Tasers are Torture

A nation that endorses torture deserves to receive no better than they give. That is the law of return and it is one that I firmly believe in. We as citizens of this nation must make it clear that we do not accept the use of torture by our government. If it means that we are more vulnerable to terrorist or criminals I submit that torture is a form of terrorism itself and if we stand by and say nothing about it we defacto endorse it as well. That is one of the reasons for this article.

It was prompted by the recent taser torture of a critically injured child by police officers in Ozark Missouri. I am sure you have all read this but it will help frame my article.

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Tasers a form of torture, says UN

Australia Daily Telegraph

Sunday November 25, 2007

TASER electronic stun guns are a form of torture that can kill, a UN committee has declared after several recent deaths in North America. “The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture,'' the UN's Committee against Torture said.

“In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events,'' the committee of 10 experts said. Three men, all in their early 20s, were reported to have died in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being Tasered by Canadian police.

The man, Robert Dziekanski, 40, fell to the ground and died after the police officers piled on top of him. There have been three deaths in Canada after the use of Tasers over the past five weeks. The company that makes the weapons has said that similar deaths have been shown by “medical science and forensic analysis'' to be “attributable to other factors and not the low-energy electrical discharge of the Taser”. The UN committee made its comments in recommendations to Portugal, which has bought the newest Taser X26 stun gun for use by police.

Portugal “should consider giving up the use of the Taser X26,'' as its use can have a grave physical and mental impact on those targeted, which violates the UN's Convention against Torture, the experts said.

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{Author's Note: “Perhaps it is time that the USA should consider giving up the use of the Taser as well.”}

There are many good sites out there that are tracking these abusive incidents of police cruelty and torture. Their victims are not all criminals that somehow deserve to be tortured as many believe. Many are like this 16 year old boy that did nothing to deserve to suffer this outragous abuse of authority.

http://nomoretasers.com/

taseroftheday

truthnottasers

taserwatch

taserwhileblack

http://stoptasers.org/

I would like to set up a site like these and get an activist organization going that works on the local level to get people flyering and posting in areas where police officers have used tasers as torture devices as with this recent 16 year old critically injured child. Download a copy of this UN Convention on Torture. Print out and mark up the description of torture and see if this device does not qualify in your mind.

Raw Story Video Clip

Injured, Tasered Teen: “At Least I’m Alive.”

We need to bring public shame and attention to bear on these offenders of human dignity. They should suffer the most harsh light of critical awareness the public can bring to bear on them.

I am so disgusted with this situation. If we do not start to act to stamp out this cruelty it could be any of our children or friends next. This abuse must stop. People of conscious need to stand up and act not sit like docile dogs waiting to be kicked by their cruel masters. Enough is enough. Tasers are torture plain and simple when they are used in this manner. Comply or Fry. This is not a situation I can sit by any longer and say nothing about it. Let me know how you feel about it. I can be reached privately using pidgin plugin. My AIM username is tetragramion.


More of my notes will be added below.

Taser Death Chart of the US

Notes from a great article from 2005 by Jenny Brown Tasers: police torture weapons  In March, Orange County police used a taser electrical shock gun on an 18 year old Orlando man who was tied to a hospital bed. The reason given was that the man refused to give a urine sample.

According to an exhaustively documented November 30, 2004 report by Amnesty International on taser use in the U.S. and Canada, electro-shock weapons are now used by police departments to enforce compliance with police orders, to retaliate against handcuffed suspects who are talking back or refusing to follow police instructions, and as punishment in prisons.

Amnesty has also identified over 70 deaths associated with tasers, and called for a complete suspension of their use until objective studies of their effects have been done. Amnesty's full report is available

A lawsuit filed on behalf of a Washington woman shows how quickly tasers have become the weapons of choice for any situation. An officer with the Washougal, Washington police department went to the house of Russian immigrant Olga Rybak with a dog citation because her dog had allegedly bitten another officer the day before. Amnesty reports on the lawsuit:

Rybak, who spoke little English, at first refused to sign [the citation], asking for a translator. While attempting to arrest her, the officer shocked her at least 12 times in 91 seconds in front of her two young sons – first using the weapon as a stun gun, then stepping back to insert a cartridge and twice firing darts at Rybak who was writhing around on the front porch. When the boys (aged 11 and 12) tried to help their mother, the officer reportedly threatened to taser them as well. Rybak's attorney has informed Amnesty International that the boys have been receiving psychiatric treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the incident. The officer was the Taser Training officer for the department.  (figures doesn't it)

Download the Video 83.8MB: Torture in America's Prisons

Police officers who train with tasers and their taser torture victims may be brain damaged according to a recent study. Here is the article.

Stun guns may cause brain injury

New research finds that stun guns—also known as Tasers and used by two-thirds of the nation's law enforcement agencies—may impair people's cognitive functioning.

In a study of 62 police officers, researchers at Rosalind Franklin University of Medical Science in Chicago and the University of Illinois found that police officers who had been “tased” during training drills fared worse than a control group in attention, processing speed and memory. The results, though preliminary, suggest that law enforcement agencies should reconsider their use of Tasers in training exercises and that researchers need to further investigate the potential long-term effects, says study co-author Neil Pliskin, PhD, a University of Illinois psychology professor.

“It's a provocative finding because the kinds of difficulties that were observed … are the same kinds of changes we see in people who have suffered electrical shocks from accidents involving domestic power sources,” Pliskin says.