Bring It On!

Power Tool

July 29th, 2008 | by Jet Netwal |

Digby nailed this. We are the vomiting sisterhood of the anti-brutality pants.

A tool has no value when you don’t know how to use it. It becomes dangerous when you refuse to learn how to use it safely, and when you completely disregard the knowledge of its safe operation, YOU become a danger to everyone around you.

KY 3 News’ Sara Sheffield reports on an injured teen from Ozark, Missouri who was tasered up to 19 times by police.

Passing motorists called Ozark police out of concern for the teen as he walked along the busy overpass. When the police arrived, the young man was lying on the shoulder of the highway directly underneath the 30 foot high overpass with a broken back and foot.

Doctors believe 16-year-old Mace Hutchinson broke his back and heel after falling, as his injuries are consistent with such a fall. The boy’s family does not understand why police would have tasered the the teen 19 times after he was so seriously injured. - Raw Story

Let’s reconstruct. A kid is lying in the road with a broken back. Hysterical, out of control police officers (more than one) are screaming at this kid to get up get up get up! The situation was not assessed. The officers began tasering the kid who probably could no more rise to his feet that I can grow wings. Each time they screamed, they then tasered him. At no point did any officer exercise any kind of reasonable judgment or situational analysis. They had a tool so they used it. They disregarded the parameters of their responsibility, they refused to exercise their judgment, and they CHOSE to behave in a manor inconsistent with their duty to serve and protect.

Tasering a kid on the ground protects no one, but if you’re power fixated, I bet it serves to give you a real hard-on.

Either regulate these tools immediately, or ban them. Obviously, police departments all over the country cannot be trusted to establish uniform, proper guidelines for their use. We’ve seen the results of their self policing over and over and over.

TASERs on Video  — Amnesty Int’l USA

Viewer discretion is advised.

  • December 20, 2007, Daytona Beach, FL - Elizabeth Beeland was struck by a TASER after she became loud and unruly at Best Buy. Video 
  • November 18, 2007, Trotwood, OH - Valreca Redden was struck by a TASER while pregnant. Police claim that they did not know she was pregnant at the time. Video
  • October 14, 2007, Vancouver, BC - Robert Dziekanski became agitated after waiting ten hours in the Vancouver International Airport. Police shocked Dziekanski with a TASER multiple times, and soon after he was pronounced dead. Video
  • September 17, 2007, Gainesville, FL - Andrew Meyer persistently questioned Senator John Kerry at a university forum. University of Florida police tried to escort him from the auditorium and later struck him with a TASER for resisting arrest. Video | Statement | Statement on report on incident
  • September 14, 2007, UT - Jared Massey was struck by a TASER for refusing to sign a speeding ticket. Video
  • September 2, 2007, Warren, OH - Heidi Gill got into an altercation with a bartender and mistakenly got into the wrong car while waiting for her friend to drive her home. When she refused to get out of the vehicle, she was struck by a TASER multiple times. Video
  • November 23, 2006, Austin, TX - Eugene Snelling was pulled out of his car after trying to get his license and registration. He was struck by a TASER less than a minute later. Video
  • November 14, 2006, Los Angeles, CA - Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a student at UCLA, neglected to show his student identification card at the library. He was then asked to leave, and when he refused he was struck by a TASER multiple times. Video | Democracy Now! piece on incident
  • November 13, 2006, Sheffield Lake, OH - Kristina Fretter was taken to the Sheffield Police Department after being picked up for drunk driving. She was later struck by a TASER while wearing handcuffs. Video

Since June 2001, more than 290 individuals in the United States have died after being struck by police TASERs. Amnesty International is concerned that TASERs are being used as tools of routine force-rather than as weapons of last resort. Rigorous, independent, impartial study of their use and effects is urgently needed.

I think the writing is on the wall regarding tasers. It’s just too tempting to be able to drop a guy, abuse a handcuffed drunk chick, pregnant woman, or to blast a kid on the ground with a broken back. This isn’t about poor judgment. It’s about forgoing judgment completely, resulting in 290 dead Americans and counting.

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  1. 8 Responses to “Power Tool”

  2. By Dusty on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    Its the term “non-deadly force” that slays me. Everything I have ever read about the law enforcement use of Tasers screams that term.

    Its bullshit.

  3. By Jet Netwal on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    It would appear there are 290 reasons why “non-deadly force” is not applicable.

  4. By Badtux on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    But… but… Taser International says nobody has ever died from being tasered! Those deaths that Amnesty International counts? Those aren’t from being tasered. Those are from some mysterious disease called “excited delirium” that mysteriously only happens when people are in police custody and never anywhere else, and which is not recognized by the AMA as a cause of death. But coroners are putting “Excited Delirium” as cause of death in these instances, so it means the taser is blameless!

    – Badtux the Orwellian Penguin
    (Who recognizes bullshit when he sees it).

  5. By Badtux on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    PS — and when medical examiners *do* put the Taser as cause of death, Taser *SUES THEM* and pours so many “experts” and money into the case that judges order the medical examiners to remove the cause of death and change it to “undetermined”. They are Mafioso, they have the cops behind them, they have the “tough on crime” Prison-Industrial Industry behind them, and if you cross Taser International, they’ll put a *hit* on you — legally, using all the power of the State, which just lurves, lurves, LURVES their cattle prods of death (which is all a Taser is — a cattle prod, an instrument of torture).

    Tasers are instruments of torture. Period. They are cattle prods used to torture people. Period. They are no different from rubber hoses applied to the soles of people’s feet, or cattle prods applied to the genitals, or any other method of torture. But America loves their torture…

    - Badtux the Torture-recognizin’ Penguin

  6. By mr bigstuff on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

    right on badtux,
    of all the gloom, doom, and inhuman practices wrought by these neo-con artists, privatized prisons and the growth of these prison industry fringe dwellers such as the taser manufacturers are the absolute worst.

  7. By Jet Netwal on Jul 29, 2008 | Reply


  8. By Liberal Jarhead on Jul 30, 2008 | Reply

    Absolutely correct. There are alternative technologies to safely immobilize someone who is completely out of control or aggressive if need be, without tasing them. One is something the military developed for crowd control that basically sprays something like super-sticky, super-strong Silly String all over someone - it tangles them up so they can’t move, kind of like a bug in a spiderweb, but doesn’t injure them or inflict pain.

    There are good cops everywhere, but there are also thugs in uniform running loose in a lot of communities and their leadership is doing nothing to get rid of them - they cover for them instead, at least when it happens here.

  9. By mr bigstuff on Jul 30, 2008 | Reply

    when i was bartending from 1984-1991, the best years of my life, i occassionally had to politely request some of the patrons to reconsider their behavior and opinions and if not to please exit the premises at their leisure. my most productive weapons in those endeavors were not the chain and padlock, bar stool leg, or a steel rod tightly duct taped to a spring with a large ball bearing on top. my most efficient weapons were my words. the best way to get someone to stop fucking up was to tell the offender what a high level of respect i held for that person prior to their transgressions and then explain how that high esteem had now shrunk to a level lower than mole shit and how dissapointed i was at their demise. they left and upon return weeks later always offered their sincere apologies and the problem never re-occured. this worked on every occasion except one when thank god an off duty coworker came in to get his check and offereed the customer a free nights sleep on our freshly tiled floor. upon awaking from from his nap, the customer scurried away never to return again.

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