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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Black Woman Tased In Back - While on Her Knees

Another American Post-Racial Moment

This one out of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati police say the preliminary investigations says Officer Anthony Plummer's actions were not in compliance with Cincinnati Police Departments policies and procedures. Also, the tasing investigation has been recommended to be conducted by the internal investigation section.

Cincinnati police arrested and used a Taser on Celeste Thomas, the daughter of Cincinnati city councilman Cecil Thomas, early Sunday morning.

Her arrest report indicates that Thomas had marks on her upper back from the Taser's barbs.

"It is my understanding that she was on her knees when she was Tased in the back," said Cecil Thomas.

Official comment from the Cincinnati Police Department was not immediately forthcoming. Councilman Thomas, however, said that in a phone call with a senior officer early Sunday morning he was told that police would be reviewing the incident.

A source with knowledge of the incident tells 9News that the officer who used the Taser is Anthony Plummer.

Plummer was investigated by the Cincinnati’s Citizen Complaint Authority in a 2006 complaint stemming from another Tasing incident in which use of excessive force was alleged. In that incident, Plummer was found to have used excessive force.

Additionally, sources tell 9News that Plummer was terminated for issues related to excessive force but reinstated last year after arbitration. More HERE

SCLC Fort Worth calls for FBI federal investigation into the taser death of Michael Patrick Jacobs

On August 22, 2009, Rev. Kyev Tatum, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - Fort Worth Chapter wrote a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a FBI federal investigation into the taser death of Michael Patrick Jacobs while in custody of the Fort Worth Police Department.

Rev. Tatum noted that the death was caused because of excessive deadly force to a mentally challenge African-American young man. He also noted that the crime was a hate crime because the officers, which were all white refused to assist this young man by providing CPR when he was unconscious. The officers also threaten the young man's mother with deadly force when she reached out to assist her son. Read the letter sent to President Obama below.

What We Think About Taser Abuse

This blogger, who is also publisher of the blog Tasered While Black supports Rev. Tatum's efforts and urges all readers of this blog to send letters to the President and to the U.S. Attorney General to investigate this case.

We also urge you to sign the petition to hold Congressional Hearings into Taser Use and Abuse in America.

Here is the letter from Rev. Kyev Tatum, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - Fort Worth Chapter written to President Barack Obama:

Dear Mr. President:

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Fort Worth Chapter is requesting a FBI federal investigation into the taser death of Michael Patrick Jacobs while in custody of the Fort Worth Police Department.

We believe the death was caused because of excessive deadly force to a mentally challenge African-American young man.

This crime was a hate crime because the officers, which were all white refused to assist this young man by providing CPR when he was unconscious. The officers also threaten the young man's mother with deadly force when she reached out to assist her son. One white male officer put his hand on his gun and told her "she better get back."

Supportive News Story:

It appears the Mayor and other city officers are trying to cover up the facts in this cause.

We are requesting an immediate investigation of this case.

I can be reached at 817-966-7625.


Rev. Kyev Tatum,
Southern Christian Leadership Conference - Fort Worth Chapter
7510 John T White Road
Fort Worth, Texas 76120

Cc: SCLC National Office
Dallas South

AAPP says: Sign the petition to hold Congressional Taser Hearings into Taser Torture today!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Audra Harmon Will Sue sheriff for taser abuse

As reported by the Huffington Post, a mother who was zapped with a stun gun in front of her children during a New York traffic stop has filed notice she'll sue the sheriff's department.

A police video captured by a dashboard camera shows Deputy Sean Andrews yanking Audra Harmon out of her minivan by the arm and knocking her down with two Taser shots in January.

Harmon was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and speeding. Her lawyer says prosecutors dismissed the charges after watching the videotape. Harmon claims Andrews was improperly trained. She says a Taser isn't supposed to be used against people who pose no threat. Moe HERE

Watch: Mom tased during routine traffic stop
NWOTruth -
Deeply Problematic: Audra Harmon tasered for not speeding or ...
By RMJ Deeply Problematic
Taser or not to taser? Cops ! « MOV4me
By mov4me MOV4me
Shocking scenes as mother is Tasered twice in front of her ...

Mom Tasered in front of kids 'posed no threat' « Aftermath News
By pjwalker911
Nowadays the Web seems awash with videos of police using Tasers on people for reasons that are not always immediately clear. The most famous is the 2007 video of a student screaming, “Don't Tase me, bro!” as police repeatedly shock him ...
Aftermath News -

Friday, August 14, 2009

Man who recently suffered Congestive Heart Failure and Diabetes Tasered To Death
Another Case for holding Congressional Hearing on Tasers - according to GWDToday, Ernest Ridelhuber collapsed and died at the scene after being tasered by a GCSO deputy yesterday.

