Have we finally reached the point at which police over-use and abuse of tasers will start resulting in the danged devices being taken away? The Bay Area Rapid Transit police are losing their tasers after a police sergeant attempted to tase a 13-year-old boy on a bicycle whom he was pursuing by car. Oh, and there was last year’s fatal shooting of an unarmed, restrained man on a subway platform after a BART police officer confused his handgun with his taser. California’s KTVU reports:
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Officials have agreed to pay $1.5 million to the daughter of a man fatally shot in the back by a transit police officer on New Year’s Day 2009 in Oakland, California.
A bystander’s cell-phone video of the shooting on a transit platform was widely circulated on the Internet and on news shows.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit train system late Wednesday announced the settlement over the killing of Oscar Grant, 22.
“It’s been a little over a year since we experienced the tragic death of Oscar Grant,” BART Board President James Fang said. “No matter what anyone’s opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains this incident has left Tatiana without a father. The $1.5 million settlement will provide financial support for her.” Grant’s daughter, Tatiana, is 5.
The video showed then-Officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, pulling his gun and shooting Grant in the back as another officer kneeled on Grant.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Alameda County, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Bay Area Rapid Transit Police, Carole Ward Allen, Civil Liberties, civil rights, human rights, James Fang, Johannes Mehserle, John Burris, Oakland, Oscar Grant, Oscar Grant III, police state, racism, Sophina Mesa, taser, Tatiana Grant, Tatiana Mesa, youth | Leave a comment »
LOS ANGELES — Protesters have gathered outside a downtown Los Angeles courthouse where a former Bay Area Rapid Transit Police officer charged with killing an unarmed man at an Oakland train station is scheduled to make his first appearance.
Dozens of demonstrators lined the street, awaiting the arrival of 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle, who was scheduled to attend a pretrial hearing. The protesters were being monitored by about two dozen Los Angeles police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
Mehserle is charged with the murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on an BART station platform on New Year’s Day 2009.
Witnesses captured the shooting on cell phone video. Grant was in custody at the time of the incident and was shot in the back after being ordered to lie on his stomach.
Mehserle’s lawyer has said the officer mistakenly pulled out his Taser instead of his handgun.
An Alameda County judge ruled in October that Mehserle’s trial should be moved out of Oakland because of excessive media coverage and racial tensions.
One protester who traveled to Los Angeles from the San Francisco Bay area told KTLA that they’re seeking justice not only for Grant, but for others like him across the nation.
“It’s not just an Oakland thing, it’s not just Oscar Grant. There have been many people killed in Los Angeles and in fact, police brutality is an epidemic across the country,” she said.
Mehserle has pleaded not guilty in the case.
Grant’s family is also expected to attend the hearing.
The trial is expected to begin in about six months.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Alameda County, Bay Area Rapid Transit Police, Civil Liberties, civil rights, human rights, Johannes Mehserle, Oakland, Oscar Grant, police state, racism, taser | Leave a comment »
A federal appeals court this week ruled that a California police officer can be held liable for injuries suffered by an unarmed man he Tasered during a traffic stop. The decision, if allowed to stand, would set a rigorous legal precedent for when police are permitted to use the weapons and would force some law enforcement agencies throughout the state — and presumably the nation — to tighten their policies governing Taser use, experts said.
Michael Gennaco, an expert in police conduct issues who has conducted internal reviews of Taser use for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies, said the ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit prohibits officers from deploying Tasers in a host of scenarios and largely limits their use to situations in which a person poses an obvious danger.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Guns, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: A federal appeals court this week ruled that a California police officer can be held liable for injuries suffered by an unarmed man he Tasered during a traffic stop. The decision, Brian McPherson, California, Carl Bryan, Civil Liberties, civil rights, Greg Meyer, human rights, if allowed to stand, John McDonald, Lee Baca, Leroy David Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Michael Gennaco, National Institute of Justice, Orange County sheriff's Department, taser, Taser International, torture, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, would set a rigorous legal precedent for when police are permitted to use the weapons and would force some law enforcement agencies throughout the state -- and presumably the nation -- to tighten thei | Leave a comment »
Following TASER International‘s recent bulletin advising officers to avoid shooting a suspect in the chest, PoliceOne staff spoke with leading TASER experts and trainers about how this announcement affects training and deployment of TASERs in the field.
