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Friday, April 24, 2009

A day of blogging for Justice - Standing up against the pre-trial electrocution

AAPP Says: Today is a special day, it's a day when bloggers from around the United States, Canada, UK, Africa, Europe, Brazil, and other parts of the world have come together for “A day of blogging for Justice - Standing up against the pre-trial electrocution.” It's time to demand a congressional investigation into Taser Torture in America.

Here is what black bloggers are saying and thinking:

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Today, Black bloggers around the web (including Afrospear members and The Electronic Villiage) are setting aside the day to stand up against the use of tasers by the police. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) refers to them as “Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs)”. Some of the bloggers refer to their use as “Police Pre-Trial Electrocution”.

- Villager, Electronic Village

AAPP says: Wayne Hicks has been tracking the tasing issue even before I began publishing the blog, Tasered While Black. Wayne takes a look at the tasing issue and details many of the abuses in today's post:


I've shared other examples on my blog in the past:
  1. Valreca Redden (Trotwood OH) - pregnant Black woman tased by Officer Michael Wilmer when she went to police department for help.

  2. Eugene Snelling (Austin TX) - tased by Officer Thomas O'Connor driving with his mother on Thanksgiving Day.

  3. Donnell Williams (Wichita KS) - deaf Blackman tased in his own home.

  4. Major Lemon (Madison WI) - Blackman tased while holiday shopping at the local mall.

  5. Xavier Jones (Coral Gables FL) - Tasers deployed by two police officers killed this Blackman.

  6. Darryl Turner (Charlotte NC) - unarmed 17-year old Black youth killed when Officer Jerry Dawson decided to fire at him with a taser gun.

  7. James Garland (Miami FL) - unarmed and naked 41-year old Blackman killed by police taser gun while disoriented in the street.

  8. Baron Pikes (Winnfield LA) - Police officer Scott Nugent indicted for murder because he tasered a handcuffed 21-year old Blackman to death.

  9. Terrance Kennedy (Dallas NC) - Police killed another Blackman in North Carolina with their taser guns.

  10. Marcus Moore (Freeport IL) - unarmed 40-year old Blackman killed by police with their taser guns.

  11. Robert Mitchell (Warren MI) - unarmed 16-year old Black youth killed police taser guns.

  12. Gary Decker (Tucson AZ) - unarmed 50-year old naked man killed by police taser guns while in his own hotel room.

  13. Michael Jacobs (Ft. Worth TX) - unarmed, mentally impaired 24-year old Blackman killed by police taser guns on his own front yard in front of his parents.
The successes aren't the problem - the failures are.

How many more Black folks need to be executed by the police before the Congressional Black Caucus does something about it? I encourage all villagers to immediately sign online petition demanding a congressional investigation into Taser Torture in America. More HERE

Meanwile,
Asabagna of the Afrospear Think Tank says:

When I started to contemplate what I was going to write for this day of blogging action on the use of tasers… i.e., “electrocution” to control and/or stop what are considered dangerous, anti-social behaviors… what stood out in the forefront of my mind was that in the past, electrocution (called Electroconvulsive Therapy), was also widely used for a similar purpose: as an approved, standard medical/psychiatric procedure for “supposed” dangerous and anti-social behaviors deemed to be mental illnesses, which included homosexuality and political dissent.

As a police officer (in Canada), my initial point of view is that I will use whatever level of force I deem necessary, when dealing with a violent criminal suspect, to protect the life of others and/or prevent bodily harm, but more importantly… to ensure that I go home to my family at the end of my shift! Presenting my wife and son with a Canadian flag and a hug or handshake at the end of a memorial service in my honor, just isn’t a life-affirming ambition of mine. With that being said, the police organization I work for, like most if not all police services in North America, are mandated and trained to follow some sort of “use of force continuum model”, which dictates what level of force is to be used in a given situation.