According to family members, Ridlehuber had recently gotten out of the hospital having fluid drained from his body and he also lived with the medical conditions CHF (Congestive Heart Failure), and Diabetes.
d him missing. The GCSO (Greenwood County Sheriff's Office) and his family searched all night for hifound around 2pm today in a house located on Old Laurens Road in Greenwood.
According to Greenwood County Chief Deputy Coroner Marcia Kelley-Clark, the family entered into the home and Ridlehuber became violent. That is when GCSO deputies entered the home. Ridlehuber reportedly became violent with them also which led to him being tasered. Ridlehuber collapsed and was pronounced dead at the scene. Read More HERE

Video of MinVan Mom, Audra Harmon Getting Tased

Another Reason for Congressional Taser Hearings.

Get this,
In January, an Onondaga County sheriffs deputy pulled over Audra Harmon, who had two of her kids with her in her minivan. A routine traffic stop escalated quickly.

Check out the video:

Get this,
as reported by NBC Local Station, WOAI, in Onondaga County, New York -- A routine traffic stop ended with a mother being tasered in front of her children.

It started after the woman was pulled over because the police officer said she was talking on her cell phone and speeding.

"I handed him my license and registration and as he started to walk back towards his car, I got out of my car under the impression or hoping that he would show me the camera tape," explained mom Audra Harmon. "He asked me to get back in the car and then he pulled out his taser and said I was under arrest. I said, 'Don't do this in front of my kids.'"

Harmon was in the car with two of her children, ages five and fifteen, when she was pulled over and ticketed for talking on her cell phone and speeding. Police officer Sean Andrews also charged her with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and tasered her twice.

"The first shot jolted me, and I was trying to get back in the car again, because I was scared," Harmon recalled. "And then he yanked me away again. And that's when he tased me, and I went down on the ground."

Harmon claims the incident is an example of police brutality. In a statement to NBC News, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office says they can't comment because of the lawsuit. But the department said, "An internal investigation of the incident involving Deputy and has been under review..."

"These weapons, and they are weapons, they are so easy to use, and they're easy to abuse," said Curt Goering, Executive Director of Amnesty International. "Officers are using this weapon in circumstances where live ammunition would never be allowed, and people are dying after having been tasered."


Had enough of tasering in America? Sign the petition.

Taser stun guns used on handcuffed or restrained inmates

Another reason for congressional hearings on Taser Torture In America - A Call For Congressional Hearings.

As reported by the LA Times, The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation into Orange County's troubled jail system, examining a decade's worth of allegations that deputies mistreated inmates and used excessive force to keep control.

Orange County jail

Officials from the department's Civil Rights Division are seeking to determine whether incidents of violence by jail personnel amount to a pattern of violating inmates' rights, the Sheriff's Department confirmed.

The Orange County district attorney criticized deputies earlier this year for a "code of silence" that he said hampered prosecutors' ability to investigate possible criminal activities.

Among recent cases: An inmate was stomped to death by fellow prisoners after a deputy allegedly told them falsely that the man was a child molester. A county grand jury later criticized the Sheriff's Department for trying to impede the investigation into the death and concluded that there was evidence of rampant abuse at the Theo Lacy Jail in Orange.

The department has also been criticized for using Taser stun guns on handcuffed or restrained inmates. More HERE

Yet another reason why black bloggers have called for 'Congressional Taser Torture Hearings. Don't forget to sign the petition against Taser Torture In America.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

76-year-old man driving an antique tractor in a parade

Well it looks like the Tasering of people in America has gone completely off the chain.

Check out what happened in
Glenrock Wyo. — Glenrock Police Chief Tom Sweet said two officers “probably didn’t do things the best way” when they used a Taser on a 76-year-old man driving an antique tractor in a parade. Sweet spoke at a packed town hall meeting Monday, nine days after Bud Grose was hit with a Taser during the town’s annual Deer Creek Days.

The officers are on paid leave while state Division of Criminal Investigation agents investigate.

Mayor Steve Cielinski and most of the Town Council apologized to residents and asked for patience. Cielinski promised the findings will be made public.

“If we have to stand up and take it on the chin, we will,” Cielinski said.

State investigator Tim Hill has said the two officers contend Grose disobeyed orders. Grose hasn’t commented publicly, however, and investigators have not disclosed many details of what happened.

