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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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tasered While Mentally Ill? The Danny Rowe Story

The Danny Rowe Story

H/T The Top Stock Blog

Danny Rowe charged in a violent incident with police on August 3rd, 2008. Tasered an estimated 12-14 times; my father was told the police involved laughed at me as they shot me with the taser gun at will in the police station. The incident took place on Caroline St in downtown Saratoga Springs, New York. I believe I was targeted by special forces, who put a black man being through a window of which triggered my mental illness. They sexually groomed me in Jail under 1-1 supervision. I cried like a baby.

A classic bazaar episode of mental illness triggered by the violence, and hate. Having a firm awareness of my mental illness experiences in my life, it is easier for myself than New York state to recognize. I know how bad I sound, and can’t quite figure out how I am at this point; but, hopeful communication of my problems will make things get better. Doctors cut out my adrenal gland during surgery early this spring 2008. They removed an adrenal gland believing to be fat, and possible the source of great amount of physical and emotional pain that has landed me in the emergency room four times over the past twelve months. Adrenal glands regulate adrenaline, hormones, and a variety of other complex body functions normally releasing the chemical evenly being located above the kidneys. I have been on five different prescription medications during 2008 including Ambien, Paxil, lithium, Hyrdochodine, and at one point an anitpyschotic medication.

I made poor choices; but, most of my bad choices were when I was much younger. I work hard to be a good person, and have a much more challenging emotional struggle than you could imagine. I apologize for all the people I have hurt, and those that continue to hurt from this incident or any incident. I apologize to all the officers involved. The police man is still injured, and the department is under multiple investigations. Rowe’s skull was crushed against the curb by the foot of an angry police officer taking street justice.

Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy has a long record of good deeds. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the all the good work his office does; but, deep disappointment and concern for the moral grounds I have been targeted under. James Murphy authorizes special favors, and even pays convicted felons for information. Paying Felons for information is very dangerous. Saratoga County has programs that target the very existence of previously convicted persons; despite the crimes having been paid to society. A tooth brush is a luxery in jail and not issued to inmates in Saratoga county. I was unable to brush my teeth during my three day stay. I had to have several of my teeth polished due to the tremendous amount of scraped teeth from the incident. I have paid for all my crimes, and live an honest life. I am not perfect, and programs targeting my existence are a violation of my constitutional rights.

I am the proud sponsr of two childre through Christian’s Children’s Fund. I had just received a settlement from falling off the roof, and gave around $1500 to charity in August and well over $2000 so far in 2008 to charitable causes.

Saratoga Springs Police Department is the police department involved.

Comments below found at above legal defense website offering advice on Mental Health defense, and rights. The history of medication reactions/a recent change in medications/a recent change in fluid intake/loss of weight causes a change in the behavior is not using “a” or “the mental illness as a defense”. It is the change in behavior caused by a change in the medication that may be considered “a defense”. And Rmet was right on about that being the Public Defender’s area of expertise.

More HERE



Deputy under fire for "excessive force" with taser

This is our 150th Post with the Blog Tasered While Black.

What We Think About Taser Abuse

Charles Green admits he has a problem with crack cocaine.

He admits he had crack on him the night of Jan. 17.

He admits he ran from police to avoid arrest and might have swallowed some of the crack while hiding it in his mouth.

But the 45-year-old Columbia man says he didn’t deserve to be stunned with a Taser gun multiple times, especially after he was handcuffed, by a Richland County sheriff’s deputy.

“I’m a human being,” Green told The State. “Don’t no one deserve that — a dog doesn’t deserve that.”

The 6-foot-tall, 225-pound Green contends the Taser shocks caused him to be hospitalized for two months for kidney failure, seizures, breathing problems and severe muscle weakness. In a report, one of Green’s doctors suspected nerve damage in his right leg was caused by the Taser shocks, as well as burns to his foot.

But according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and Green’s medical records provided to The State, his health problems stemmed mainly from swallowing cocaine before he was arrested.

Lott said Green, whom deputies apprehended near a suspected drug hangout, refused to spit out the crack and could have died had he swallowed all of it.

GREEN’S STORY

Green, an 8th-grade dropout with three children, admits he has been on the wrong side of the law plenty of times in his life — particularly with drugs.

He had been arrested nine times by Columbia police, Richland County sheriff’s deputies or Cayce police since 1988, mainly on violent or drug-related charges, records show.

