Fort Worth Punishes Dancing Lady Liberty by Tasing Him, Making Him Write on Blackboard

Categories: Crime

Channing Gould
Liberty Tax Service doesn't let just anyone don its trademark Lady Liberty costume and dance for potential tax customers. There are tryouts and specialized training on proper singing, dancing and waving techniques. A lot of dreams are crushed.

Channing Gould was one of the lucky ones. A 19-year-old performing arts student at Tarrant County College and aspiring hip hop artist, he earned the right to stand in front of the Liberty Tax franchise on North Tarrant Parkway in Fort Worth. And then, seven months ago, he lost it.

The story made national headlines. Gould was dancing on the median in the 4800 block of North Tarrant Parkway on March 11 when he was approached by Fort Worth police. Told that he was disrupting traffic in violation of city ordinance, Gould was asked to leave the narrow strip of grass. When Gould also refused to get into the back of the squad car, the cop took down Lady Liberty with a Taser.

See also: Arlington Cracks Down on Sidewalk Advertising, Ignoring Veterans Who "Fought and Died" for Right to Wear Sandwich Boards

It was a mortifying experience for Gould, but it wasn't the last humiliation he would suffer Fort Worth's criminal justice system. WFAA's Teresa Woodard caught up with Gould last night.

"I'm an innocent Tax Liberty guy," he told Woodard. "I was dancing. That's what I do. I dance."

It's true. Gould's innocence was formally established when Tarrant County prosecutors recently dismissed his resisting arrest charge, but only after a suitable punishment.

"I had to write 52 times on a board that I would not argue with police in order to get a dismissal," Gould said. "In front of the judge and witnesses that were there, I signed it. I even made it colorful for them and all that...I felt like Bart Simpson."

That'll teach him to dress up like a woman and go dancing in Cowtown.

My Voice Nation Help

What kind of evil prosecutors think it's cute to humiliate an innocent man?  Arguing with a cop is not illegal or immoral.


Um, aren't tasers only supposed to be used as an alternative to deadly force? Arguing with a cop is no reason to get tasered. Freaking jack booted thugs.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Fort Worth has escapees from Shutter Island running its criminal justice system, it seems. 

ruddski topcommenter

Bet he danced real good when the taser hit


I think the plea bargain is a constructive way to handle it. I learned long ago that you don't argue with the cop. You save it for the prosecutor and judge, and let your lawyer do the arguing.


@MichaelinLH Tasers are not only an alternative to deadly force.  They can be used instead of many different levels of force on the use of force continuum.  The use of force continuum could include officer presence, verbal commands, tasers would not be an appropriate replacement for these levels.  Next could be soft hand techniques such as pressure points, or hard hand techniques, such as actually physically fighting the suspect, neither of which are deadly force tactics.  Tasers are an approved alternative to these.  Next could be baton strikes to gain compliance, which is not a deadly force tactic.  Tasers are an approved alternative to this.  Tasers are also an acceptable alternative to the use of chemical sprays, which are not a deadly force tactic.  The only option AFTER a Taser is deadly force, but a Taser doesn't have to be only instead of deadly force.  So your theory is incorrect.


@ruddski I feel a tad guilty that I chuckled, but on the serious side, if you have two police officers, why arey ou using a taser on dancing statue of liberty black guy? There's more than a couple of things fundamentally wrong with that.


@Tim.Covington well if you want to stand around and let the police run your life and tell yes you can or no you can't then you continue to follow like sheep.  let us know when your ready to stand your ground and grow some balls.

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