Sweet originally said it didn’t appear any policies were violated.

Some at Monday’s meeting called for the two officers to be fired. Several people who witnessed the event told the crowd police repeatedly shocked Grose with a taser.

“Those two were the most out-of-control officers I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Scott McWilliams, a witness who said he was shoved by one of the officers. “These two guys got to go.”

Mike Pyatt, a former Glenrock police officer, called on town leaders to make changes at the department.

“We will hold you accountable,” he said. More HERE

Full Coverage: Wyoming police use Taser on antique tractor driver

Wyo. police chief says tasering 76-year-old man driving antique ...

Wyo. police chief says tasering 76-year-old man driving antique ...

Another reason to sign the petition for Congressional Taser Hearings. Sign the petition!

Let's talk about tasers

Check out the post by Digby who is guest-blogging today on the Glen Greenwald column.

He writes; Like Glenn, I write a lot about civil liberties, which have been at the heart of the national conversation since the beginning of the War On Terror and the expansion of the national security state. But my interest in civil liberties predates 9/11 and until then was usually pointed at the far more prosaic issues of police and prosecutorial misconduct (and the inevitable conclusions any study of those things brings to the issue of the death penalty). Nowadays, the theme of civil liberties seem to be a sub-plot to a James Bond flick rather than "To Kill A Mockingbird." And yet, I think the two are intertwined much more closely that we think. In our apparent acceptance of torture as a legal method of interrogation, the bar of civilized official behavior has been lowered to the point where we are accepting torture in everyday life as if it's nothing. Indeed, we are using it as a form of entertainment.

I'm speaking of the ever more common use of the Taser, an electrical device used by police and other authorities to drop its victims to the ground and coerce instant compliance. The videos of various incidents make the rounds on the internet and you can see by the comments at the YouTube site that a large number of Americans find tasering to be a sort of slapstick comedy, the equivalent of someone slipping on a banana peel, with a touch of that authoritarian cruelty that always seems to amuse a certain kind of person. "Don't tase me bro" is a national catch phrase.

What We Think About Taser Abuse

Tasers aren't benign however. They kill people. Nobody knows exactly why some people die from being tasered, and they certainly don't know how to tell in advance which ones are at risk. But there have been hundreds of deaths similar to the one below, which nobody can adequately explain:

A Detroit teenager who police say fled a traffic stop Friday died after being subdued with a Taser. He is the second Michigan teen to die following a Taser stun in less than a month. Warren Police say they don't know why the 15-year-old bailed out of a Dodge Stratus he was riding in during the stop on Eight Mile near Schoenherr, leading officers on a half-block chase that ended in an abandoned house on Pelkey in Detroit. The car was stopped for having an expired license plate. In the scuffle, officers shocked the teen one time with a Taser, police said. Shortly after, he became unresponsive and died.

Taser International has successfully defended themselves in lawsuits by attributing the deaths to drug use and if that doesn't work do to the fact that drugs were not present in the victim, they rely on an unrecognized medical condition called "excited delirium", a disease that only afflicts people who die in police custody. Juries apparently find this convincing. Taser has only lost one case.

But that isn't the real problem, although it may eventually be the path by which tasers are banned for use in civilized countries. As awful as the possibility of death is, tasers would be a blight on any free people even if they weren't so often deadly. Tasers were sold to the public as a tool for law enforcement to be used in lieu of deadly force. Presumably, this means situations in which officers would have previously had to use their firearms. It's hard to argue with that, and I can't think of a single civil libertarian who would say that this would be a truly civilized advance in policing. Nobody wants to see more death and if police have a weapon they can employ instead of a gun, in self defense or to stop someone from hurting others, I think we all can agree that's a good thing.

But that's not what's happening. Tasers are routinely used by police to torture innocent people who have not broken any law and whose only crime is being disrespectful toward their authority or failing to understand their "orders." There is ample evidence that police often take no more than 30 seconds to talk to citizens before employing the taser, they use them while people are already handcuffed and thus present no danger, and are used often against the mentally ill and handicapped. It is becoming a barbaric tool of authoritarian, social control.

Last week there were three taser episodes that made the rounds on the internet. (There may have been more, but these were the three most discussed.) The first was of a drunken, belligerent man at a baseball game who after 41 seconds of discussion was tasered while sitting in his seat. Indeed, the video shows that the taser threw him down onto the cement steps where he rolled down several. Since this scene must have happened literally thousands of times over the years, you have to wonder what they must have done in the past. Somehow I doubt they pulled out a gun and shot them.