His convictions include possession with intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute drugs near a school, disorderly conduct and interfering with police, records show.

Green said assault charges against him in 1988 and 1999 were dismissed; records don’t indicate an outcome in those cases.

He said before the January incident, he was working for a local tree-cutting company.

On the night of Jan. 17, Richland County deputies, who were doing surveillance on a nearby house, stopped the Pontiac Aztek SUV Green and a friend were in on Clairton Court, located near Monticello Road along Columbia’s northwest side.

Green told The State he had “about three rocks” of crack cocaine he was planning to smoke at a friend’s house near his home.

Green said he feared being arrested for having the cocaine on him — and for violating probation on an earlier drug charge — so he decided to flee on foot.

While being chased into a field, Green said he was hit in the back with the first Taser shot.

He immediately fell to the ground and was cuffed, he said. A deputy then put the stun gun directly on his lower back — below his “House of Pain” tattoo — and began firing it repeatedly for no apparent reason, Green said.

“I didn’t resist,” he recalled. “The second time, I passed out.”

Green’s older sister, Helen Green, who lives with him, told The State she heard the commotion from a nearby house and went outside to investigate.

“I was yelling, ‘Y’all gonna kill him; y’all gonna bust his head; y’all got him in handcuffs; leave him alone,’” she told The State, crying. “He was hollerin’ ... ‘Jesus, please make them stop.’”

Then, “he wasn’t moving,” she said. “I thought he was dead.”

‘JUSTIFIED’ USE OF FORCE

Hodges in his report said he had no choice but to use force against Green.

He wrote that after Green refused verbal commands to spit out what deputies believed were drugs, Green “displayed active aggression and bullrushed” him. He said Green then ran about 75 yards across a dark field.

Hodges said he fired his Taser the first time from about eight feet away after he announced he had the weapon but Green continued running. Green immediately dropped to the ground after the electrical probes on wires fired from the gun hit him in the shoulder and tailbone regions, Hodges said.

After Green refused to give him his hands to be cuffed, Hodges said, he “drive” stunned Green — meaning the weapon was placed directly on the skin —on the back and arm. Green then allowed himself to be cuffed, but after refusing more commands to spit out what was in his mouth, Hodges “drive” stunned him two more times, on the shoulder and abdomen, for a total of five times, the deputy said.

“Deputies could see him swallow a white rocklike substance,” Hodges said in his report, noting he “did not want Green to harm himself by swallowing more drugs than he already had.”

Green spit out a bag containing a “white rocklike substance” and later spit out another bag of the substance, which Hodges in his report noted weighed about 8 grams. He said he also collected “several small rocklike substances” that another deputy saw Green throw onto the ground, and found a small amount of marijuana on the floorboard of the SUV where Green had been sitting.

Later at the hospital, Green tested positive for cocaine in his system, Hodges said in his report, noting a “white rocklike substance” was retrieved while pumping his stomach.

“In this officer’s mind, he was trying to save his life,” Lott told The State. “My personal opinion was that it was justified.”

Those computerized records show the weapon was fired a total of six times starting at 10:47 p.m. and continuing through 11:01 p.m., Lott said.

Half of the shots lasted a total of seven seconds each; the other half, five seconds each, according to the records cited by Lott. There was about a 13-minute gap between the third and fourth shots, though the incident report doesn’t specifically mention it.

The department’s use-of-force guidelines say Tasers can be used in “defensive resistance” situations, such as fleeing, struggling to escape and “muscle tensing.” It does not specifically address situations in which suspects refuse to spit out drugs, though it notes that Tasers shouldn’t be used against “passively resistant subjects.”

Lott said he believes the use of Tasers to get a suspect to spit out suspected drugs is appropriate, explaining the other methods used in the past — such as hitting the suspect or sticking fingers in the suspect’s mouth — carry greater risks to both.

Lott said his records show that Tasers were fired by his deputies a total of 121 times in 2006, 143 times in 2007 and 76 times through August of this year.

More HERE

What We Think About Taser Abuse

TWB Publisher say: This case is under review by the FBI. As reported by Charleston.net the FBI launched an investigation after The State of Columbia began examining the Jan. 17 incident in August. The U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is reviewing the FBI's evidence in the case, said Brent Gray, the division's deputy chief.



