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.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Teen with Mind of 7 or 5-year-old Tasered To Death

Patrick Johnson, who had mental-health problems, died after being hit by Taser cartridges during a confrontation with police on Souder Street (background).
Patrick Johnson, who had mental-health problems, died after being hit by Taser cartridges during a confrontation with police on Souder Street (background).

Get this, according to
ABC Local News, and Philly.com, 18-year-old Patrick Johnson, a graduate of Our Lady of Confidence day school, was known in the neighborhood as 'stick boy' because he was always playing or waving some kind of stick. "He's severely retarded. He was having a tantrum and my grandmother couldn't handle him, so she called the police," the teen's cousin Michelle Rynkiewicz said. Rynkiewicz says Johnson had the mind of a 7 or 5-year-old. Relatives say Johnson had a history of volatile behavior and fits of anger and there was never a warning light that went off before it happened. "Very big strong boy and then when he gets excited, the adrenaline pops up and he goes into a rage.

I thought I had him under control, but I guess I didn't," Patrick's stepfather Steve Zielinksi said. Just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday on the 6900 block Souder Street, relatives say Johnson's grandmother caught him trying to light sticks on fire on the kitchen stove and was having a tough time trying to get him to stop.

"He was having a tantrum and my grandmother couldn't handle him so she called police to come out," Rynkiewicz said. Meanwhile, the stepfather says he tried to stop him.

"I got him, pinned his arms behind his back, he broke out. By that time, the cops were here. The cops told him four times to drop the sticks or they were going to Tase him. He lunged at the cops and they Tased him," Zielinksi said.

Zielinski says Johnson then broke through a basement door that was locked, ran down the steps and collapsed. He was rushed to Nazareth Hospital where he later died.

"I can't believe he's gone," Zielinksi said.

Tasers have become a tool that more law enforcement agencies have come to rely on. Every time an officer pulls the trigger, 50,000 volts are injected into the target. More HERE

We usaully cover incidents involving the tasering of black folks, but this one has to be reported, even though the person killed was not black.

It's up to us to support us!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

103 taser-related deaths in the United States in 2009-2010

103 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States

The publisher of the blog Electronic Village has been pointing out incidents of police taser torture for quite awhile. Electronic Village says: "The work done over the past few years by Patti Gillman and Cameron Ward continue to be the inspiration for our work." Gillman and Ward documented over 500 taser-related deaths in North America on their blog. The publisher of Tasered While Black agrees. Patti Gillman and Cameron Ward are truly an inspiration.

According to Amnesty International, between 2001 and 2008, 351 people in the United States died after being shocked by police Tasers.  Electronic Village has documented 103 taser-related deaths in the United States in 2009-2010

Taser Torture Freddie Lockett

As reported Villager at the blog Electronic Village, It has happened again. Freddie Lockett, 30, electrocuted to death by taser fire from an unidentifed Dallas police officers. The man was trying to flee police officers who were answering a robbery call earlier today.

According to a police incident report, a man told officers he was sitting inside his vehicle at a gas station in the 2900 block of South Westmoreland around 4 a.m. Saturday morning when Lockett approached the car and asked for money. The man in his car said he didn’t have any money and began to roll up the driver’s side window.

That’s when the driver said Lockett opened the door and started punching him in the face. Afraid, the victim told officers he crawled across his car and got out using the passenger side door. He ran inside the gas station and asked for someone to call police.

While he was in the store, he said the suspect went into his car and took his cell phone. Police said when they got to the area, they saw a man matching the description of the suspect. When they tried to talk to him, he ran away; but officers were able to catch up to him. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Taser Torture Memorial Creators Under Fire!

Church shows leadership on issue of Taser Torture in America. 

Memorial with crosses at New Mount Calvary Baptist Church represent people killed by a Taser torture in America. 

As reported by the Star-Telegram.com each of more than 450 crosses outside New Mount Calvary Baptist Church represents a person who was killed by a shock from a Taser, according to a sign announcing the National Taser Memorial. 
Some people who live nearby said it looks more like a cemetery. And they want it dismantled. 

City code compliance officers who visited this week left without issuing the church or its pastor a citation, a city official said. 

Highland Hills Neighborhood Association members acknowledge that the city may be restricted in regulating the number of crosses that a church can have on its property, but still, they want their objections noted. 

"I don't think that our neighborhood should have something in it that looks like a national cemetery," said Laura Meeks, beautification chairwoman and past president of the association. 

"It really does not say anything good about our neighborhood." 

The memorial was established in January at the church in the 5800 block of Oak Grove Road in far south Fort Worth. A large cross bears the name of Michael Jacobs Jr., a mentally challenged man who died in April 2009 after a Fort Worth police officer used a Taser on him for nearly a minute. 