Police were called to Orchid Court, 307 S. Arrowhead Ave., around 11:30 p.m. regarding a fight involving three people, according to a news release.
Officers separated the three, but one of them became combative and was “tased,” police said.
Following standard procedure, officers called paramedics to treat the unidentified man. Paramedics started to examine the man, who stopped breathing, police said.
The man was taken to a St. Bernardine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, according to the San Bernardino County coroner’s office. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.
Friday’s fatality occurred at a residential mental health center listed as one of the partners of the county’s Office of Behavioral Health. Orchid Court is a state-licensed assisted living facility.
The incident marks the third time in less than three months that a suspect has died shortly after being stunned with a Taser by police in the Inland area. Jonathan Nelson, 27, of Rancho Cucamonga was stunned twice on July 30, once by deputies in Hemet and again in a Riverside County jail cell.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Dario Robinson, Gwendolyn Waters, Jonathan Nelson, Orchid Court, San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health, San Bernardino Police Department, taser | 1 Comment »
The teenager died this month after a patrol officer fired the stun gun from his cruiser. The teen then fell from his bike and the officer hit him with his cruiser, according to witnesses. The officer had ordered Victor Steen to stop after spotting him at a vacant construction site early on the morning of Oct. 3.
The officer is on paid leave while authorities investigate. The death has prompted community protests and vigils.
On Friday, Assistant Pensacola Police Chief Chip Simmons said officers would no longer be allowed to fire Tasers from their cruisers.
Editor: Please contact Sheriff Dee Anderson’s office through email or phone and give him some kudos!
FORT WORTH, Texas — The sheriff of Tarrant County is bucking the trend of issuing Tasers to his deputies even as Texas’ largest metropolitan law enforcement agencies continue to adopt the use of the weapon.
Sheriff Dee Anderson says he was concerned that an officer might cause someone’s death with a Taser. Anderson says he conducted his own research in which Tasers were used. He said in cases where people have health issues or who have used alcohol or drugs, the electric shock could be deadly.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Anderson sought advice from Tarrant County Medical Examiner Dr. Nizam Peerwani in making his decision.
The Merced Police Department‘s Internal Affairs Division is investigating a complaint alleging that an officer twice used a Taser against an unarmed, wheelchair-bound man with no legs.
The incident occurred Sept. 11.
The man who was Tasered, 40-year-old Gregory Williams, a double-leg amputee, spent six days in jail on suspicion of domestic violence and resisting arrest, although the Merced County District Attorney’s Office hasn’t filed charges in the case.
Williams, who was released from jail Friday, said he was violently manhandled and Tasered by police, even though he claims he was never physically aggressive toward the officers or resisted arrest.
Even worse for him, Williams says he was publicly humiliated after his pants fell down during the incident. The officers allegedly left him outdoors in broad daylight, handcuffed on the pavement, nude below the waist. Williams said the arrest also left him with an injured shoulder, limiting his mobility in his wheelchair.
And although the two lead arresting officers are white, and Williams is black, it remains unknown whether race was a factor in the incident. Those two officers remain on duty.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Two police officers who chased and Tasered a 76-year-old man driving a tractor in a Wyoming town parade have been fired.
Bud Grose, who was shocked five times by Officer Michael Kavenius, welcomed the decision announced Tuesday by the Glenrock Police Department.
“Hopefully this will kind of help bring the community together and be an answer to a lot of questions and problems,” he said.
Kavenius shot Grose with a Taser on Aug. 1 near the end of Glenrock’s annual Deer Creek Days parade. Sgt. Paul Brown was also relieved of duty.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Bud Grose, Cheyenne, Converse County Attorney's Office, Deer Creek Days, Glenrock, Glenrock Police Department, John Robinson, Michael Kavenius, S. J. Miller Associates, Steve Cielinski, taser, Tom Sweet, Wyoming, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation | Leave a comment »
Authorities said all three men behaved as if they had a mental problem or were under the influence of drugs. Jonathan Nelson, of Rancho Cucamonga, was just 27 when he died July 30.
