Australian lawyer argues man tasered by cops was screaming ‘in joy’
In Perth, Australia, two cops are currently on trial for assaulting a man named Kevin Spratt by repeatedly tasering him. Spratt was under the influence of alcohol and possibly drugs at the time, and refused to go to a room to be strip-searched. The officers reported that he had broken free and that tasering him was their only choice to get him under control. Spratt, however, is contending that the officers used excessive force.
It would be a fairly standard case if it weren’t for one strange thing. The lawyer representing Aaron Strahan and Troy Tomlin, the two cops accused in the case, tried to argue that Kevin Spratt may have been screaming out of joy.
Via ABC Australia:
Their lawyer, Karen Vernon, has argued that five of the seven charges against her clients should be thrown out because the evidence does not support the allegations against them.
The Magistrate questioned Ms Vernon about hearing Mr Spratt screaming in anguish, but she said people responded differently to pain, and the screams could have been with joy or laughter.
The Magistrate rejected Ms. Vernon’s bizarre defense, but still. The very idea of even trying to use a “Well, we don’t know, he could have been a masochist and totally enjoying it” defense is a little strange. Probably the majority of casual masochists would not be all “Hooray! Having police officers tase me is my favorite thing ever!” anyway. If that were a legitimate excuse, you could pretty much do anything to anybody and just say you thought they were enjoying it. I am reasonably sure that this is the first time “maybe enjoying it” has been used as a defense of police brutality.
Sadly, a defense similar to this actually worked in Sweden recently regarding a rape case. The defendant was acquitted after saying that he thought “No meant yes” and that his victim was enjoying it.