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In February, security guard Darien Long was forced to pull out a taser and use it on a woman in front of her children. Not teenagers, but young children. The children had been yelling, screaming, and misbehaving in front of a strip mall, while the mothers weren’t paying attention. The moms didn’t like it very much when they figured out what was going on.
At first their attack was only verbal. They cursed at Long and called him names and then the kids got in on it, too. They weren’t afraid to call out racial slurs (even though they were all the same race) and other names like “gay”.
The confrontation got more serious when one of the moms got physical and started pushing him. He warned her to back off several times and she continued. He pulled his taser and she was forced backwards.
The whole thing was captured on video via the camera that was embedded into Long’s bulletproof vest and was posted on Reddit. Reddit users started a campaign to take in donations to contribute to better equipment and gear for Long.
Watch the video before we consider some important questions (WARNING – graphic language):
As a security guard, one of your roles is to control situations. Is there anything that this security guard could have done differently? Well, consider this: if you ask any mother if they would be ok with someone else yelling at their children when they were present, what would most moms say. I think most moms would say that they would not be ok with that. Perhaps he could have spoken directly to the parents first and asked them to quiet their children.
Assuming that did not make a difference could his language and attitude have affected the outcome? Possibly. She repeatedly said, “Back off!” in an aggressive tone that may have aggravated the situation. What if he had said, “Ma’am please back up,” in an assertive but non-aggressive manner. Or maybe if he had asked her to take her children and leave and then stood firm saying nothing she would have not felt threatened and left on her own will. Aggressive language often leads to more aggressive behaviors.
This is not to excuse the behavior of the mothers or of the children. However, calmness is boring and gives nothing to fight back against. It is possible that the taser might never have been needed.
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