Usually when one thinks of New England, one thinks of the seat of the War of Independence and home of states that value personal freedom and independence above virtually all else. After all, New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live Free or Die.” This was where the very idea of peaceful civil disobedience was born in the U.S.
So when a police officer in Barre, Vermont (population: 9,291) decided that a woman with mental illness wasn’t moving to comply with his requests, he decided to arrest her. And when the woman still wasn’t moving to allow herself to be arrested, Cpl. Henry Duhaime of the Barre (Vt) Police Department apparently decided to pull out his Taser, instead of his radio to call for backup.
Was the woman a coked up drug addict trying to fight off the police officer? Nope, the woman was a 58-year-old senior citizen who happened to be homeless and have a mental illness. She could be someone’s mother or grandmother. Her crime? Keeping her arms folded in front of herself, refusing to move, and then refusing to be arrested.
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