However, what this type of model does not show are the individual, environmental and societal factors that may influence how an officer will react to a given situation or person. It does not consider what are the beliefs, values and more importantly, the prejudices that may spur an individual officer’s action or reaction, to a particular situation or person. More HERE


The publisher of AroundHarlem.com says, AroundHarlem.com is strongly against the use of tasers. We have based our decision on information revealed by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the fact that the use of tasers are harmful and dangerous to potentially innocent people. The NYCLU states that the NYPD has instituted the use of a leathal weapon without proper research or public dialogue. While the NYPD did conduct a Rand Study, according to Donna Lieberman (NYCLU executive director), the NYPD commissioned the study on important public policies without involving the public or anyone outside the NYPD. As a result, the NYCLU and AroundHarlem.com doubt the thoroughness and objectivity of the study.

The Rand Report, which was supposed to be aimed at evaluating the racial disparities in NYPD practices following the Sean Bell Incident (two black men and one latino man were shot at 50 times by the NYPD [Sean Bell was killed]), focuses on supporting the increased use of tasers as a replacement for handguns. The use of these weapons has been linked to hundreds of serious injuries and fatalities.

Last year police fatally tased Iman Morales, a 35 year old man suffering from mental illness. The police responded to a call by Morales’ mother, who had resorted to calling the NYPD after her son had stopped taking his medication. The incident left Morales standing on a metal box that was on top of a store’s security gate, naked, screaming incoherently with an 8 foot fluorescent light tube in his grasp.

Lt. Michael Pigott issued the order to shoot Morales with a taser which was a clear violation of NYPD guidelines stating that “when possible, the CED (taser) should not be used in situations where the subject may fall from an elevated surface.” As a result of being tased, Morales fell head first onto the pavement below and was killed. The was incident was captured on camera by an onlooker. (Lt. Pigott committed suicide shortly after the incident occurred.)

Months before this tragedy 17 year old Alexander Lombard 3rd, son of a NYPD veteran, was tasered 4 times, hit 15 times with a nightstick and put in a choke hold by a NYPD officer. Lombard suffered serious injuries (video) as the result of excessive use of force by an officer at a community sponsored barbecue in Harlem. No charges were filed against Mr. Lombard indicating that he was neither resisting arrest nor carrying a weapon. The use of the taser against Lombard can only be described as excessive and unnecessary. More HERE

There is plenty more thoughts and opinions regarding the torture and tasering of black Americans. Kathy - a DailyKos Blogger wonders: Do White People Care About Tasing? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/4/24/724113/-Do-White-People-Care-About-Tasing

Blogger Francis L. Holland provides a history of Naming" it "Police Pre-Trial Electrocution and Execution"

Check out these great bloggers and their thoughts about the torture of black American by Taser, and what they think should be done.

Rock, African American Opinion - http://africanamericanopinion.ning.com
Kathy - Daily Kos Blogger - Do White People Care About Tasing? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/4/24/724113/-Do-White-People-Care-About-Tasing
The Kid - Pirate satellite: A Day of Blogging for Justice - http://kid-kidfunkadelic.blogspot.com/
Wayne Bennett, The Field Negro, Major side bar and link highlighting the importance of this day.

P
urple Zoe - UltraVioletUnderground - http://purplezoe.blogspot.com/2009/04/day-of-blogging-for-justice-ban-pre.html

April D.
- Around Harlem.com http://blog-aroundharlem.com/2009/04/24/blogging-for-justice-standing-up-against-the-use-of-police-tasers/

PaJoyner - PlezWorld - http://pajoyner.blogspot.com/2009/04/day-of-blogging-for-justice-death-by.html

Yobachi
- Black Perspective.net - http://www.blackperspective.net/index.php/act-against-police-taser-abuse/

Ms. Lady Deborah
- From my Brown Eyed View - http://msladydeborah.blogspot.com/2009/04/day-of-blogging-for-justicestanding-up.html


Eddie Griffin BASG
- http://eddiegriffinbasg.blogspot.com/2009/04/gravest-injustice.html

More Links to come...


Check out The Angry Indian's blog post on When "Non-Lethal" Weapons Kill

*This article is in response and solidarity with the call from fellow Afro-blogger African American Political Pundit's call for editorials concerning the use of Tasers on not just the African population but against free citizens in general. Follow the links immediately after this commentary. Check out more of the post HERE


AAPP: Hat tip to all the afrosprear, and other bloggers who contributed to this day of blogging for justice. Don't forget to sign the online petition demanding a congressional investigation into Taser Torture in America. The tasing of our children demand that our voices be clear.

1 comment:

lidiya said...

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