What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

16 Year Old Girl Tasered while driving with 74-Year-old

OK, I'm not sure if the victim of the tasing is black or not, but this was truly wrong. What happen to common sense policing? how about calling a relative to come get the 72 year old, and the car, and give the 72 year old a ticket. No that would be too easy.

Get this folks, as reported by chicago breaking news.com a 16-year-old Aurora girl was Tasered Monday by a police officer during a traffic stop after she interfered with an arrest, police said. The teen and the officer who used the Taser were treated for cuts and scrapes to their faces. Why are so many people in the Chicago area getting tased?

Remember the tasing death of the man for drinking a beer

What We Think About Taser Abuse

The teen was taken to the Kane County Youth Home after being charged with aggravated battery to a police officer and resisting arrest in connection with the incident that happened about 4:15 p.m. near McCoy Drive and Kautz Road.

The girl was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a 74-year-old relative that was pulled over by police for speeding. The driver was in the process of being arrested for attempting to obstruct justice and not having a valid license when the teen allegedly left the vehicle and physically interfered with the arrest, police said.

The arresting officer Tasered the girl allegedly after she got into a physical altercation with him.
The situation was brought under control after backup officers were called to the scene, police said. The driver was charged with resisting arrest and speeding. Police are not releasing the driver's name in order to protect the identity of the juvenile. More HERE

TWB Publisher: Something just does not smell right. What do you think?


What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tasered to death for drinking a beer

What We Think About Taser Abuse

In yet another shocking taser death, as reported by the Chicago tribune and the Chicago Breaking News.com, a man died today after Chicago police shot him with a taser gun. Get this as usual, police alledge that the victim approached officers with "a sharp-edged object" during a confrontation on the West Side, police said.

There is more folks, Police alledge that the man also had ingested drugs just prior to the confrontation, which may have contributed to the death. Hmm...

About 2 p.m., officers on bike patrol were in the area of North Leclaire Avenue and West Washington Boulevard when they saw a man, believed to be in his 30s, who appeared erratic and drinking from an open bottle, police said.

As police approached the man, he fled and a chase began. "The man was apprehended and became combative with what appeared to be a sharp-edged object, thrashing at officers," Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. "The subject resisted arrest and was subdued with a taser discharge."


Bond said it also appears the man ingested an "unknown amount of narcotics" right before he died. The Cook County medical examiner's office said the man's identity was unknown and that an autopsy was pending. More HERE



What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com





Watch Out for Charlotte/Mecklenburg Police, You Could Get Tasered

As reported by the website, Best Stun Gun.com, Last year police officers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg reportedly used Tasers about seven times more frequently than for pepper spray.

In 2007 they used stun guns about 140 times. During the same time frame they used pepper spray only about 20 times.

Due to three Taser-related deaths in recent cases, the devices and their usage are being studied. Current data indicates that this is the third year in which Taser usage has been stepped up as pepper spray has gone down.

Although pepper spray has been used by local authorities since the 1970s, its usage has decreased largely because of the limitations. On the other hand, law enforcement professionals prefer Tasers because they are both safe and effective when needed to bring an end to dangerous situations.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Ken Miller met with the Police department committee to begin investigating the Taser usage increase. Their plan is to analyze the written accounts of each incident in an effort to figure out why individual officers chose Tasers instead of any of several other options. Read More HERE



What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com


Sunday, October 5, 2008

San Antonio Police Department Tasing Black Folks and Out of Control

Brian Chasnoff - Express-News at My San Antonio reports, Donald Herring was high on cocaine and driving on Interstate 10 on a recent summer night when his heart started pounding. Certain he was overdosing, the 39-year-old pulled to the side of the highway and got out, then climbed on top of a concrete wall and took off his shirt.

San Antonio police arrived to find him paranoid, sweating profusely and “in dire need of medical treatment,” an officer wrote in a report. The officer also suspected Herring was on drugs.

Yet, the same officer shocked Herring 11 times with a Taser, a device that delivers an electrical charge of enough voltage to disrupt someone’s neuromuscular system with one jolt.

Since 2005, some experts in law enforcement have warned of a disturbing pattern: while conducted-energy devices can be effective in defusing violent encounters, it appears that a person is more likely to die or suffer serious injuries the more he is shocked, and more likely to die if shocked while on drugs.

At a summit that year in Houston, officers and experts from across the nation forged a set of guidelines that addressed these concerns.

