This really is a bizarre story that highlights two troubling aspects of modern life in America: 1. the extraordinary lengths people will go to in order to get an iPhone 2. excessive police force for something pretty trivial. From YahooNews:
As surfaced by CNET, a 44-year-old Chinese woman from Newton, Mass., experienced just such an action after she tried to buy more iPhones than the Apple Store limit of two at the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, N.H.
While the accounts differ, Xiaojie Li, through an interview translated by her 12-year-old daughter with local news station WMUR-TV, said she was buying the iPhones for her family in China. When she was unable to buy more than two last Friday, she returned to the store on Tuesday to try to buy more.
Instead, the Apple Store apparently asked her to leave. (Li said she didn’t understand what the store was asking.) When she didn’t leave, the store called police to remove her. Police say she resisted arrest, and the video shows what happened next: The police used a stun gun on the woman, shown lying on the ground, struggling and screaming.
The story is odd for a number of reasons – firstly, the notion that this woman doesn’t speak English seems far fetched. Her fiance isn’t Chinese so it’s highly unlikely they communicate through her 12 year old daughter, and the fact that she is in America, marrying an American, and buying iPhones (a fairly complicated process for anyone who has bought one) would indicate she knew exactly what was going on. The fact that she was willing to fight Apple staff, fight the police and get tasered in public all for getting two extra phones is again extremely weird. Li claimed she was buying them for family members – an extraordinary sacrifice given the trauma she put herself through if true. And if not, she was clearly looking to re-sell them. Regardless of her motivation, the police reaction was ridiculous. Tasering a tiny woman because she refused to leave a store is disgraceful. There were two cops on the scene, both big enough to subdue her without resorting to electrocution.
In all, the scene is a horrible reminder of where our culture seems to be headed – rampant consumerism marshaled by legalized violence.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.