January Body Count: Five Men Die After Being Tasered

Yes, the carnage caused by miscreants in the ranks of law enforcement sworn to protect and serve the public continues unabated. Obviously using a Taser is appropriate in instances where a gun need not be used, but as we can see, this device can be a lethal weapon, and its use in some situations is highly questionable. From Taser of the Day, which monitors news stories about the device's use.


* Jan 4th: Brandon Smiley, 27, Mobile County, Alabama, after becoming violent with the crew of an ambulance taking him to the hospital for treatment for a suspected drug overdose.
* Jan 4th: Ryan Rich, 33, Las Vegas, Nevada (unidentified in original article), after driving erratically, crashing into a wall, and trying to resist police removing him from his vehicle.
* Jan 9th: Otis C. Anderson, 36, Fayetteville, North Carolina, asked police for help, then ran, encountered police again, become combatitive, was shocked, then stopped breathing during his arrest.
* Jan 11th: Xavier Jones, 29, Coral Gables, Florida, "became unresponsive" after police responding to calls about a man at a party being disruptive shocked him for resisting arrest.
* Jan 15th: Mark C. Backlund, 29, Fridley, Minnesota, unidentified in the original article, shocked after he "became uncooperative" with police after a car accident.
Given the number of these incidents, tasing in many cases becomes a first resort rather than a next-to-last resort, even when the number of officers outnumbers the alleged perpetrator by a large margin.

Our friends north of the border are experiencing plenty of unnerving events like this:
A Halifax Youth Court judge criticized three police officers Tuesday for their arrest of a teenage girl, who was tackled in her own bed and shocked twice with a stun gun last February.
"The spectacle of a 17-year-old girl being Tasered in her bedroom is a very disturbing and disconcerting one," Halifax Youth Court Judge Anne Derrick said in her ruling on the charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
"I find the police acted outside the scope of their authority in arresting [the girl] and that she was entitled to resist and committed no offence in doing so, and I acquit her of the charges before the court."

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.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

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