However, when Police Chief William McManus first gave Tasers to his officers in December 2006, he approved a policy that set no parameters on how many times officers could shock someone and didn’t require training on the risks of shocking someone on drugs.

Through August, police have used Tasers on 142 adults, with most shocked just once, according to city records. Officers thought at least 27 were on drugs, and more than a dozen were jolted more than three times in the same encounter — a threshold that one expert cautioned should not be crossed.

A man high on cocaine last year died after an officer shocked him three times, although medical examiners were uncertain if the Taser played a role in his death. One jolt of a Taser typically lasts about five seconds.

“Two or three jolts (of a CED), I don’t think you should go over that,” said Geoffrey Alpert, an expert on less-lethal police technology who was the keynote speaker at the 2005 summit on CEDs. “The rule of thumb is, if it’s not working the way it should, why continue to use it? Because if you’re going to kill someone, it’s rarely one jolt. It’s multiple jolts.”

Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for Taser International Inc., disputed that multiple shocks increase a risk of injury or death, noting that no medical evidence supports that claim.

Acknowledging as much, the U.S. Justice Department this summer issued a report that cautiously endorsed the use of CEDs in law enforcement. The same report, however, warned “a significant number of individuals” have died after being exposed to a CED, and that many of those deaths “are associated with continuous or repeated discharge” of the weapon.

Less than one week later, on June 14, a San Antonio officer shocked a man 17 times, applying most of the jolts while the suspect, who’d broken into a house, already was handcuffed. Following recent inquiries by the San Antonio Express-News, McManus opened an internal investigation into the incident.

And in July, the same group of experts who helped develop the 2005 guidelines — the Washington-based Police Executive Research Forum — released a review of the Police Department that McManus had requested.

Echoing its previous findings, it recommended in part that McManus set parameters on the number of times that officers shock people, and that officers be trained on the risks of using a Taser against someone on drugs.

McManus has agreed to limit the number of shocks and sent both recommendations to a committee for review.

In Herring’s case, Officer Adam Soto reported that he repeatedly shocked the frantic man on the interstate because he could have run into traffic and later resisted officers’ attempts to handcuff him. An internal police report said no procedures were violated.

Herring called it excessive.

“If my heart rate was already up because of the cocaine, and they’re going to come and charge me up like that 11 times,” he said, “I think I could’ve died.”

Alpert called the incident an apparent “training issue,” and noted that medical research on CEDs has been limited to studies conducted on healthy people, rather than agitated individuals on drugs. He called it poor policy not to reign in those aspects of how police use the weapons.

“Absolutely I’m concerned about the Tasers,” he said. “And I have concerns about it being used against the wrong kind of person by the wrong kind of officer.”

A new policy

Confusion and controversy have dogged CEDs for years.

Facing a rising tide of questions about the weapons and concerns that they could pose health risks, PERF in 2005 began a project meant to help agencies develop policies.

Members read academic studies, hosted international symposiums and spoke with doctors.

They also launched two national studies, the second focusing on 118 deaths that followed the use of CEDs between September 1999 and May 2005.

The results found such deaths in part seemed more likely to involve:

nMultiple CED cycles.

nMultiple officers using a CED on one person.

nA subject who appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

Meanwhile, Taser International issued a training bulletin in 2005 warning that repeated jolts of the Taser could “impair breathing and respiration” and contribute to “significant and potentially fatal health risks” in people in a state of excited delirium, according to an article by the St. Petersburg Times.

(Currently, the company’s Web site warns officers to “minimize repeated, continuous, and/or simultaneous exposures,” but it does not cite potential health consequences.)

Excited delirium is a state of “extreme mental and physiological excitement,” according to PERF. Medical examiners have cited it as a cause of death in people who were shocked with CEDs and later died, but the medical community remains divided over its validity as a diagnosis.

After its national study, PERF in October 2005 convened a summit in Houston of doctors, researchers and officers from more than 50 law enforcement agencies. Together, they forged a set of 52 guidelines that warned in part about multiple shocks and using CEDs against people on drugs.

Tuttle questioned the validity of those recommendations.

“That’s an old document,” he said. “There’s no scientific study that shows that multiple applications are going to cause more harm to somebody. We have not seen that in human studies.”

PERF has acknowledged its project was not a medical review but believes its findings are meaningful. Chuck Wexler, PERF’s executive director, said he stands by the recommendations.

