Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tasing Has Become the Preferred Method of Lynching

Taser Deaths Shock and Anger the afrosphere.

During the American slavery days and up until the 1950's lynching was common in America. What's less recognized today is that extra-judicial but official lynching of Blacks by the police in the cities towns across America has continued into the present. In the pre-Civil Rights era ropes and trees were the preferred method of torturing and executing Blacks before they could have the Constitutional benefit of a trial by jury of their peers.

Now, in addition to horrifying gun-lynchings of people like Sean Bell (shot at fifty times although not suspected of a crime) and Amadou Dialou, both whom police later said they "thought" might have had guns when they actually didn't, we now has an extrajdicial police pre-trial electrocution epidemic sweeping the United States, and these electrocutions often end in deaths.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, 17-year-old Darryl Wayne Turner had a verbal argument with his boss at the supermarket where they worked. Local police arrived, taseres Darryl in his work place, and he went into cardiac arrest and died, after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot him with a Taser gun an unknown number of times.

The Charlotte Observer says in an editorial:
[W]hat we don't know about that shooting is just as important. Police and prosecutors should say how many times Mr. Turner was shot and make public a surveillance videotape that captured much of the confrontation. That's the only way to settle questions about what happened.

Prosecutors announced last week that Police Officer Jerry Dawson acted appropriately when he shocked Mr. Turner during a March confrontation at a north Charlotte grocery store. Officials said Mr. Turner was shocked more than once after he advanced on the officer.

Yet police and prosecutors have refused to reveal how many times the officer shot Mr. Turner and refused to air a videotape that showed what happened leading up to the shooting. Charlotte.com

TheAfroSpear's Tasered While Black blog says: Release the surveillance videotape - Stop The Coverup! Why did the 17-year-old Black Kid Bagging Groceries have to die?

Yes, AfroSpear bloggers have become so concerned about the tasing epidemic that African American Political Pundit has started an entire blog dedicated to the issue, and over 140 other AfroSpear blogs have linked to the Tasered While Black blog. Tasered while Black reports that, far from being harmless, one third of taser victims require medical attention.

The AfroSpear's Electronic Village reports:
A Taser is a weapon that uses compressed nitrogen to shoot two tethered needle-like probes that deliver an electronic shock. It's designed to temporarily subdue a person, although one study found that the improper use of Tasers has contributed to the death of at least 11 people in North Carolina over the past four years. Charlotte Says 'No Problem' to Officer Jerry Dawson for Taser-Kill of Unarmed Black Teenager -- Electronic Village
At least 300 Americans and Canadians have died
after being electrocuted with tasers.

In Colorado the Rocky Mountain News reports that:
The [July 17, 2008] death of a well-liked real estate agent who was zapped with a police Taser on Monday promises to renew a growing debate about the use of the less-lethal weapon. Albert Augustine Romero died after he was shot with a stun gun. Officers were responding to a report from one of Romero's neighbors who said the 47-year-old Denver man was walking in the 6100 block of West Yale Avenue at 3 a.m., smashing lights and behaving erratically.

( . . . )

[C]ritics say the number of deaths is alarming. Since Tasers began being used in Colorado, seven residents have died after being subdued with the devices, Mark Silverstein, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, said Tuesday. In the United States and Canada combined, 300 people have died after being stunned with Tasers, he said. RockyMountainNews.Com

A man like Albert Augustine Romero needed psychiatric hospitalization, not an extra-judicial lynching at the hands of police who should have aided him at a time like that.

The ACLU of Wisconsin reports a case in which:
<Nickolos Cyrus, a mentally ill man found in his bathrobe on a construction site, died after being shot multiple times by Mukwonago police with a stun gun on Sunday. According to press reports, police shot the man while he was walking or running away and administered a “drive stun” directly to his body when he was already on the ground but failing to put his hands in a position in which they could be cuffed. ACLU-Wisconsin
In effect, this mentally ill man was extra-judicially executed by police because, when he was already on the ground, he refused to put his hands behind his back. Well, would it have been lawful and/or acceptable for police to shoot him in the back with their Glock pistols while he was face-down on the ground? Of course not! So, don't the police know that electrocuting a downed man repeatedly may have the same effect as shooting him with a Glock? By now, the police are well aware of this.

And yet police officers do not make the laws or buy the tasers with which they are lynching members of the public. That's done by city governments, state legislatures, and the Federal government, elected by the general public. They are to be held accountable each time police engage in the extra-judicial punishment, the state terrorism that is tasering. "70 people died in the United States after being shocked with Tasers in 2006, according to the Amnesty International 2007 annual report."

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