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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Police Taser Abuse

I'm sure many of you, by now, have seen footage of a woman who was not resisting arrest getting tasered multiple times by a rogue police officer. This woman, who, understandably, was in a lot of pain, was later tasered again once she was cuffed and in the back of a police vehicle. In the video, available on ABC 2, she can be seen trying to kick her way out of said police vehicle AFTER she had already been tasered twice. Then again, if I had been tortured, I would want to get away from my captor too. This officer should be behind bars instead of putting people there.

Also, I'm sure you've seen footage of an already subdued college student getting tasered after no fewer than FOUR campus police officers already had him on the ground and, apparently, cuffed. What the FUCK is going on? I believe some of the rationale behind the adoption of the taser was that it would be used instead of a gun when the situation warranted it, and I have no doubt it has saved some lives on that account. However, what I've seen in these two videos, as well as this video from UCLA last November, clearly constitute abusive uses of this weapon.

This song isn't directly related to the above videos, but I find it apropos nonetheless. Enjoy this old gem from Skunk Anansie.


LET'S TALK said...

I'm confused about this taser policy as well. I guess this type arrest or civil obedience want stop until the taser cause cardiac arrest a few 100 times and something might be done about it.

Has this taser procedure been used on older people?

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Don't know, but I know there have been deaths associated with it, mainly among those with underlying health issues which would, in some instances, be unknown to the arresting officer. However, if someone's morbidly obese, heart disease is a very reasonable assumption. Still, larger people are harder to restrain using holds and the like than thin people, unless you're one of the members of the Gracie family in MMA, in which case you'd probably not be an idiot like that in the first place.

Snave said...

I know virtually nothing about tasers, except that I wouldn't want to be tasered! Is there a way to set the amount of voltage they administer? I think once, on a low setting, might be enough to get most problem types to stop resisting.

Police officers who purposefully taser someone more than necesary because they're pissed off at the person, because they're sadists, whatever... need to be taken to task. Maybe with a taser. Heh...

As our country descends further and further into its current culture of impunity, I wonder if we will be hearing about and reading about increasing numbers of incidents of police violence. I hope not, but sometimes when certain groups of people get a taste of power, things get worse before they get better.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I believe the devices in question operated at 50 kV, but I don't know for sure. I know I rely on Wikipedia a lot, but this is a good basic article. For more information on the consequences of power in a manner related to concerns about Taser abuse (although the device had either not been invented yet or was not in widespread use at the time of the experiments), look up the Milgram experiment and Stanford prison experiment

Anonymous said...

The taser, when properly and justifiably used, is a versatile and important non lethal tool police can use to stop violent and dangerous individuals quickly. unfortunately, some officers use it to inflict unnecessary pain for minor confrontations or to simply abuse their authority. I,ve seen horrifying footage of old ladies and children being tasered by police for little reason. Departments need to set reasonable standards for when it is appropriate to employ a taser and begin to punish officers who use them in an inappropriate manner.