The second incident was this sad tale of a man who allegedly refused to come out of a store restroom. Police blew pepper spray under the door, kicked it open and instantly tasered the man. It was only afterward that they discovered he was deaf. Police tried to book the man anyway, but the magistrate refused to accept the charges.

It was the third incident, however, that should get civil libertarians' serious attention. It featured an Idaho man on a bicycle who happened to ride past a police stop in progress on the side of the road. He had nothing to do with the stop, but was pulled over by the police and told to produce his ID. He said, correctly, that he had no legal obligation to produce ID and the police insisted he must. The situation escalated and he demanded that they call a supervisor to the scene when the police said they were going to arrest him. He ended up being tasered seven times -- you can hear him moaning in pain on the tape at the end. (In an especially creepy moment, the police try to confiscate the tape of the incident.)

Now, many people will say that he should have just showed his ID, that it's stupid to confront police, that like Henry Louis Gates you get what you deserve if you mouth off to the cops. And on a pragmatic level this is certainly true (although I would reiterate what I wrote here about a free people not being required to view the police in the same way they view a criminal street gang, which is to say in fear.) But the fact remains that there is no law against riding a bicycle without ID, and there is no law against mouthing off to the police. Certainly, there can be no rationale behind using a weapon designed to replace deadly force seven times against someone under these circumstances.

These are just three incidents that happened last week. There's nothing special about them. They happen every day. Even this horrific scene, which is so shockingly authoritarian (excuse the pun) that it makes you feel sick, is not unusual:

A former Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University adjunct professor of political philosophy and jurisprudence, Dr. Lowery entered the Utah Third District courtroom alone on November 22, 2004, to make oral argument before Judge Anthony Quinn. Two Salt Lake County Deputy Sheriffs sat at the back of the courtroom, one on each side of the door. Other deputies were in the foyer of the courtroom. No members of the public were present.

Dr. Lowery suffered from major depression, bipolar disorder, paranoia disorder, delusional disorder, and psychotic disorder. Judge Quinn granted one of Dr. Lowery's motions made under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II, which allowed for reasonable modifications of court rules, policies, or practices in order to accommodate Dr. Lowery's multiple mental disabilities.

Near the end of his oral argument, the traumatic content of the argument moved Dr. Lowery into moderate mania, and he characterized a previous crabbed ruling by Quinn as "bullshit."

Impatient for the speech to end, Judge Quinn took that as an opportunity to order the bailiffs to take the professor into custody and cool him off.

The plaintiff's state of agitation was caused by his mental disabilities. The deputy sheriffs' approach only caused the situation to escalate. As five or more Salt Lake County deputy sheriffs/bailiffs seized Lowery from behind, he shouted, "I am cooled off; I deserve to be heard. I deserve to be heard, your Honor, and you are violating my access to due process at this very moment. I am not violent and --"

Judge Quinn interrupted him with ordering the bailiffs to take Dr. Lowery to a holding cell. A split second later -- unclear whether following the judge's orders or acting on his own accord, a bailiff sent 50,000 volts of incapacitating electricity into the lower back of the unsuspecting professor. As the courtroom video shows, nothing in Dr. Lowery's behavior suggests that the bailiffs had any reasonable motive to believe they or the judge were in physical danger.

Yet the taser gun fired more than once.

The repeated electric shocks blew Dr. Lowery over the podium, and he landed face down on the floor, with two bailiffs on his back. The electric blasts caused Dr. Lowery's bowels to empty twice. He screamed, "Help me!" while he complied with a bailiff's order to stay on his belly, neither capable nor willing to offer resistance. Then, suddenly, he went unconscious.

Remembering they were still on camera, the bailiffs shouted at Dr. Lowery to not resist again (though his resistance was only instinctive) and threatened him with more electrocution. When they realized that he could no longer hear them, they dragged the man across the floor, put him in a chair, and massaged his heart. One bailiff called for paramedics. [...]

Since no one but the victim and the abusers were in the courtroom, this crime remained unknown to the public until recently.

(Read on if you can stomach it.)

Here's the Youtube of the event. You can see for yourself if there was justification for the reaction of the judge or the police. More HERE

Saturday, August 8, 2009

14 Year Old Shot In Head With Taser By Police

Another Reason for Congressional Hearings on Tasers.

Let's stop the Taser Abuse in America!
Join the Fight Today. Sign the Petition.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Oakland Police Taser Oakland Baseball Fan (Video)

Tasered for sitting in the wrong seat

Another reason for Congressional Hearings on Taser abuse. Sign the Petition!