“We really worked hard to define terms and define what we considered promising tactics,” he said. “Our experience is there is some danger as you increase to multiple applications. You need to maintain a sense that you cannot simply continue to use (a CED) without worrying about unintended consequences.”

He added that CEDs, when used under the proper circumstances, can be effective in defusing potentially deadly encounters.

One such encounter occurred in August, when a man armed with a baseball bat, a holstered handgun and a sheathed knife approached children at St. Matthew Catholic School. The children were ushered to safety, and police and a sheriff’s deputy were alerted.

As the man raised the bat and walked toward the deputy, Officer James Phelan drew his Taser. Upon seeing the handgun, he fired the Taser and shocked the man, who kept reaching for the gun, a total of six times until the deputy was able to remove the handgun from the holster.

The incident was the only time a San Antonio officer has used a Taser against a suspect armed with a gun, according to city records.

“At this point in time, we know that (the Taser has) made a big difference in the field,” Wexler said. “But we also recognize that we need continued research and to refine how it’s used.”

PERF’s 2005 guidelines also warned no more than one officer should use a CED against a person at a time.

About one year after PERF released the guidelines, McManus supervised the creation of a CED policy for the Police Department.

“I remember asking: was this bumped up against the PERF policy?” McManus said. “If I remember correctly, the answer was no, and I sent it back.”

The final draft reflected some of PERF’s recommendations, including prohibiting officers from using a Taser when someone might fall. Yet the policy did not limit the number of jolts, prohibit more than one officer from shocking a person at a time or require that officers receive training on the risks of using a Taser against someone on drugs.

About four months later, in March 2007, Sergio Galvan ran in a panic from his South Side home and encountered two officers. High on cocaine, he violently resisted officers’ attempts to calm him and eventually was subdued on his abdomen and handcuffed.

When officers rolled Galvan over, he was unresponsive and later died — a victim of excited delirium, medical examiners would rule. Police said the officer had shocked him three times.

‘Improper training’

On May 27, shortly after midnight, two officers in the Police Department’s Tactical Response Unit pulled over Patrick Smith. On deferred adjudication for a charge of possessing marijuana, Smith had been driving his sleekly restored Chevrolet Caprice to an all-night Auto Zone to repair a car part for his son, he said.

Officers Felipe Ramos and Alfred Gonzalez made the stop because Smith’s rear license plate wasn’t lit and he was playing music loudly, a police report said. The officers reported that Smith appeared nervous, had an expired driver’s license and refused to remove his hands from his pockets after they ordered him to step from the car.

Ramos and Gonzalez reached for their Tasers when Smith, who had a “very muscular build and wide stature,” removed his hands and took “an aggressive stance,” the report said.

Smith denied squaring off against the officers. “Tasers is the last thing I thought about,” he said. “To me, they were reaching for guns. I feared for my life.”

Smith ran — for Auto Zone.

An officer reported that he saw Smith reach into a pocket, so he fired his Taser. A probe struck Smith, who kept running until both officers tackled him in a vacant lot. An officer jolted Smith at least twice. He broke free and ran into the Auto Zone, where police tackled him again and used their Tasers, batons and fists to put him in handcuffs, the report said.

In the end, both officers had shocked Smith, who resisted with his hands and feet, a total of eight times for one minute and 24 seconds.

“I think I passed out for a minute,” Smith said. “It was so severe I thought I was dying.”

Ramos and Gonzalez searched Smith’s car but found no drugs. Smith was charged with resisting and evading arrest, allegations that have been dismissed. Smith, who is black and heavyset, says he now has trouble sleeping, the tops of his hands have gone numb and a previous heart condition has worsened.

He recently hired attorney Edgardo Baez in the matter. “I believe this is improper training and usage of the Taser,” Baez said, “and second of all it’s a violation of civil rights.”

City Attorney Michael Bernard did not return a phone call seeking comment.

For others, shocking a suspect repeatedly is a matter of necessity.

A few weeks after Smith’s arrest, around midnight June 14, a man smashed through a bedroom window and crawled into a family’s North Side home. The homeowner, who asked not to be identified because he feared retaliation from a relative of the suspect, found a man lying on the floor, cut and severely bleeding.

“He was coming out of the room and coming toward me,” he said.

