Friday, July 25, 2008

Tased Until Dead: The Epidemic of Taser Crazy Cops

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Since 'Taser' use has become widespread more than 290 people have been killed, possibly murdered, by taser crazy cops. In response to this epidemic of violence, Amnesty International released a statement damning the use of "... tasers to subdue non-compliant or disturbed individuals who do not pose a serious danger to themselves or others." That --I daresay --describes most of the incidents.

Various police departments have said 'tasers save lives', an assertion unprovable on its face. Secondly, as tasers have proven popular with rogue cops who like to use them, it may be more accurate to conclude that as gun deaths have gone down, deaths by taser have increased.

Taser use has become an outrage, a threat to the rule of law, an overt violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, to say nothing of felony violations of US Codes, and state laws against murder. The epidemic of taser abuse is characteristic of fascist police states run riot when those sworn to uphold the law become nothing more than thugs and/or murderers.
We have serious concerns about the use of electro-shock devices in law enforcement, both as regards their safety and their potential for misuse. Portable and easy to use, with the capacity to inflict severe pain at the push of a button without leaving substantial marks, electro-shock weapons are particularly open to abuse, as our organization has documented in numerous cases around the world.

While in the United States police operate under professional standards,(8) we are concerned that many US police departments are using Tasers to subdue non-compliant or disturbed individuals who do not pose a serious danger to themselves or others. As our reports have documented, there are many cases where we believe use of Tasers has contravened international standards which require that police use force only when strictly necessary, in proportion to the threat posed, only for as long as the threat exists and in a manner designed to minimize pain or injury. We have documented disturbing instances where we believe that Taser use has amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment which is absolutely prohibited under international law. (Emphasis added)The UN Committee against Torture has called on the United States to deploy Tasers only as a non-lethal alternative to using firearms.

We are particularly concerned about the capacity of Tasers to be used in close contact situations as a stun weapon – including in situations where individuals appear to be already effectively in custody – and to inflict repeated shocks over a relatively prolonged period. While we believe the drive-stun mode is especially open to abuse, we note that in dart-mode also there have been instances of alleged abuse, with officers able to inflict repeated shocks once the darts have taken hold.

We are also concerned that Tasers are being widely deployed in the United States before the results of rigorous, independent and comprehensive testing of their safety and potential health risks.

--USA, Amnesty International’s concerns about Tasers: Statement to the US Justice Department inquiry into deaths in custody
The manufacture of tasers should be banned by law, their use made a felony, and the moron hot dogs who get their jollies by tasering people should be locked up for life or, in those cases in which the victims dies, the taser freaks should be charged with capital crimes. Tasers have become a symptom of the modern police state --atrocity 'lite'.

TSA personnel, specifically, are morons who can't walk and chew gum --unfit to be cops when cops themselves have devolved into morlocks. Yet --there is a place for anyone with a pulse in the TSA!
WINNFIELD, Louisiana (CNN) — A police officer shocked a handcuffed Baron “Scooter” Pikes nine times with a Taser after arresting him on a cocaine charge.

He stopped twitching after seven, according to a coroner’s report. Soon afterward, Pikes was dead.

Now the officer, since fired, could end up facing criminal charges in Pikes’ January death after medical examiners ruled it a homicide.

Dr. Randolph Williams, the Winn Parish coroner, told CNN the 21-year-old sawmill worker was jolted so many times by the 50,000-volt Taser that he might have been dead before the last two shocks were delivered.

--Ex-cop may be charged in case of man tasered to death, Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick
Anyone who is repeatedly tasered until dead has been murdered. That this man was repeatedly tasered until dead may very well make this a capital offense.

It also took 'several months' for the case to be addressed! Why? Was it covered up because a crooked police department hoped they could sweep it under the rug?

I also dislike the term 'wrongful death' --a euphemism that is most often used to hide murders, wrongful deaths, indeed!

Raising eyebrows is the fact that Winnfield police Lt. Chuck Curry has told bald-faced lies about the incident in defense of a taser happy thug who committed murder pure and simple:
This has come down to a police officer that was trying to apprehend a suspect that they had warrants for. He done what he thought he was trained to do to bring that subject into custody. At some point, something happened with his body that caused him to go into cardiac arrest or whatever.

'What happened that caused him to go into cardiac arrest' is called 'death'! And, in this case, the victim was tasered at least three times after he died!!

Last time I checked: dead men are not a threat to 'police officers'! The dead do not try to allude arrest. It is rare that dead people require detention because they are rowdy or belligerent!

The Police Lt's statements are --prima facie --stupid! They are, more politely, lies told after the fact and, may, therefore be unlawful, instances of criminal 'obstruction of justice'. If I were a prosecutor, I would so charge the Police Lt and order his arrest as well.

Tasering International is a company I wish to see put out of business for good when its board of directors and complicit executives are themselves charged. Taser International has reportedly stated that “multiple Tasings do not affect a person.” Again --the onset of 'death', indeed, 'affects' one. But, certainly, repeated tasering will not affect those already murdered by it.

If America is a lawless nation, it is because 'lawlessness' trickles down. A man who seized power unlawfully has flouted every US Codes and worked overtly to subvert the will of the people via congress. This man has said of the rule of law: "The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper". Why should we be surprised then to find 'law enforcement' officials disdaining the very laws they are sworn to uphold.

The US is long overdue for a people's revolution to restore the rule of law, the Constitution. Those who have been loosed by Bush's lawless reign should, like Bush himself, be brought to justice that they might learn what the 'rule of law' truly means. The time may have come for a Taser moratorium but I lean toward an outright ban. The ease of use seems catpnip for cops and is without doubt behind the increased number of cases in which victims are repeatedly and unnecessarily 'tased', often until death!

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