TASERS, Torture and Death in the Police State
- It’s All About the Money -
[Editor's Note: It's important that American policemen -active or retired-stand up and be counted as Americans who can still think critically and have a greater sense of loyalty to justice, fair play, their American brethren, and the tenets set forth in the American Constitution rather than a paycheck or a Gestapo department commander or Police chief. American police personnel and American military personnel are being turned into Nazi thugs and killers in every literal sense of the word. When will enough of them wake up to that reality and start balking at their newly developed role as thugs and brutalizers and stop with the nonsense about 'serving' or 'protecting' the public? They are being used as robots to usher in a fascist, totallitarian police state where once there was privacy, democracy, liberty, and a respect for the country's law and its citizens. When will enough of them regain their humanity and take a stand to counter the visciousness and brutality encouraged within their ranks? ..Ken]
By John G. Tarsikes, Jr <email@example.com>
The Sierra Times
December 22, 2004
Bernard Kerik, President Bush's first choice to lead the Homeland Security Department, exercised stock options of $6.2 million he received from Taser International, which sold stun guns to the department - and seeks more business with it. It's all about the money.
Maybe the rush to get the newest technology on the streets is outpacing the ability of public officials to put in place the safeguards necessary to protect the public. Maybe it's all about the money.
The public, who is paying for these items, is being told that TASERs will be used as a safe, non-lethal alternative to guns. But in reality, they are being used in situations where police would never use lethal force.
In fact, according to Amnesty International, the data shows that TASERs are used on unarmed suspects in 80% of the cases, including verbal non-compliance (36%), and only 3% of the time in cases involving potential "deadly assault". Their report details 74 TASER-related deaths that have occurred in the United States and Canada since June 2001. Amnesty International USA will also release information documenting more than 80 TASER-related deaths since 1999.
More shocking is the fact that more than 60 percent of these deaths have happened in the last year, from November 2003 to November 2004.
TASERs have become the most prevalent enforcement tool in some departments. They have been used against unruly schoolchildren, mentally disturbed patients, intoxicated individuals; unarmed suspects in misdemeanor crimes and people who simply fail to comply immediately with a "command."Examples include:
A handcuffed nine-year-old girl in Arizona,
A six-year-old mentally disturbed boy in Florida, and
A 71-year-old woman in Oregon who is blind in one eye
And the list goes on.and on.
"To Serve and Protect"
In Baytown, Texas, a man suffering from epileptic seizures was stunned while in the ambulance by one of Baytown's finest because he was resisted being strapped onto a stretcher while in post-seizure confusion. An Internal Affairs investigation into the incident found that the officer had not violated any policies. Right. The shepherd uses a staff and dogs to herd the sheep.
Also in Baytown, Naomi Autin, a 59-year-old disabled woman, was reportedly TASED three times by police officer Micah Aldred in July 2003 for banging on her brother's door with a brick. She was collecting his mail and keeping an eye on his house while he was away serving a sentence for drug possession. Mrs. Autin called the Police herself to help her get in, when she became worried that her brother's house sitter may have come to some grief, since they were not answering the door. In her lawsuit, she states she was TASED in the back because she kept banging on the door, the door of property she held effective control over, and remember, she was the one that called the cops to "protect and serve" her interests. When the officers would not help, she told them to leave, and went back to banging on the door. She states Aldred told her to stop and then TASED her. She fell, causing a sever head laceration requiring 17 stitches to close [Baytown Police version];. Mrs. Autin, is 5 feet 2 and suffers from severe arthritis. Hence the need for a brick to knock on the door.
I must opine that it is prima facie evidence of excessive force to use a TASER to "control" a small disabled female WHO WAS NOT BREAKING ANY LAW, except being a Hispanic, with a brother in jail and asking for police help. Aldred later alleged she had threatened him with the brick, which justified his actions. The DA refused any case against her.
The Harris County Grand Jury saw it differently and indicted the cop on excessive force charges. Aldred was acquitted at trial when other police officers on the scene corroborated his account that the use of force was justified. Other officers???
Did these guys not have the strength, even if it had been a legal arrest, to grab one crippled old lady without injuring anyone? They sure demonstrated "strength in numbers" at Aldred's hearing! Plenty of witnesses for the defense.
Aldred is also the defendant in lawsuit brought by another woman who states Aldred shocked her "numerous times about the back, face, neck, shoulders and groin" while executing an arrest warrant. She was unarmed.
Aldred was also "cleared" in the death of Luis Torres who died after being subdued and handcuffed by four Baytown officers on Jan. 20, 2002. A loose cannon.
The Police State:
There are literally thousands of similar cases, such as women in detention forced to disrobe in front of male officers at TASER point, the deaf being TASED because they can't hear police "commands," and a host of EMT patients resisting treatment while victim of illness or injury resulting in "altered mental status." Funny, in the olden days when I was on the Emergency Medical staff, we were taught people had the right to refuse treatment. I guess that's verboten under the new world order.
Considering the frequency of use of an appliance designed to be an alternative to a firearm or other lethal weapon, I am led to conclude that the lack of oversight in government use of these weapons promotes the harassment, torture and even death. Not to belabor the subject, I will just put up one of the AVERAGE cases that seems to define government policy. Line up sheeple, the shepherd says it's time to go in the dip tank!
In 2003, Russian immigrant Olga Rybak, 5 feet 4 was approached in her home by Washougal [Washington] police officer intent on issuing a ticket for dog violation. Olga, with limited English, did the smart thing that any halfway reputable lawyer would advise, and asked for a translation before signing anything. She thought she was in the Land of the Free. The Washougal Police Sergeant responded by arresting her, without developing communications to explain the citation. Maybe Olga flashed back to the good old days under the GRU. She was TASED. A lot. The Sergeant who used the TASER was a TASER Training Officer for the Washougal police department. He neglected to include in his report that he shocked her at least 12 times in 91 seconds, reportedly stopped and reloaded the TASER with fresh cartridges and shot her again. He then allegedly threatened to shoot the Olga's 11 and 12 year old sons if they interfered. Subsequent analysis of the TASER's memory chip confirmed Olga's allegations (they are encrypted "to protect the integrity of the data.")
In 2004, Washougal's police chief, Robert D Garwood, reported that the officer had been demoted for using "poor judgment" in the case even though he had acted "within proper legal boundaries"
If this incident is within "proper legal boundaries," start practicing this salute...
John G. Tarsikes, Jr., is a retired police officer and armed defense instructor in South Texas.
Washougal Chief of Police
Robert D Garwood
1400 A St
Washougal, Washington 98671
Office: M-F 8am-5pm
Baytown Chief of Police
Byron N. Jones
3200 N Main St
Baytown, Texas 77521
(Forward courtesy of Rick Stanley <firstname.lastname@example.org> & Tee <email@example.com>)
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