His 11-year-old son was sleeping in a nearby bedroom. The homeowner struggled with the intruder, Juan Mendoza, who seemed indefatigable. His wife called police, and officers arrived.

“I’d say (police) hit him two or three times with the Taser before they realized he didn’t speak English,” he said.

Officers managed to handcuff Mendoza, but he continued to struggle and refused to calm down, a police report said.

“Several other applications of the Taser were applied to keep (Mendoza) from moving,” the report said. He “was able to momentarily break free from officers multiple times, which required further applications of the Taser.”

A Bexar County information report that charged Mendoza with resisting arrest says he used his hands and feet to strike Officer Bernard Costa.

Believing Mendoza was on drugs, Costa shocked him a total of 17 times — a level of force that a police supervisor wrote in an internal report violated no procedures, and that the homeowners deemed justifiable if not a model of restraint.

“They Tasered him a lot,” the homeowner’s wife said. “They should’ve just shot him.”

More HERE

TWB Publisher: It seems that Police Chief William McManus needs to be fired. This police chief seems to have failed to provide proper guidance to his officers and has failed to protect the public.



What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com


Was the media responsible for Lieutenant Pigott’s death?

What We Think About Taser Abuse

TWB Publisher: Was the media responsible for Lieutenant Pigott’s death?? Or was the NYPD responsible for providing poor training and mental health support to this officer?

ISLIP, N.Y. — As reported by NY Times reporter Timothy Williams, "To the mourners who solemnly and tentatively approached the dark brown coffin holding the body of Lt. Michael W. Pigott at a Long Island funeral home on Saturday afternoon, the unanswered questions following his suicide did not matter. "

Taser misuse has led to controversy across the country.

NY Times' Timothy Williams reports, The wake was a time to provide protection and comfort to Lieutenant Pigott’s family by closing ranks. And several hundred officers from the New York Police Department and elsewhere sought to do that as they came to pay their respects at the Overton Funeral Home.

Lieutenant Pigott shot himself on Thursday, his 46th birthday, at a police training center in Brooklyn. The six-year veteran of the department’s Emergency Services Unit had been placed on modified duty after he had ordered another officer to fire a Taser stun gun at Iman Morales, 35, on Sept. 24. After Mr. Morales was struck by the Taser, he tumbled 10 feet to the sidewalk, hit his head and died.

Mr. Morales had been standing naked atop a storefront security gate in front of his building in Bedford-Stuyvesant, screaming and swinging an eight-foot-long fluorescent light tube. The police said he was trying to jab an officer on a nearby fire escape.

The police later said that use of the Taser had violated department guidelines.On Saturday afternoon, clusters of officers stood around a Police Department truck outside the funeral home as more than 100 people gathered inside. Lieutenant Pigott, who was married and the father of three children, lay in his dress uniform with a spray of red roses. A banner that proclaimed “Beloved Husband” lay on the coffin’s closed lower half.

A photo triptych sat to the right: a faded picture of the lieutenant as a young man holding a six-pack of Schmidt’s beer, with a group of officers; a wedding picture of him and his wife, Susan, walking down the aisle; and a photo of him with his sons at a Yankees game in 2006.

After the wake, one guest blamed reporters for Lieutenant Pigott’s death. “You people are half of what caused this, O.K.?” he said. “The media and the pressure you put on this man that did nothing wrong, you are responsible.”

TWB Publisher: I guess tasers can help and hinder police. What do you think. Was the media responsible for Lieutenant Pigott’s death?? Or was the NYPD responsible for providing poor training and mental health support to this officer?

Cross posted on African American Political Pundit.com



What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Taser misuse has led to controversy across the country.

Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com


Has there has been a marked decline in all uses of force?

As reported by the Springfield, MO Leader, Tasers have been at the center of many recent controversies, both nationally and locally, and deserve special mention when talking about police use of force.

Taser misuse has led to controversy across the country.

Taser misuse has led to controversy across the country. (Associated Press file photo)

"In many ways, the Taser is touted as a great thing, and it is an awesome, awesome support tool," said former police major Steve Ijames. "In other ways, it has caused public mistrust that I have never seen before."

Statistically, Tasers are "very, very safe," said Ijames, a certified master instructor in the weapon's use.

As a law enforcement tool, Tasers allow officers to avoid or defuse many situations that in the past could have escalated, requiring application of force with more serious or long-lasting effects, he said.

