Tags Taser International
Tag: Taser International
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, marked the death of the 1,044th person that we know of killed by Tasers in North America, the most recent in Oakland after a man, Marcellus Toney, tried to flee a multi-vehicle accident. This unnecessary death reveals the primary reason why San Franciscans have consistently rejected Tasers for the SFPD. Yet on Nov. 3, the San Francisco Police Commission voted and approved a renewed proposal to arm the SFPD with these weapons. This begs the question: Who are the proponents of Tasers?
In the wake of public outcry over the latest police shooting, of Mario Woods, an unarmed African American, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr has revived his previous call to equip his officers with electronic stun guns, also called electronic control weapons (ECWs). With similar cases in Chicago, New York and Miami, New America Media’s Paul Kleyman interviewed Aram James, a leading opponent of ECWs, about their risks.
Both the Richmond and BART Police Departments sent taser advocates to the Oct. 6 Berkeley City Council hearing, but neither is an exemplar of responsible taser use. BART Officer Johannes Mehserle claimed to have mistaken his gun for his taser after he shot and killed Black teenager Oscar Grant, and Richmond officer Kristopher Tong tasered Black teenager Andre Little in the testicles. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Berkeley Copwatch co-founder Andrea Pritchett about the hearing.
Police Chief Greg Suhr and the SF Police Commission finally scheduled and held the required community forums, where Suhr and Comdrs. Richard Corriea and Mikail Ali described the Electronic Control Weapon (ECW) proposal and invited community input. This updated story includes a report on the Tenderloin community forum, organized by residents. All testimony was anti-taser.
At its Wednesday, Nov. 14, meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Health, 101 Grove St., Room 300, the San Francisco Mental Health Board will welcome public comment before voting on a resolution against putting tasers in SFPD Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers’ hands.
People in crisis appear to have become the rationale for equipping police officers with so-called “non-lethal” tasers in addition to lethal weapons – guns. Concerned citizens acknowledging taser lethality seek to re-direct the SFPD from weaponry to a focus on verbal de-escalation techniques, especially appropriate in talking down people in mental health crisis.
“If, at 50,000 volts a zap, five officers shoot their tasers at the same time, the subject gets a 250,000-volt output – equal to the electrical charge inside the death penalty chamber,” Mesha Monge-Irizarry, a leading advocate for police accountability, explained.
It seems that there’s a new, easy-way-out solution for security people having to deal with troubled kids who act out or cause disruptions in school: Taser them! That’s right. Zap them with electricity. Elementary and high schools across this great land of ours are hiring security guards equipped with the nasty little weapons that the manufacturers call “non-lethal.” In fact, over 4,000 law enforcement agencies now arm their security people with Tasers.