December 6, 2007

Police Fire the Cop Who Tased Pregnant Valreca Redden

--==[Drumbeats from msladydeborah tipped us to this story]==--

Al Sharpton's NAN Ohio chapter reports that the Trotwood Police Department fired Officer Michael Wilmer, the police officer who used a stun gun on Valreca Redden, a pregnant nubian.

Hallelujah! It is about time that justice occurs in Taser Nation.

Villagers recall that I was surprised that Officer Michael Wilmer was still working. It appears that he won't be working much longer.

When you use a taser gun on a pregnant woman who comes to you for protection and help then you are in the wrong line of work. You need to have your toubob butt fired!

Check out the video for yourself. Does it look justified to you?

Valreca Redden still faces charges of obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. I imagine that those charges will be dropped soon. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reviewed the case. It is good to see the federal government enforcing the laws. If they had done so in Jena when those three nooses were hung on the white tree perhaps we could have avoided the damage done to seven young lives (Jena 6 and the boy that they beat up on the school yard).

Anyhow, I'm glad to see that the police are trying to clean up their act. Hopefully, something similar will happen to the taser-happy cops in Wichita.

What do you think? Was the firing of Office Michael Wilmer justified?



Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Maybe we've finally learned the limits to the Tasing Movement. Although there are few rules, here's one: You can't tase a pregnant woman who is asking for help. Here's another that I would suggest even before the case arises: You can't tase people who are in wheel chairs.

Virtually Actual said...

Awesome. I think this is the first time a cop was disciplined for abusing a taser (as if there's anything else you could do with it).

Villager said...

Francis - (smile). It is always good to know the outer limits of acceptable behavior!

Virtually Actually - Actually, I see that the taser-happy cop in Austin got three-day suspension. But, you're right ... in general the cops don't discipline themselves very much when the taser is used.

Danielle said...

Justice served! What a great story to start my day!

As always...


Villager said...

Danielle - It is nice to find justice in all of the bad news that seems to flow. I'm glad the information made you smile this morning...

Eddie G. Griffin said...

On the one hand, it's good news. But the charge of obstructing justice and resisting arrest are bogus. The woman original asked them for help. Therefore, how could she obstruct justice and what was the probably cause for arrest? Also, let us not forget the UN is calling for sanctions against tasing.

Villager said...

Eddie - I need to learn more about the United Nations interest in tasers.

Anyhow, we will continue to keep an eye out about the charges against her. There is a blogger (Connie) who plans to attend her hearing in person.

peace, Villager

AJ said...

This is great news!

Shelia said...

You know what happened, an act was committed that NOBODY could tolerate, so action was taken. If it was just the community, there would have been an apology and a salary increase.

He deserved to be fired and should be prosecuted. She should file suit against their asses. This incident royally pissed me off!!

Villager said...

AJ - Your ability to bring this story to The AfroSpear as quickly as you did was remarkable. Well done sista!

Shelia - One of our AfroSpear bloggers is president of the NAACP Wichita branch. His branch is working with the deaf gentleman who was tased. Hopefully, Valreca has similiar support and representation in her Dayton area.

Jaded said...

I love how this woman who was trying dump off her one year old child has miraculously sprouted angel wings and a halo. Perhaps we should also grant her the Mother of the Year award while we're at it??

It would be wonderful if this woman who was "looking for protection" (from what? her one year old she was tired of dealing with?) would submit herself to a lie detector test. Being black does not make her an automatic victim of racism, and being a cop doesn't mean being guilty until being proven guilty.

Sorry to break the news to you boys and girls, but this guy was following protocol. She DID NOT inform him of her pregnancy (I also enjoy how the word of this "mother of the year" has become the final word), and she DID resist. In the days before tasers, much more physical means would have been used to restrain her. Would that have been been the preferable use of force? Had he wanted to really tase her, he would have full-on tased her. That's when fish hooks are shot into the "victim's" back. She was dry stunned, which is a lesser use of force.

Actually, I think he should have just let this poor, innocent woman go with an unwanted child. Why restrain this innocent woman at all?? Let her leave with the child! Then, when she abandoned the child or worse, we could question the cop's judgement then.

Climb back up in your hot air balloons and judge the world.

OG said...

I just heard Bill O and Lara Ingram dising Rev.Sharpton The always out there fighting for something it amazes me how they be-little the work he does. I am glad we have the National Action Network these police have been getting a pass since 911.

Villager said...

Jaded - I appreciate you sharing your village voice with us. I don't see anyone calling Valreca Redden "mother of the year". However, I think you would agree that it is better that she turn her child over to someone else rather than do as we've seen some mothers do in recent history ... kill their baby in bathtubs or drowning in a car (... remember Mrs. Smith?).

The police are advertised as a sanctuary where you can turn in your child if you feel unable to take care of him or her. Valreca tried to do so. The officer chose to look at Ms. Redden as a perp rather than as a citizen seeking help. That led to his decision to throw her physically on the floor and tase her while she was on the ground.