"There has been a marked decline in all uses of force in agencies that have adopted the Taser," he said. "Deaths are down, officer and suspect injuries are dramatically down ...

"So why isn't everyone smiling?"

Ijames, who has conducted presentations on the issue for groups in the U.S. and abroad, attributes much of the negative public perception to missteps by police.

Several involve the use of Tasers on the young, old, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

Although using a Taser in such circumstances is sometimes justified, it is often an example of "lawful, but awful" use of force, Ijames said.

"I'm not saying I would never Tase a pregnant woman -- if she was a holding a knife to her throat, I would," Ijames said. But officers need to be sensitive to how such incidents appear to the public.

"Public trust is very important. We just need to recognize that and positively shape our programs to emphasize it," he said. More HERE



What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Taser misuse has led to controversy across the country.

Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com


Friday, October 3, 2008

15 Year Old Hurricane Ike Survivor - Tasered While Black By Tyler Texas Police

TWB Publisher Says: What the hell is going on in Tyler Texas?

As reported by KVIA.com As Hurricane Ike blew through Texas last month -- a different kind of storm was brewing inside a former Wal-Mart in Tyler. The site was hastily converted into a shelter for evacuees.

The Associated Press reports the building, which had been vacant for two years, quickly became a cauldron of tension. About 1,600 people were crammed into a structure with a leaky roof, few indoor bathrooms and almost no privacy. Fights soon broke out, and one ended after Tyler police allegedly used pepper spray on dozens of evacuees and a Taser on a 15-year-old boy. Accounts of what happened in the building were drawn from interviews and public records obtained by AP.

Tyler officials stand by their actions, saying they acted properly.

A spokeswoman for Governor Rick Perry says the state provides buses, police and military support, but shelter decisions are made by local officials.

Days before Ike hit the Gulf Coast on September 13th, more than 3,000 Beaumont residents were taken by bus to Tyler.

Tyler had told the state it could accommodate only about half that number. More HERE



What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Taser misuse has led to controversy across the country.

Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com



Thursday, October 2, 2008

NYPD Lt. Michael Pigott Kills Himself Days After Ordering Tasing of Man Who Plunged To His Death


TWB Publisher says: Two unnecessary and unfortunate deaths. The use of tasers must be reviewed by all police departments.

As reported by CNN, -- The man was naked, teetering on a building ledge and jabbing at police with an 8-foot-long fluorescent light bulb as a crowd gathered below.

Lt. Michael Pigott responded by ordering an officer to fire a stun gun at the man, who froze and plunged headfirst to his death in a scene captured on amateur video and replayed frequently on the Internet.

The officer was remorseful and distraught. He apologized and sought the family's forgiveness. Then he went to his unit's headquarters Thursday morning and fatally shot himself, just hours before the family laid the victim to rest.

"The lieutenant was deeply distraught and extremely remorseful over the death of Iman Morales in Brooklyn last week," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "Sadly, his death just compounds the tragedy of the loss of Mr. Morales."

The suicide marks another tragic turn in a case that has raised questions about the use of Tasers by the nation's largest police force.

Thousands of police sergeants began carrying Tasers on their belts this year after the NYPD expanded use of the weapons, a trend that has been playing out in police departments across the country in recent years. The pistol-shaped weapons fire barbs up to 35 feet and deliver powerful shocks to immobilize people.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has acknowledged that the weapon is controversial, and some organizations are strongly opposed to police use of Tasers -- fearful that the guns can be abused without clear guidelines.

Police said the use of the stun gun in the death of Morales appeared to violate department guidelines, which explicitly bar their use "in situations where the subject may fall from an elevated surface." Marchesona also was reassigned to desk duty but was not stripped of his gun and badge.

Pigott learned firsthand the dangers of Tasers after he was called to a Brooklyn apartment building on the night of September 24. More HERE




What We Think About Taser Abuse

The publisher of this blog is also the publisher of African American Political Pundit.com


Taser misuse has led to controversy across the country.

Tasered While Black.

We are not against taser use as an alternative to deadly force. We are however against taser abuse by police who would use of a taser on the young, elderly, pregnant or physically frail; people offering passive, rather than active resistance; and restrained prisoners.

The publisher of this blog is available to conduct presentations on the issue of taser use for police agencies, governmental bodies, and groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact him via email at: tasedwhileblack@gmail.com