Critics of Tasers say people with mental problems or on drugs have a higher risk of dying if the weapons are used on them, especially when they receive multiple or prolonged shocks. Yet people who are mentally impaired are also more likely to be subdued with a stun gun, some studies suggest.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Drugs, Guns, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Amnesty International, Charlene Nelson, David Klinger, Dennis Gutierrez, Geragos & Geragos, Hector Villagra, Lawrence Rosenthal, Mike Canizales, Orange County sheriff's Department, Riverside County Sheriff's Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Shelley Kaufman, Steve Tuttle, taser, Taser International, Terrace Clifton Smith | Leave a comment »
“A Philadelphia man who was Tasered during a traffic stop Friday after he and his female companion allegedly assaulted state troopers, died from unknown causes Sunday morning at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.
The Delaware County Medical Examiner’s Office, which was to conduct an autopsy yesterday, did not answer phone calls or return messages.
Full story here. The cop says he tased and arrested her because when she got out of her car, she was blocking traffic and creating a dangerous situation. But when she gets back into the car, he then pulls her back out and throws her down in the middle of the street.
Note too that the though the cop pulled her over for using a cell phone, she was able to prove she didn’t have one. So he wrote her a ticket for going 5 MPH over the speed limit—a figure he calculated without use of radar. I can understand those who say she should have gotten back in her car after the cop instructed her to do so. But I can also understand her anger, and her desire to see the video to prove she wasn’t speeding. The speeding ticket for a paltry 5 mph over seems retaliatory.
She ended up with four tickets, for speeding, talking on a cell phone while driving, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. All of those charges were dropped after prosecutors viewed the video.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Audra Harmon, Meredith Vieira, Onondaga County, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, Sean Andrews, taser, Terrance Hoffman | Leave a comment »
ENCINITAS — Francine Busby says she will demand an explanation from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department about deputies breaking up a fundraising party held for her in Cardiff and arresting the host.
The party was Friday night in the 1300 block of Rubenstein Avenue, the home of Shari Barman, a Busby supporter.
It ended with Barman, 60, being arrested and jailed on suspicion of battery on a peace officer, and resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer.
Pam Morgan, 62, a Rancho Santa Fe resident and one of the guests, also was arrested and taken to the Encinitas Sheriff’s Station, where she was cited for resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer.
Other partygoers were doused with pepper spray, and seven deputies, a sergeant and a helicopter were dispatched to the neighborhood of expensive homes.
Busby, Barman, guests at the party and a Sheriff’s Department spokesman provided varying accounts of what happened.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: 50th Congressional District, Brian Bilbray, Democratic Party, Derek Sanders, Duke Cunningham, Francine Busby, Hugh Elliott, Jane Stratton, Marshall Abbott, Natasha Cortina, Pam Morgan, Randall Harold Cunningham, Randy Cunningham, San Diego County Sheriff, Shari Barman, taser, Thomas Yancey | Leave a comment »
Use of the electronic stun devices by police has been marked with a sudden rise in deaths – including four men in the United States and two in Canada within the last week.
Canadian authorities are taking a second look at them, and in the United States, there is a wave of demands to BAN them.
The United Nations Committee Against Torture referred Friday to the use of TaserX26 weapons which Portuguese police has acquired. An expert had testified to the committee that use of the weapons had “proven risks of harm or death.”
“The use of TaserX26 weapons, provoking extreme pain, constituted a form of torture, and that in certain cases it could also cause death, as shown by several reliable studies and by certain cases that had happened after practical use,” the committee said in a statement.
“Well, it means that it’s a very serious thing,” Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox told CBS Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. “These are people that have seen torture around the world, all kinds of torture. So they don’t use the word lightly.”
Tasers have become increasingly controversial in the United States, particularly after several notorious cases where their use by police to disable suspects was questioned as being excessive. Especially disturbing is the fact that six adults died after being tased by police in the span of a week.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Information, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Amnesty International, Bob Rae, Brittany Wayne, Jarrel Grey, Jesse Saenz, Julie Chen, Larry Cox, NAACP, Paul Mazzei, Paul Pritchard, Robert Dziekanski, Robert Knipstrom, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Tanya James, taser, Taser International, torture, United Nations Committee Against Torture, United Nations Convention Against Torture | Leave a comment »
Citing research that links Tasers to the deaths of drug users, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus announced a new policy banning the use of the weapons on anyone known to be under the influence.
