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.
Friday's Political Rant/Call to Action #1 - Michael
PS - The Canadians just tightened their rules governing the use of tasers. We Americans need to consider doing the same. Read The Star for more information.