Our plan, to track all incidents of taser torture against black folks....
Have you or a member of your family ever been tasered by the police? Was it reported in the newspaper, police report, or other news outlet? Write: TasedWhileBlack@gmail.com and tell us what happened. Want to make a donation to Tasered While Black? Write us at: TasedWhileBlack@gmail.com We will be glad to hear from you.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
AARP also tracking story of black 17 year old tasering death
Jul. 11, 2008 (McClatchy-Tribune Regional News delivered by Newstex) -- Police and prosecutors are refusing to reveal how many times 17-year-old Darryl Wayne Turner was shocked with a Taser gun before he died.
Prosecutors announced this week that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Jerry Dawson acted appropriately when he shocked Turner during a March confrontation at a north Charlotte grocery store. Prosecutors said only that Turner was shocked more than once after he advanced on the officer during a fight with store managers.
District Attorney Peter Gilchrist has refused to spell out how many times the teen was shocked, saying he does not release such details from investigative files to the public.
Police and prosecutors also have refused to make public a videotape that captured much of the confrontation at the Food Lion (NYSE:DEG) where Turner worked.
"We would like to have all of the information about what happened to Darryl," his mother, Tammy Fontenot, said Thursday. "We definitely want to know the information about how the Taser was used. I think it is important that we know exactly how Darryl died."
Turner family attorney Ken Harris has seen the video and disputes prosecutors' claim that the use of force was appropriate.
"Based on our review of the videotape evidence, we strongly disagree with any suggestion that Mr. Turner walked or advanced in an aggressive manner towards the officer prior to being tased," Harris said.
Across the country, more than 275 people struck by stun guns died over six years ending last September, according to Amnesty International USA.
Studies suggest that multiple stun gun shocks might increase the risk of serious injury.
One study, by the N.C. Taser Safety Project, found that at least three of six people who died in North Carolina after being shocked in 2006 and 2007 had been shocked multiple times.
Stun gun deaths have prompted critics nationally to demand more study and stronger regulation of the weapons, now in use by thousands of law enforcement agencies. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed over the deaths. Last month, a federal jury held Taser International (NASDAQ:TASR) responsible for the death of a California man who was repeatedly shocked, awarding his family $6 million. The decision was the first time the company was held liable.