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, 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.