Check this out, as reported by the Katy Capsule,
The man tased by cops was 62-year-old Thomas Bruso, who apparently was sitting in the wrong seat and was drinking alcohol. Police claimed that the man was not “complying” with attempts to arrest him so the crowd was cleared and he was tasered from behind.

Another man is seen being pushed down the stairs as the situation escalates.

“While the man is clearly uncooperative and perhaps belligerent, it is unclear why a shot of 50,000 volts was needed,” comments Constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley.

As the incident unfolded an observer in the crowd commented, “C’mon, take it easy on him….I can’t believe you guys tased him.”

“This individual is not a small person,” said Ofc. Jeff Thomason. “He is 6-foot-1, 280 pounds, so getting in a fight with an individual like this is not in the officer’s best interest.”

However, as the video shows, the cops attempted to arrest the man for barely a minute before resorting to using the taser

. The man was resisting arrest but he was not in a “fight” with the cops as Thomason implies.

This is not the first time that police have deployed a taser on someone for sitting in the wrong seat at a sports event.

In a far more disturbing case last year, Wisconsin police were caught on camera tasering a 54-year-old woman at a football game in Madison. More HERE

Make a donation to build a movement to stop taser abuse.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Coming To America - Multi Shot Taser Guns

The new multi-shot TASER X3H/T to Tim King over at the Salem-News. For his report on the Multi Shot Taser Guns.

Also H/T to The Telegraph in Great Britain who are following the big change that is coming in police Taser guns for the U.S. and the U.K. Get this, as if the U.S. does not have enough problems. As Tim king reports,
As the controversy surrounding the use of these police weapons on people heats up, the company in Scottsdale, Arizona that manufactures the Taser has a new model out that will allow police to fire multiple barbed wires charged with electricity at one or more people, more like an automatic weapon. The new Taser gun will fire three times.

Police say the older Taser stun guns have to be reloaded after one shot, and that creates a problem for officers who miss their target, though they are used at very close range. The company stated that the new Taser can strike more than one person simultaneously.

It is the first time in six years that this Arizona company has released a new model. It was shown to hundreds of police and distributors at Taser's annual conference. It isn't available yet, and the company stated that they will announce the release date next month.

The multi shot Taser guns will sell for $1,799, which is $1,000 more than the current model, Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle told The Telegraph. has reported several times that Tasers are used under questionable circumstances on American citizens. So far this year, police have killed two minors with Tasers. Records since June 2001 indicate that Tasers have caused 351 deaths so far in the United States.

In spite of reports from human rights groups, the company that sells these to police, says Tasers do not cause heart attacks.

The Taser spokesman says the company has gone to court over 97 wrongful-death lawsuits, and won 96 of them. It is important to note however that it is very difficult to ever find a case where a police officer is adjudicated over killing a suspect in the line of duty.

Still, those numbers indicate how lethal Tasers truly are. YouTube is also loaded with footage of police seemingly torturing people with Tasers.

Here are some examples:

Florida cop Tasers argumentative customer at Best Buy, (see: Officer Uses Taser To Tame Best Buy Shopper)

Police kill confused and jet lagged foreigner in Canada with Tasers, (see: Another Taser Death - Daniel Johnson

In Missouri, a 16-year old was Tasered 19 times after falling 30ft and breaking his back, (see Police taser teen with broken back)

Cop Tasers 72-year old great grandmother in Texas, (see: Texas Cops Support Taser Strikes on 72-Year Old Great Grandmother - Political Perspective by Tim King

Multiple Taser shots fired at a Baptist minister in Arizona. (see: More Videotape Released in Alleged Border Patrol Checkpoint Beating of Preacher - Tim King

A Taser was involved in a recent story involving the death of a man in Salem, (see: Suspect Dies After Being Tased During Arrest -

Read more HERE

Enough of the Taser Torture In America - It's time for a call for Congressional Hearings.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tasered While latino - It's time for Congressional Hearings

More reasons for a Congressional Hearing on Taser Use In America. It's becoming clearer that it's not only Tasered While Black it's also Tasered While Latino. It truly is time for Congressional Hearings.

As reported by blogger, When I Write, In their own backyard at a Baptism, police in Manassas didn’t exactly kick in the door and wave the .44, but they did taser a pregnant woman and a 55 year-old man . I can’t wait to see if Barack Obama will invite this family for Tecate on the White House lawn. Police were responding to “a noise complaint at a child’s baptism party. By the time they left, a grandfather and a pregnant woman had been Tasered… The 55-year-old homeowner is a church family counselor and a bible study teacher.