The city of Fort Worth settled a lawsuit with the Jacobs family for $2 million in May after the Tarrant County medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

"I really think the big boys downtown do not want this symbol of the $2 million settlement that they had to pay to remain," the Rev. Thomas Franklin, pastor of New Mount Calvary, said Friday. 

But Eunice Givens, president of the neighborhood association, said neighbors object to the clutter the memorial brings to the neighborhood.

"We are trying to clean the community up," she said. "We are out here trying to encourage folks to keep their community clean. And instead of [Franklin] trying to improve the community, he's adding something that takes away from our efforts.

"If he was concerned about others in this community, he would never have put it up. It creates a bad image for our community."

Franklin said that in Louisiana, where he is from, members got a burial plot when they joined a church. The memorial is neat and the grass is cut, he said.

"There are almost 500 people who have been tortured to death by Taser devices, not counting the ones who have been wounded," Franklin said.

"This is our way of showing our respect for those families and showing that someone really cares." 

Kyev Tatum, president of the Tarrant County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who helped create the memorial, said the Police Department makes the point that Tasers save lives, but the memorial shows that Tasers kill people."The memorial makes such a powerful statement," Tatum said.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/08/06/2389795/some-neighbors-want-crosses-representing.html#ixzz0vwhbGkty

UPDATE: Community leaders and human rights advocates from across the country are being urged to come out to support Pastor Tom Franklin at the Community Empowerment Service on Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 3:00pm at the New Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church 5800 Oak Grove Road, North, Fort Worth, Texas 76134. 

The government tried to tax and take his Church for twenty years, starting in 1988, they are trying to steal his historic house, and now they are trying to make him dismantle one of the most powerful memorials in world for people who have been victimized by police officers taser abuse. 

Your support is encouraged. 

CONTACT and SUPPORT Pastor Tom Franklin at 817-298-2394 or frenklinart@aol.com

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pregnant Black Woman "Tasered While Black"

H/T to Villager of at Electronic Village for following the horror of the tasering of a Pregnant black Woman by the California Highway Patrol.

Did a California Highway Patrol officer violate the department's own policy on Taser use?

Tanisha Black was seven months pregnant. I don't imagine that she ever thought that she would feel 50,000 volts of electricity being shot through her body. Tanisha learned a lesson that was already taught to Valreca Redden.

Tanisha Black of Union City and her 3-year old son were pulled over by a CHP officer. [SOURCE]

"He says I am pulling you over because you were on your cell phone," Black recalled
.But that wasn't all. Unbeknownst to her she said her driver's license had been suspended because she missed a court appearance on traffic tickets. And so, Black said the officer told her, "I am going to tow the vehicle because your license is suspended as well and I need your keys." More HERE

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clarence Thomas' Nephew Tasered While Epileptic

Talk about High Tech Lynching...

A New Orleans TV station, USA Today, The Washington Post, Democratic Underground, Tasered Nation along with alternative news outlets are reporting that hospital security beat down Clarence Thomas' Suicidal, Epileptic Nephew. Ouch!

The nephew, Derek Thomas, is epileptic and suffered a seizure after being stunned, his family told ABC-affiliate WGNO.

He was taken to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero after a possible suicide attempt yesterday. His family said that after he refused to put on a gown, guards punched him in the lip, grabbed his hair and shocked him.

The family said doctors knew Thomas is epileptic but directed that he be stunned to restrain him. No comment from the hospital so far.

The station says Justice Thomas is expected to travel to New Orleans "as soon as possible." 

OMG, maybe the tasering of Americans will get some attention now that  nephew of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been tortured with a taser. 

Bloggers such as, Pam's  House Blend, The Afrospear, The Police Brutality BlogTasered While BlackHullabaloo, Tasered Nation, Electronic Village,Wonkette, Black Women in Europe™  Blog, THE  INTERSECTION | MADNESS & REALITY,Jack and Jill Politics, Electrocuted While Black, and a number of other bloggers have been paying close attention to the issue of Taser Torture for many years. 

It's too bad Clarence Thomas was not concerned , until now...

When I tried to get the conversation about taser abuse going at the so-called liberal blog, the Daily Kos.. there was limited concern until the nephew of Clarence Thomas got tasered. I guess it news worthy for now.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010: 60 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States since the beginning of last year.

Villager, at Electronic Village is tracking Taser Deaths in America.  Another black man dead by taser torture. As reported by electronic Village, there were 60 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States since the beginning of last year.

Villager, Publisher of Electronic Village says: "We have tracked taser-related deaths in the United States since January 1, 2009. Today we added Delano Smith (Elkhart, IN) as the 60th victim on our list."


Villager went on to say: "America's police force is killing people on a weekly basis with taser guns. There are not many states in the nation who have not been involved in a taser-related death this year. Tasers are now deployed in law enforcement agencies in 29 of the 33 largest U.S. cities."  Read More HERE

Shocking Pain: Limiting Police Taser Abuse

Here is a great post on the whole tasering issue. I'm glad international anti-taser activist, Francis Holland is working on the Tasers and Miranda rights issue.

