Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Action Alert: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - Day of Blogging for Justice Against Extra-Judicial Electrocutions

First published at the Afrosphere Action Coalition blog.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Afrosphere Action Coalition

July 31, 2008

Contact: Francis Holland 55 (73) 3288-1716, Yobachi Boswell 615-478-5204, L.N. Rock africanamericanpoliticalpundit@gmail.com

Stop Police Pre-Trial Extra-Judicial
Electrocutions and Executions

On Wednesday, July 30th 2008, the Afrosphere Action Coalition; which helped organize bloggers for the Jena march last year, began conducting a taser abuse awareness campaign which kicked off with "A Day of Blogging for Justice - Blogging Against Pre-Trial Extra-Judicial Electrocution (Tasers)". Several dozen Black blogs, as well as others of diverse communities nationally and internationally are participating.

See the linked list of participating bloggers here: http://electrocutedwhileblack.blogspot.com/2008/07/partial-list-of-participants-day-of.html

The use of tasering on even nonviolent persons who are often those who are incoherent, hallucinating, wheelchair bound, suicidal, unarmed, deaf, handcuffed, blind, pregnant, foreign non-English speakers, or just didn’t move fast enough for an officers liking; is continuously growing not only in volume, but in the level of how liberally, unwarrantedly, and excessively tasering is being used across the country.

Both Black and White, poor and middle-class, & others have been subject to such abuse, and sentenced to death on the street. Yet, we cannot let go unnoticed that Black and the disadvantaged are even most subject to ‘electrocute first, ask questions later’.

Many Americans have seen the outrageous police tasing of an unarmed suicidal man; causing him to fall OFF AN OVERPASS AND ONTO THE HIGHWAY, in clear violation of tasing instructions! Phillip McDuffy was suicidal before, but with the help of his local police, he is now in critical condition.

Or, the 9-times tasering to death of the cousin of Jena 6 defendant Mychael Bell, Barron “Scooter” Pikes, while he was handcuffed; killing him in the back of a patrol car.

The blog Tasered While Black has been tracking the issue of black folks being tased for some time now. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now is tracking the death of Mr. Pikes. We are blogging today against police and other security entities across America, Canada and around the world involved in Extra-Judicial Electrocution by Tasers. African American political Pundit has called it a campaign against "on the spot pre-trial electrocution" of members of the public.

Francis L. Holland, Esq., a coordinator of the Afrosphere Action Coalition (AAC)says,

The Francis L. Holland Blog is calling for a moratorium on the pre-trial, extra-judicial electrocution of members of the public, at least until it can be demonstrated that these electrocutions are not potentially lethal, are not being used to torture subjects in custody, and are not being used disproportionately and gratuitously on Black people as a form of modern-day lynching.

http://francislholland.blogspot.com/2008/07/calling-for-moratorium-on-police-pre.html


The U.N. says: Tasers Are A Form Of Torture.

Today we want to give you and other members of the general public, awareness on the issue of taser abuse by police. It's important that the general public understand the 'use of force continuum' used by law enforcement officials, and how it is abused by many in the law enforcement community. (See the use-of-force-continuum provided by Villager at Electronic Village: http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/2008/02/use-of-force-continuum.html) Although there is a Justice Department Review of TASER-related Deaths the on-the-spot pre-trial electrocutions continue.

###


Francis L. Holland, Esq.

Coordinator, Afrosphere Action Coalition

francislholland@yahoo.com
55 (73) 3288-1716
http://francislholland.blogspot.com

D. Yobachi Boswell
Coordinator, Afrosphere Action Coalition
lionrunner777@yahoo.com
615-478-5204
http://www.blackperspective.net/

Daz Wilson
Coordinator, Afrosphere Action Coalition
Purple Zoe
http://purplezoe.blogspot.com/

L.N. Rock
Anti-Electrocution Coordinator, Afrosphere Action Coalition
http://africanamericanpoliticalpundit.com/

Additional Information:


Top 13 Cases of Pre-Trial Electrocution, Execution Via Taser


Here are thirteen of the worst cases involving black Americans receiving pre-trial electrocutions, including the outrageous police tasing causing a suicidal Black man to fall 15 feet off a bridge.


Case #1
It's the case of the black man getting tased to death in Georgia (while in police custody) with almost a dozen police holding him down as he is tased.

Here is an actual video (below) of a black man who received "Extra-Judicial Electrocution" (tasered to death) in Georgia.

Acceptable Use of Torture in the USA [Gwinnett County, Georgia] The use of electric shock as a method of torture was first documented in Nazi, Germany, but today it is still used as an acceptable use of force. Why? WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU DARE!

