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« R.I.P. Dennis de León | Main | L.A. Times Weighs In On Christian Legal Society Vs. Hastings »

December 16, 2009


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Chucky Baer

That is a rebuttal to a reader with assumptions worthy of one of mine!

Now I just watched the clip again and this is my opinion.

What makes this "horrific" is the fact that if you watch closely he was in distress when they were trying to cuff him. Clearly they were not paying attention to that. When he sat up he was clearly a suspect in distress- his body language suggests that.

Watch an episode of cops and you can see an aggressive, resisting arrest suspect. At that point I think he realized that the swallowing of the baggie of pot was not working out well.

Still obviously in distress he stood up and then he was tasered. There was no need to taser him- he did not appear to be threatening any of the officers.

While I obviously, like everyone else, couldn't hear the exchange between the officers and Andrew I suspect that- based on my experience working in medicine for a good part of my life- that when he was tasered the trauma of that made him either automatically yell out.

The baggie probably then lodged itself into the trachea, and plastic tends to adhere to things when wet- especially tracheal mucous and that ius when it became impossible to dislodge it.

Had he not been tasered they may have been able to get the baggie out of his throat. The delay, the tasering and the slow response of the ambulance- whether it took time to get there or it was called after the tasering is what killed him. Too many minutes passed and the brain can only be without O2 for so long.

It was bad enough having someone on my Twitter dying like this as it was. The video news report showed me just how the authorities dropped the ball made it worse.

And now instead of questioning if the taser actually helped to kill him as I just explained it I see people saying the dumb ass gay porn drug addict deserved to die.

So I agree with your take on this and what you wrote about it and I applaud you for standing up to readers that think they are "Grand Adjectival Wizards" like I do on my blog.

No matter what he did for a living or what drugs he swallow3ed it is a human life. And sometimes the police are not always right and in this case they were WRONG to taser a suspect that was clearly in distress.


If he was high when the police arrived he would be feeling no pain and that would have made it much harder to subdue him. As far as the Police acting like the Keystone cops, they were not aware of the fact that he swallowed a bag of anything. We can see what is going on because we know what he did before watching the segment. In that situation could you really say you would have reacted differently?

Chucky Baer

I would have.

There is no evidence that he was "high" at the time. That is an assumption unless there is a news report confirming that. He got into nan argument with a female and someone saw him push her- that is why the cops were called.

The police- especially in Florida always assume it is the male that is the aggressor...even if he pushed the female away from slapping at him the mindset is that it is the male that is the aggressor.

(I lived in Florida for a good part of my life and had friends who were literally being attacked by a raging female arrested for domestic violence, beaten down and assumed guilty just because it was a female and they assumed the male was the aggressor.

Andrew is no longer here to tell his side of the story and I think it is cruel and irresponsible to make assumptions- like he was super high and resisting without a toxicology report in your hands.

As to the no pain comment- you can tell if someone is tweakedout and resisting arrest or someone izs trying to communicate a problem.

Watch the video again closely. You see Andrew attempted to do that. When they wouldn't listen he got up and tried to show them again...based on the BODY LANGUAGE..that something was wrong.

He appears to get up not in an aggressive way but almost in shear panic and he gets tasered.

I stand by what I said above. The taser caused him to vocalize something in pain and at that point the baggie probably loodged and adhered to his trachea.

If I had been on the scene, and had the brains of a fruit fly I could have beenable to tell the difference between someone in distress and someone tweaked out and resisting arrest to try to escape.


@ Chucky Bear: A-M-E-N. I used the word "animalistic" to describe Andrew's flailing about (because, well, if you've ever seen an animal trying to escape a cage, no matter how big or small, you'll understand what I mean.) Remember - he was pointing to his chest as well as trying to induce vomiting. Given his state of panic and disorientation, how much clearer could he have been?

I'm still troubled by this "Oh, well. He made his bed..." mindset of some people. That somehow by idiocy or guilt, he 'deserved' to die. Hogwash!


The man had drugs on him that he tried to swallow the chances are that he was high already. When you're not sure if he is choking or just acting crazy, you don't take any chances, you want to go home at the end of your shift alive. If he was in the proper state of mind, he would have just thrown the drugs not swallowed them. He may not be here to tell his side, but his actions speak volumes.
If you drive off a cliff, do you deserve to die?


How many criminals fake choking or some other sort of distress, only to attack an officer or attempt to flee? Lots. That the police did not immediately respond to Grande's attempt to indicate that he was choking, they did so within seconds. Grande was still breathing, but choking. Watch the video: The police render assistance to him within 20 seconds.

I am the author of the original comment quoted above (although you tried to cover up that fact).

You are the one who indicated that Grande's death on YouTube made it horrific.

You are the one who used the words "horrific" and so one, not me. So stop attacking me as "Grand Adjectival Wizard".

And yes, I have a "lead finger" on the question mark. Tough shit if you don't like it, Victor.

Once more, you mis-characterize the situation. You describe Grande as a "skinny, frantic kid", when in fact he was a muscular, healthy, in-his-prime adult in his 20s (hardly a kid!).

You mis-characterize the situation again when you say "...they then had to shoot with a taser guy because they could not get the situation under control. Is that your definition of trying to save someone's life?" No, that's not my definition. My definition comes seconds later, when the police attempt to assist him, try to clear his airway, rush for the first aid kit, call paramedics.... all things you conveniently ignore.

Because you are not a trained EMT provider, you cannot claim that "And is it also trying to save someone's life by engaging the Heimlich Maneuver for, as the newscaster noted, three to four minutes? And how long did it take before one of the officers thought to get his breathing compression kit from the car? (If that's what it even was.) Four minutes? Five minutes? I'm sorry. I think they looked and behaved like something out of the Keystone Cops." You are also once more mis-characterizing the video. The police did not spend "three to four minutes" giving him the Heimlich maneuver. I notice that you imply that the police took too long to get the first aid kit from their car (you ask the question, but you don't know if it took 10 seconds or 10 minutes -- but imply it took too long).

And you accuse me of speaking for you, for characterizing your feelings. Yet, you do the same for Grande's family when you write "I'm sure his family and his friends will only remember the best he had to offer."

Furthermore, you ignore my point about how to memorialize a person. You claim "But for a large majority of us, he will now, unfortunately, be a trivia answer for the 2009 edition of the year in Gay Porn." I disagree. For a great number of people, he will remain Andrew Grande -- a person with dreams, values, personality, troubles, goals, failures. And, for the last few minutes of his life, a tragedy. But we can make choices about what to emphasize in Grande's life. You choose to trivialize him. I do not.


Sorry, your ego took a body blow but I don't quote people's name in my "What You Say" section."

If you listened to the report the announcer says they waited "three to four minutes."

And I know I didn't take 10 seconds because the video was shot sequentially so it's safe to assume that it didn't happen BEFORE the Heimlich Maneuver was performed.

And compared to the three offices, yes, he was a skinny, frantic kid.

And, no, I am not trivializing him. Others will. That's my point. And the difference between you characterizing my feelings and me characterizing the family's feelings is that you're under the mistaken impression that you know how I feel watching this video and it's up to you to decide for me how to view this video.

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