocaust of pure oxygen death.
On the other hand, I could disarm this lady, and so could you, and we're not ten police officers.
"If there's a gun I take the bullet. If there's a knife I take the blade." — Mr. T.
Because Thomas Duran and his keystone cops couldn't disarm an 86 year old invalid grandmother, she was Tased, and her grandson who probably, for some irrational reason, objected to the Tasing was arrested.
If only Mr. T had been around, everyone would have settled their differences with a tall, icy glass of milk and a nice bowl of cereal, and the people watching on television would have learned a valuable lesson about sharing, friendship, and respect for one's elders.
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