Case #2
Pregnant Black Women Tasered In Ohio Hat Tip: Villager at Electronic Village for breaking this story to the afrospear.November 29, 2007 TROTWOOD, Ohio --

The FBI is investigating after a Trotwood police officer used a Taser on a pregnant woman. Trotwood Public Safety Director Michael Etter said the incident happened on Nov. 18. He said the woman arrived at the police department asking to give up custody of her 1-year-old son. Etter said an officer spoke with the woman as she held onto the child outside the police department. "(He) attempted to obtain information on both the mother and the child, at which time the mother refused to give any information and became very agitated," Etter said. Surveillance video from the police department shows the woman trying to leave with the child. The officer then grabs her coat in an effort to get her to stop. Etter said the officer was doing what he thought was in the best interest of the boy.The video shows the woman struggling with the officer, who then takes the child from her and gives the boy to another officer. The first officer then forces the woman down on her stomach, and he then uses a Taser on her neck. Etter said the officer did not know the woman was pregnant."She did not disclose, even after she was arrested, that she was pregnant," Etter said. He said the woman was wearing a large winter coat and had her child on her lap when she was talking to the officer. Etter said the department is cooperating with the FBI investigation, and there is also an ongoing internal investigation to see if the use of force was warranted for the situation.Etter said the officer involved is still on duty. Trotwood's policy on use of force states that officers should "greatly evaluate each situation with discretion when anticipating the deployment of the Taser on young children, elderly persons and pregnant females."The woman involved in the case declined to make a statement, saying only that she feels "unjustly served," the television station reported. Officers said the 1-year-old boy was put into the custody of a family member after the incident.

Case # 3 - 17-year-old Darryl Wayne Turner - Killed While at Work Over Argument with Supervisor at grocery Store.
Release the surveillance videotape - Stop The Coverup! Why did the 17-year-old Black Kid Bagging Groceries have to die?

Source:
The Charlotte Observer

Here's what we know about how 17-year-old Darryl Wayne Turner died: He had cardiac arrest after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot him with a Taser gun.
Yet what we don't know about that shooting is just as important. Police and prosecutors should say how many times Mr. Turner was shot and make public a surveillance videotape that captured much of the confrontation. That's the only way to settle questions about what happened.

Prosecutors announced last week that Police Officer Jerry Dawson acted appropriately when he shocked Mr. Turner during a March confrontation at a north Charlotte grocery store. Officials said Mr. Turner was shocked more than once after he advanced on the officer.

Yet police and prosecutors have refused to reveal how many times the officer shot Mr. Turner and refused to air a videotape that showed what happened leading up to the shooting.
That secrecy doesn't make sense. If the investigation cleared the officer, those key details would only reinforce that finding.

For one thing, knowing how many times Mr. Turner was shot gives the public a way to evaluate the officer's response in light of some disturbing facts.

A June study by the U.S. Department of Justice reviewed Taser deaths and found that many of them are associated with repeated shocks. It cautioned law enforcement agencies against repeated shockings, saying the medical risks are unknown.

Mr. Turner's autopsy showed the teen's heart was pumping so fast and chaotically from the Taser shot and the confrontation that it stopped pumping blood properly.
In addition, sharing the surveillance video with the public would resolve conflicting accounts of what it shows. A lawyer representing Mr. Turner's family has viewed videotape. He disputes the police account that Mr. Turner walked or advanced aggressively toward the officer before he was shot.
More HERE

Case # 4 -
21 year old Barron Scooter Collins,

Tased to death nine times over the course of 30 minutes
www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-taser_witt-web-jul19,0,2201847.story First cousin to Mychal Bell, of the Jena Six, killed after being tased nine times over the course of 30 minutes.
He was in restraints- in police custody when he died. And the certificate labels the death a homicide.A News Broadcaster reports, "The two other Winnfield Officers who were involved in the incident: Alan Marsdin and Cargyle Junior Branch-- Both are still on the force. Neither one has been disciplined."What's up with the
News Channel 5. Check out the report they make on the death of of a black man. They start of the report saying, "It's been five and a half months since the death of 21 year old Barron Scooter Collins, a convicted drug dealer. News Channel 5 has learned Collins birth name is Barron Pikes. And he was first cousin to Mychal Bell, of the Jena Six. Scooter died after being in police custody and being tased. The incident prompted over 100 blacks in Winnfield to protest downtown.
Video
Photos

Tasered While Black says: Why was it so important to say:
"The 21 year old Barron Scooter Collins, a convicted drug dealer. "

OK, so News Channel 5 says it has learned Collins birth name is Barron Pikes. And he was first cousin to Mychal Bell, of the Jena Six. Scooter died after being in police custody and being tased. The incident prompted over 100 blacks in Winnfield to protest downtown. The Winn Parish Coroner, Dr. Randolph Williams, actually concluded his report 3 weeks ago and for the past 3 weeks News Channel 5 has been trying to get a copy of the report. Dr. Williams has refused to release anything to the media. But
Radio Talk Show Host Tony Brown has provided News Channel 5 a copy of the death certificate. Tony Brown has been in close contact with Scooters relatives. The Pikes gave Brown the death certificate—and permission for him to give it to us.