The policy also calls for more training and prohibits more than one officer from using a Taser on one person. The policy on Tasers, which deliver electrical shocks that can disrupt a person’s neuromuscular system, is effective immediately, McManus said.
He said the new policy, issued in an internal bulletin, is in correlation to “excited delirium,” a diagnosis described as an overdose of adrenaline to the heart and a possible cause of death among people who were shocked by Tasers.
The policy does not limit the number of times an officer can shock someone, although it requires that police stop using the weapon when a person is in custody. The new policy requires officers to get 16 hours of training, doubling the requirement. The 141 officers who already use the weapons will get the additional eight hours of training.
Filed under: Censorship, Civil Liberties, Drugs, Information, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: San Antonio Police Department, taser, William McManus | Leave a comment »
FONTANA – A suspected methamphetamine addict died Monday morning after being Tased and restrained by Fontana police who had responded to his home at the request of the man’s family.Shawn Darrell Iinuma’s family called 9-1-1 dispatchers about 1:15 a.m. to report that he had been using meth for several days straight and was acting strangely.
Police and paramedics responded to his home in the 7500 block of Cherimoya.
Iinuma became violent and struggled with officials, Fontana police Sgt. Jeff Decker said.
Officers eventually Tased Iinuma and put him in handcuffs.
“After being restrained, he stopped breathing,” Decker said in a written statement.
Paramedics administered CPR and rushed him to the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will conduct an investigation, as is standard procedure with an in-custody death.
Iinuma had apparently stayed awake for several days while using meth, police said.
He has past convictions of possessing a controlled substance, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and evading a police officer’s vehicle, according to San Bernardino Superior Court records.
Fox News has obtained police dashboard video of the tasering of a 72 year old great grandmother in Travis County, TX
Filed under: Civil Liberties, DEA, DHS, Drugs, FBI, Free Speech, Guns, Immigration, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex, Privacy | Tagged: Dallas Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department, Ryan Moats, taser | Leave a comment »
OAKWOOD, Texas — The chief of a small Central Texas town’s police department has been fired and jailed for allegedly using a Taser gun on his wife.
Ivy, 30, was arrested near Palestine on Monday. The city council fired him that night.
Ivy was hired in February to be the lone full-time officer in the town of 500 residents about 100 miles southeast of Dallas. The department has two reserve officers.
GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls man who took a Taser from an officer during a scuffle and used it on the police officer has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Neal Walton was charged with assault on an officer. He appeared at the sentencing hearing in Cascade County District Court by video from Montana State Prison, where Walton, 34, is serving time on unrelated charges.
In June, Great Falls Police Officer Jesse Slaughter was checking on a parking complaint when he saw Walton, who was wanted for violating probation violation.
Slaughter tried to take Walton into custody, but Walton fought back. In the struggle, Walton got hold of Slaughter’s Taser and used it to shock the officer.
HOUSTON (AP) – A jury in Texas has awarded $3 million to the mother of a mentally ill man who died after he was shocked 18 times with a stun gun and hogtied during an arrest.
Shirley Nagel sued four deputies from the Precinct One Constable’s Office after they detained her son, Joel Don Casey, in 2005. Casey’s death was later ruled a homicide.
Jurors on Monday found three of the four deputies used unreasonable and excessive force.
Assistant Harris County Attorney Frank Sanders says the deputies were not trying to hurt Casey or violate his constitutional rights. The county plans to appeal.
Hawthorne police have launched a misconduct investigation of an officer who used a 50,000-volt stun gun on a violent autistic 12-year-old boy at one of the city’s middle schools, authorities said.
Such use of electroshock weapons by police on young students is rare, but high-profile incidents have sparked fierce debate around the country over when, if ever, Tasers should be used on children. At the same time, an increasing number of police departments are equipping school-based officers with them, according to the leading maker of the weapons.
