Commentary: Taser incident needs continued dialogue

The Tasing of a man in a wheelchair by Merced Police Department officers was a frightening episode for all involved and raises many questions about training of police officers and the behavior of residents.

We're not going to argue the merits of the arrest — but the district attorney did drop the charges against the man, Greg Williams.

We're not going to defend Mr. Williams, who was accused of hitting his wife.

We're not going to indict the officer, John Pinnegar, who used the Taser.

The frightening part is how the situation escalated far beyond a simple arrest or investigation. Why did that happen?

Each side in this confrontation wanted to do the right thing.

Mr. Williams' idea of the right thing was to take care of his child. To do that, he had to stay out of jail.

The officers' idea of the right thing was to arrest an accused wife beater. Two vastly different, and opposing, ideas of what the "right thing" was.

Each side held points of view that were destined for a head-on collision.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Merced Sun-Star.