The fact that he couldn't tell she was pregnant is a sign that he didn't have very good observation skills.

In any case, I think it is a good thing that young Wilmer is no longer on the taxpayer's payroll.

It is not an indictment against all cops when we identify and punish a rogue or bad or untrained cop.

Villager said...

OG - Laura and Bill O'Reilly have no idea what is important to African Americans and our community. They are simply clueless. So, any criticism that they have on Al Sharpton comes from a place of ignorance and can be safely ignored.

Anonymous said...

Tell them to stop:

Truth said...

You have to be mental to argue with the police. Police officers are enforcers and that's it. Knowing they enforce should give you a large clue that there is the potential you will get pounded if you resist in any fashion. So, do yourself a favor don't be a moron and if a police officer asks you questions then answer them. If the officer tells you to get on one leg and jump around then do it. Everything this officer did to this child abandoner was inline with all regulations.

A) child abandoner lady was questioned, she failed to comply with questioning

B) child abandoner lady , tried to flee, at this point not acceptable because the officers see a childs safety as an issue because child abandoner lady failed at point A

C) child abandoner lady failed to use her brain power to release her child so that the child she was abandoning would not be in harms way, therefore exciting the situation and forcing the officer to ENFORCE the law

D) child abandoner lady taken to the ground after small child was secured

E) child abandoner lady failed to use the brain power again and resisted some more forcing her UNBORN child into harms way

F) i could go on, but you see the picture and the picture is the child abandoner has a history of poor decisions and ended up where her decisions brought her... behind bars and charged criminally.... She put 2 of her children in harms way, 1 unborn. As a mother you should always protect your children, and the safest way for her to have done that would have been to comply with OUR authority, whom are the police for you people out there that don't understand what authority is or think you're Mr. man/woman and have no respect for authority and are willing to fight your authority. Which at some point will catch up to you.

If you don't like the police the way they are then get a degree and become an officer and then you can deal with the same crap they deal with on a daily basis. Go down to your local police station and ask to ride one night. Also, watch the public records and do some research so that you better understand the police officers situation fully on a daily basis. Be pro-active not reactive. You may think the taser as cruel but the use of the taser was well within the policies. A police officer's job is not an easy one so don't be suprised if you're not greeted with hugs and kisses the next time an officer pulls you over for endangering other people's lives by speeding or pushing that red light that was "it was yellow Mr Officer" or abandoning your child because you "can't" take of it anymore. GROW UP AND WELCOME TO LIFE.

Villager said...

Truth - I'm uncertain why you felt it necessary to be so sarcastic in your message. Folks on this side of the screen are grown adults and we're open to dialogue with others that have differing point of view.

For what it's worth, I've been on ride-alongs with the police. I respect the work that they do.

However, in this case, I think that the officer was wrong. She was *no* threat to him. The baby was already in the custody of another officer. Officer Wilmer simply got buck-wild ... throwing this young, distraught woman down on the floor by her coat ... then pulling out his taser and giving 50,000 volts of electricty into the pregant woman's neck.

Could the woman have handled things differently? Of course. However, would you accept that the officer had other options and choices. Going to a taser was simply a poor choice.

Trotwood Police can spin any which way that they want ... however, it appears that they know the officer was wrong.

Ergo, he got fired.

I anticipate that the charges against the woman will be dropped before this is done.

And we will be left with another situation in which the poor training or decision-making by a police officer leads to a national disgrace for all police officers.

Perhaps the solution is to take away these tasers from police.

Villager said...

Anon - I signed the petition (#76). I also added it to the online petitions list that is maintained in the left-hand navigation bar. Thanx for bring this Johns Hopkins issue to our attention.

Truth said...

sarcasm is what I do

Fired for Myspace

he wasn't fired for tasering, he was fired for being a class A citizen....
(this of course is still contingent on the outcome of the investigation)

I didn't argue the fact that the taser isn't cruel. But, when you think about option A to not get tasered or option B to get tasered.
Most people would choose option A, but there is a percent of the population that will subject themselves to option B. Whether it be the lack of intelligence, missing the proper education or the simple enjoyment of pain. I'm sorry this percent of the population exists, but it does.

What I'm saying is that most police officers know exactly what force they can use, so why test them? If you want to test them, then go ahead and get yourself tasered or worse. However, the more educated choice would be to respect OUR authority whether you like it or not, because, after all, it's there 24/7.

If you think tasers are bad, don't head hunt like most misguided activist groups out there, be pro-active and go after the root of what you consider is a problem. Maybe start a petition for banning the use of tasers. Heck I'd even sign that petition, because maybe one day I won't be in my right mind and will get tasered because of it.

However, the fact remains that the officers involved were well within procedure as written.

The world isn't fair, so stop thinking it is.

Villager said...