Colin Starger writes: If pop culture were your only guide, you'd probably think that tasers are hilarious. Scenes of hapless souls squirming after being "tased" often play with a laugh track in Hollywood comedies. Real-world taser bloopers get thousands of hits on on the net. These images, however, are deeply deceptive. Tasers actually cause excruciating pain and police abuse of the weapon is a deadly serious problem. For this reason, I welcome the recent federal civil rights ruling that may help reform police taser policies.

The federal case arose out of a particular encounter in California between a police officer and a motorist during a traffic stop for a seat belt violation. The driver, Carl Bryan, was unarmed and indeed wore only boxer shorts and tennis shoes. Bryan was agitated, upset, and muttering gibberish. He exited his car but did not attempt to flee. Neither did he physically or verbally threaten the  cop. However, because Bryan allegedly failed to obey an order to return to his car, the officer -- who was standing 20 feet away -- discharged his taser. The electric current made Bryan fall flat on his face, fracturing four teeth and causing contusions. Read more on Shocking Pain: Limiting Police Taser Abuse

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New 'Miranda Rights' against taser abuse,"

"These are new 'Miranda Rights' against taser abuse,"
says Atty. Francis L. Holland

There's been a ground-breaking decision by the 9th Circuit US Federal Court of Appeals against taser abuse, entitled Bryan v. McPherson.  This decision was announced on December 29th, between Christmas and New Years holidays but it deserves our immediate attention and dissemination via our EasyWidgets:

The decision writes into federal caselaw many of the arguments and advocacy that we afrosphere bloggers have been making at our Days (months and years) of Blogging for Justice Against Police Pre-Trial, Extra-Judicial "Taser" Shock, Electrocution and Execution devices.  The Easy-Widget HTML code below enables us to educate the public of their newly announced rights.

The 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals agreed with us that:
". . . we must “balance the amount of force applied against the need for that force.”  Bryan v. McPherson, 9th Cir. Fd. Ct. App., December 29, 2009.
This decision has direct legal effect throughout the 9th Circuit, consisting of populous California, Alaska, Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Hawaii and Guam, and influential in other parts of the country.  Nearly 20% of America's population is within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit.  The Court announced what we have long insisted:
"A reasonable police officer . . . would have foreseen these physical injuries when confronting a shirtless individual standing on asphalt. We have held that force can be unreasonable even without physical blows or injuries." Bryan v. McPherson

We've got widgets up at 123 afrosphere blogs telling the public that, in many cases, when "Tasers" are used, "The price is too high". Now, lets post Easy-Widgets to inform the public that one of the most influential federal circuit courts of appeal in the country agrees with us that:

"The presence of non-minor physical injuries like those suffered by Bryan, however, is certainly relevant in evaluating the degree of the Fourth Amendment intrusion.Bryan v. McPherson

Let's celebrate! Here's a new EasyWidget that takes readers to our anti-electrocution blogs. This Easy-Widget HTML (immediately below) links to Electrocuted While Black, but there are visibly identical widgets below that lead to Tasered While Black and the Police Brutality Blog.

The result is better than that for which many of us had hoped. Instead of arguing locally for changes to voluntarily enforced police taser policy, Bryan's lawyers in this case, and bloggers making similar arguments, convinced the 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court to write these requirements and limitations into Federal caselaw, which is probably faster, better and politically safer than having the restrictions enacted into law by the US Congress. 

Afrosphere bloggers and the Ninth Circuit encourage other circuits to follow this example by observing that:
"We, along with our sister circuits, have held that tasers and stun guns fall into the category of non-lethal force.   Non-lethal, however, is not synonymous with non-excessive; all force—lethal and non-lethal—must be justified by the need for the specific level of force employed."   Bryan v. McPherson
Not everyone -- blogger or reader -- has had a chance to read the whole Bryan v. McPherson case. So, the Easy-Widget quotes the most powerful language of the decision and links to our afrosphere blogs for more information.

In Bryan v. McPherson, the 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court basically wrote into federal caselaw many of the arguments that we taser opponents have been arguing. But this is better than what many of us had sought, because instead of it being a change in local optionally enforced "guidelines," it's a change in obligatorily obeyed federal case law for the states in the 9th Circuit, and also, as the decision alludes, the 9th Circuit has enormous influence on other "sister" circuits courts.

Please join Electrocuted While Black in celebrating this decision by posting a widget that tells readers their rights and takes them to a blog where they can learn more, be it Electrocuted While Black or the Police Brutality Blog. Installation of the Easy-Widget below is a quick and easy way to quote some of the best parts of the case for your readers.