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Friday, February 13, 2009

US Law Enforcement Needs to Rethink the Taser

Good Morning! I would like to remind people that potentially deadly tasers are killing thousands of unarmed Americans each year, and very few people are talking about it. It's a serious issue in American law enforcement. Tasers are not harmless tools of deterrence the way they're being marketed.

My last taser post was reprinted in the Chicago Sun-Times and circulated across multiple blogs. It is a serious issue that more Americans need to be aware of, despite our national support of law enforcement. To reiterate, TASERS CONTINUE TO KILL UNARMED PEOPLE and must be categorized as a weapon of last resort. It's clear that police should not be allowed to use them to control UNARMED American citizens.

A young man in San Jose, California died yesterday after being jolted with a taser. Local police report that he represents the sixth taser death since the department began using the stun guns in 2004. That represents a very high "accident" number for a small urban police force.

In his 20s, he was supposedly in a "struggle with two officers" when they tried to arrest him in the backyard of a home late Wednesday. "The struggle was very, very violent to get him into custody," said police spokesman Mike Sullivan. "Some time during the struggle, the officers did deploy a taser."

Officers don't know whether an individual has a heart condition, or taken drugs thus weakening their condition. A taser is always potentially deadly unless you know the medical condition of the subject. They may as well use defibrillators to stop a heart, since the idea is almost the same. Suspects are still innocent until proven guilty in America; they should not be exposed to such a risky device.

How about lassos, laughing gas, or anything else that doesn't risk death? There must be alternatives. Let's get creative people!

Law enforcement is being sued, but still taser abuse is increasing. Taser MURDERS increase annually too. Law enforcement must be subject to community oversight. It's tools and weapons must be debated. I hope people reading this blog will take some time to examine the issue, and consider writing to your local newspaper, police, politician or oversight groups before more people die.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

*****The Herald News has picked up this post... Thank you!

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Blogger Papamoka said...

I'm with ya on this one my friend. I believe that tasers pose to much of a threat of bodily harm when medical conditions of the person being tasered is unknown. Pepper spray is a far better way to go to disable someone without the possibility of killing them.

I don't believe that my local city police department uses tasers but I will be looking into it.

11:25 AM  
Blogger DB said...

Is it the tasers, or the process in which they are deployed that is the problem? I understand the risk of using a taser, but what is the risk to the officer when a suspect is violently resisting? I do agree though, an alternative method is a better route to go or simply fool-proofing taser procedures, but short of ideas I have to say I would prefer to be tasered than shot. I may have a heart condition that can be triggered by a taser, but I know I have a heart condition that will be triggered by a bullet. Maybe a wake-up call to the head with a baton would set me straight too. I just can't think of any weapons that would stop a resister without putting them at some sort of risk.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I'd prefer the police officer pig pile on idiots. Everyone grab an extremity till the idiots give up. I see your point on being allergic to bullets though DB!

11:45 AM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

The Canadians just issued new rules governing the use of tasers for law enforcement. It's something we Americans must examine and consider soon. MB

2:05 PM  

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