Hit me with your best shot

To prove how safe Taser guns are, police departments sometimes ask an officer to volunteer to be shot by one. Fourteen of those officers are suing Taser International for injuries including strokes; hearing, visual, cardiac, and neurological damage; irreversible impotence; and loss of bladder control.

Deespite these charges, a number of wrongful death cases, a class actions suit, and a SEC investigation into whether the company deliberately misstated the safety of the weapon, Tasers are still being used against "hardened criminals," like this poor woman who happened to go to an anti-war protest in Pittsburg this weekend. Apparently, she refused to disperse quickly enough. A 68-year-old grandmother also failed to get out of the way, but she at least was only bitten in the thigh by a police dog.

So far, things have been relatively peaceful at the protests in Crawford, Texas, except for the guy who drove his truck over the wooden crosses and the guy who fired shots in the air at Camp Casey who said he was "practicing for dove season." Still, the police response in Pittsburgh and the growing crudeness of the attacks against Cindy Sheehan makes one wonder: as public frustration with the war in Iraq grows and the Bush administration digs in its heels, what kind of battle will be fighting on the home front?

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.