Truth - Thanx for sharing your village voice ... and for clarifying that sarcasm is part of the way that you flow. I'll learn not to take it personal in future.

re: firing. The young officer evidently was still on his probation year ... so he could be released for virtually any reason. I'm comfortable that if the taser incident did *not* happen ... then the convenience MySpace rationale wouldn't have been used. In any case, I'm satisfied ... a ill-trained or ill-suited person is removed from the police force. Works for me.

re: respect for authority. I get it.

re: taser. I'm under impression that procedure/policy is for police to use it when they are dealing with a violent person. Ms. Redden was not violent. I don't consider being upset or distraught the same as being violent. I think that is why I oppose the use of the taser in this case. The fact that she was pregnant and so forth are other factors ... but, would you agree that the taser should be used only against violent perps?

peace, Villager

jaded said...

Villager -

I live in the area where this happened. Not only do I live in the area, I am very familiar with this case. Local news has made her out to be some sort of Mother Mary, and that's where my "mother of the year" comment comes from.

To be fair, please put yourself in the officer's shoes (who actually is VERY trained, and has been a highly complimented, highly competent officer for 11 years) and not just hers. A woman walks into the police department and wants to give up a one year old child. This isn't legal! A person can anonymously drop off a newborn, but not a one year old. He MUST get some information from the woman before calling Children's Protective Services. Not only does she deny him any information, she tells him she will take her child and leave. What is he to do at that point? He pushes the child to safety, and grabs her (he legally cannot let her just up and leave!). She resists, and it went from there.

Had he let her leave, a one year old cannot provide any information about his/her background. Tests could have revealed the child to be abused, and she could have even been involved in a kidnapping situation. Believe me - stranger, sicker things have happened. Heck, how is he to know she is really the kid's mother?

On a personal note, I am completely ill at the abuse of the scream of racism. It has become the first line of defense far too many times with true criminals, and it gets to be like the boy who cried,"Wolf!" Do I think racism occurs? YES. Do I think it occurs from all colors and against all colors? YES! Do I think it's wrong across the board, no matter who is doing it? YES! YES! YES
But if you do the crime, do the time - don't try to weasel your way out. Criminals make the cops' jobs a living hell. C'mon - let's be honest. Something tells me you've managed to live your life just fine without ever being tased, correct? It's not hard to avoid a situation like this - it's called not being a belligerent has nothing to do with being black!

Every cop is not a gun-totin', taser shootin', bigoted cowboy. Let me revise that - 99.9% are not. Most of them got into the profession for the right reasons, and are (voluntarily) leaving in record numbers because of situations like this. He was NOT fired because he was wrong in this situation. A small department has Mr. Sharpton breathing down their necks, and public pressure is crazy. Should they stand behind their officer, or should they let the loss of a few protect the many? Unfortunately, Wilmer was sacrificed to calm the masses. I know the officer, I know the chief, I know the story, and it sickens me.

That officer has a heart of gold. He was a probationary officer who was doing such exemplary work that they were making exceptions for him all over the place - he was training new guys, and was even allowed on their entry/SWAT team before his trial period was up. He LOVED his job, and he loved working with people. If there is one thing that Mike Wilmer is NOT (and I've known the man for 15 years!!!) it's a racist. To read about people judging him, and CHEERING the loss of his job INFURIATES me.

Which is why I am sooo...(jaded).

Villager said...

Jaded - I truly appreciate you taking time to share the inside background on Officer Wilmer. I guess that our village is successful in creating an environment where different people with different points of view can sit under our baobob tree and exchange ideas and knowledge.

I am not a trained officer. I did see the video. I think that Officer Wilmer went over the line in his reaction to the situation. Your explanation is one view of the facts. If I were on a jury I would not be swayed. I think that the taser was used without justification in this case.

I hate to see someone lose a job. However, the actions that I saw justified his removal. I'm comfortable with the Trotwood police using the MySpace excuse to 'make it so'.

Take care... I hope you will visit again in the future even if we're not talking about Trotwood/Dayton area stuff (smile)

Shawn Williams said...


I understand where you are coming from. I am from Paris Texas and I saw a lot of people thrown under the bus during the ShaQuanda Cotton story who didn't deserve it.

But the deal is this. You don't have to be racist to fall into a racist pattern of behavior. From what we are seeing, black folks are victims of tasers at an alarming rate these days. It seems like the idea is to subdue the subject and he had her pinned to the ground already.

It's not so much that he did this because she's black as it probably would not have happened if she were white. I am getting tired of us defending criminal behavior so much these days, but you have to look at what's happening in these cases and its not right. Pregnant woman one day blind man the next. It's not right.

Eddie G. Griffin said...

Jared mentioned how well the officer was trained. Maybe that's where the problem starts, and not with race. If you are poorly trained, you do stupid things. First of all, the police department, hence the officers have been sold on the idea that tasers are non-lethal and therefore "harmless". This has led to various police departments callous overuse in the field.

I will avoid giving second judgment, but a well trained officer would have recognized that he was dealing with a woman who was torn up inside, distraught, and emotional.

Here was a situation that demanded compassion rather than confrontation. The officer aggressive demands only puts more salt into the woman wound.

Villager said...

Shawn & Eddie - Thanx for sharing your village voice. I'm hopeful that Jaded will rejoin the discussion.