This story is highly indicative. It clearly shows how poorly the basic laws of the land, such as fundamental rights, are understood by some police (even senior officials). Many of them do not even understand the basics of what might be taught during a Grade 6 'Civics' class.
Judge to probe use of Taser to get DNA [LINK]
Ryan S. Smith refused a judge’s order last fall to give a DNA sample, insisting to police that he didn’t care what court papers said. “You are gonna have to Taser me if you want my DNA,” an officer reported Smith saying. So police did just that, jolting Smith with electricity before swabbing the inside of his mouth.
Now the judge in the case wants to know why. “This isn’t pretty,” Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Sperazza told lawyers involved in the case during a recent court appearance. “I’m fearful of how he’s been treated.” Sperazza ordered several Niagara Falls police officers and an assistant district attorney to appear in her court Monday and provide sworn testimony to explain how Smith came to be shocked by a Taser on Sept. 29, 2008.
Criminal and civil attorneys say that Smith had a constitutional right to refuse the DNA request. The judge could have ordered Smith jailed until he gave the sample, the lawyers said, but police and prosecutors had no legal authority to force him to provide one. “If someone refuses to give their DNA, then they can be held in contempt and be held in jail until they comply,” said Patrick Balkin of Lockport, Smith’s defense lawyer.
How can they be expected to correctly enforce the law when they don't even understand the basic fundamentals of it?
If anyone is looking for a handy-dandy and perfectly workable definition for the line-in-the-sand that defines a 'police state', then it is as simple as...
Lawful 'force' - noun or verb?
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