Filed under: Education Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: ACLU, ACLU-SC, Amnesty International, Donald Carrington, Hawthorne Middle School, Hawthorne Police Department, Hawthorne Unified School District, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Unified School District, Michael Gennaco, NAACP, National Institute of Justice, Orange County sheriff's Department, taser, Taser International Inc. | Leave a comment »
EUREKA, Calif. — After reviewing initial reports about a Eureka police officer who drew his gun at a crowd of people at Eureka High School earlier this week, Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen said Thursday it appears the officer’s actions were justified.
“I don’t believe, at this point, he violated department policy,” Nielsen said.
According to information from EPD officials, Officer John Silvey was the sole responder to reports of a fight outside Eureka High School after a basketball game Tuesday night. According to EPD information, after Silvey arrived, school Principal Joseph Pawlick told him 45-year-old Roseanne Redner had just physically assaulted a 17-year-old student, accusing him of damaging her son’s car windows.
Filed under: Education Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Duane Peterson, Eureka City Schools, Eureka High School, Eureka Police Department, Garr Nielsen, John Silvey, Joseph Pawlick, Murl Harpham, Roseanne Redner, taser | Leave a comment »
TORONTO — Canada’s federal police will no longer use stun guns against suspects who are merely resisting arrest or refusing to cooperate — saying the guns can cause death.
“Tasers hurt like hell,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner William Elliot said Thursday of his reaction to being shot with a stun gun as a test. “Taser” is one brand name for the guns made by U.S. firm Taser International Inc. The guns incapacitate people with a 50,000-volt jolt of electricity.
Filed under: Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Amnesty International, Canadian Press, RCMP, Robert Dziekanski, taser, Taser International Inc., William Elliot | 1 Comment »
The number of in-custody sudden deaths rose dramatically during the first year California law enforcement agencies began using stun guns, raising questions about the safety of the devices, according to a new study at UCSF.
Filed under: Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: American Journal of Cardiology, Amnesty International, Byron Lee, Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, Samuel Walker, San Francisco Police Department, taser, UCSF, University of California San Francisco, University of Nebraska in Omaha, Zian H. Tseng | Leave a comment »
Filed under: Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: E. W. Dillard, Henry County, Jennifer Crigger, Justin Gregory, Martinsville Fire & EMS, Martinsville Police, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville, Mike Rogers., R. L. Wray, taser, Virginia State Police | Leave a comment »
In Santa Rosa, Calif., residents are not happy with their local law enforcement.
“Although it might seem like a lesser evil, they have been misusing it to such a degree that it has become lethal in this county,” said Maggie Coshnear, a member of the county’s October 22nd Coalition.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Maggie Coshnear, Nathan Vaughn, October 22nd Coalition, Santa Rosa Police, Sherry Heyberger, Sonoma County Sheriff, taser | Leave a comment »
SAN FRANCISCO: A 26-year-old man died on Friday after police used a Taser stun gun to bring him under control, a local sheriff’s office in California said.
|On Sept. 24, in Brooklyn, N.Y., a 35-year-old man named Iman Morales fell to his death after a 22-minute standoff with New York Police. Morales, who was described as “emotionally disturbed,” had climbed onto the fire escape of a building in Bedford-Stuyvesant, naked and waving a metal pole. Unable to talk him down, one officer, under order from his lieutenant, shot Morales with a Taser gun, at which point he fell to the sidewalk, head-first.He was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead.
Filed under: Censorship, Civil Liberties, Drugs, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Iman Morales, Michael Pigott, Pierre Savard, Robert Dziekanski, taser | Leave a comment »
|Luckily for a driver who went into severe diabetic shock last month in Oklahoma, police arrived on the scene and called in an ambulance.
But not before they tasered and handcuffed him.
|I sympathize with the police. They never know where the dispatcher will send them next and what kind of hot water it will put them in.
But sometimes after an incident, as in the case of Rialto PD a few days ago, they slam a lid on information and then put out a press release admonishing parents and giving a whole new direction to what happened. The headline reads “PARENT’S (sic) PLEASE EDUCATE YOUR KIDS.”
What was it really all about?