Man tased for acting suspiciously around is own car

From the Santa Barbara Independent:

Santa Barbara police arrested — and attempted to tase — a 54-year-old man whom they thought was acting suspiciously near what turned out to be his own car.  The incident took place on upper De la Vina Street Monday morning as an officer on a coffee break spied Jerry Cox peering into the windows of a car across the street as if casing it for a burglary. When confronted by officers, Cox reportedly refused to stop and to sit down — as instructed — and attempted to walk by. Efforts to tase Cox failed, said public information officer Sgt. Harwood, so he was wrestled to the ground by numerous officers. At no time prior to the use of force, Harwood said, did Cox notify officers that the car in question was his. Cox was charged with resisting arrest.

Of course, unless there is video, we will never know for sure what happened, but given law enforcement’s record of self-serving embellishment, there certainly is reason to doubt the accuracy of the story given by Sgt. Harwood.  In order for Cox to be resisting arrest, the cops must have been trying to arrest him, which raises the question of why they were arresting him if he wasn’t committing a crime. I also wonder why they told him to sit down instead of just asking him if that was his car.  In fact, nothing in the story suggests cops ever asked him if the car was his.  Stories about confrontations with police often seem to have elements that defy rationality and yet the media rarely question anything cops say.