Tasered While Black: big hat tip to Tony brown for standing in the gap with this family.
That document explains Scooter died after being tased nine times over the course of 30 minutes. He went into cardiac arrest. The certificate also confirms Collins was in restraints- in police custody when he died. And the certificate labels the death a homicide.

This is Scott Nugent, son of former Winnfield Chief of Police Gleason Nugent. Scott Nugent is the officer who tased Scooter after a foot chase. Nugent says Scooter was resisting arrest. But relatives of Scooter told NC5 that Nugent and Scooter went to high school together in Winnfield and had a bumpy personal history that they never liked each other. By the way, Nugent's record with Winnfield PD also has a major bump. In 2007 Nugent arrested a man for DWI--while the man was in Nugent's custody he somehow managed to steal Nugent's police cruiser—he crashed the car and died in the wreck.

Because the coroner was taking such a long time with his investigation, the Winnfield city council held an emergency meeting back in May. Nugent had been on paid suspension since the incident. But under an officer's bill of rights, there's only so much time that can pass until the officer is either allowed back to work or fired. The deadline was fast approaching so the city council voted 3 to 2 to terminate Nugent.

Nugent can appeal his termination to the local civil services board to try to get his job back. But job aside, Nugent could be facing criminal charges for the death. State Police Investigators are reviewing the incident and will present a report to the Winn Parish District Attorney. After that the case could go before a grand jury and then possibly a trial. Meanwhile Scooter's family is consulting with a lawyer about a lawsuit. Scooter had a 4 year old son named Kadarien.

Case # 5 - Black Man Tasered, Dies After Asking For Help From Police
Man dies after being Tasered by police
FayObserver.com - Fayetteville,NC,USA

A man died early this morning after being Tasered by Fayetteville Police Department officers.
The dead man's name has not been released. The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate. Fayetteville police also are conducting an internal investigation.
According to the Fayetteville police, a black male flagged down an officer at 5525 Murchison Road about 12:51 a.m. and said that he had overdosed on crack cocaine. When the officer tried to help, the subject fled.About 10 minutes later, officers responded to 5555 Murchison Road in reference to a business alarm. According to police, it was the same man. He became combative and officers tried to Taser him, but did not strike him with both darts.
More HERE
FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- The State Bureau of Investigations in looking into the death of a man after being tasered by a Fayetteville Police officer.

Otis Anderson's family members say he was released from prison Sunday.
The incident between police and Anderson happened around midnight Wednesday at a convenience store on Murchison Road. More
HERE

Case # 6 - Black Man pepper-sprayed, punched then Tased from behind by Seattle Police even after he complied with their orders and he was down on his knees. SEATTLE - The King County Sheriff's Office is investigating a scuffle that erupted when Seattle police tried to make an arrest on New Year's Eve.Police officers ended up using a Taser on the man who, at that time, was on his hands and knees.

A KOMO 4 News photographer captured exclusive video of the arrest as officers were struggling with Marcel Richardson. Nearly a dozen police officers and at least one firefighter chased and tackled the man. (Watch the raw video of the arrest) Police say Richardson, 23, had a simple choice -- comply or get arrested, and he chose the latter. But Richardson's aunt claims the police took it one step too far when they didn't have to, with her nephew already on the ground.The scuffle broke out in the packed streets near the Space Needle when a computer glitch suddenly stopped the planned fireworks, sending the excited crowds on the ground over the edge.The footage shows Richardson being pepper-sprayed, punched then Tased from behind while he was down on his knees."He was beat in the back of the head with a baton, he was kicked, he was punched in the face (and) for what?" said Michelle King, his aunt.King, who works for Seattle's Municipal Court, says she knows the justice system and is sure the officers went too far."To me, the police department is nothing but a licensed gang and I stand by my son. And no matter what happens after today, I'm going to stand by my son and my nephew until the end," she said.Case

# 7 - Pregnant Black Woman Tased Here is a older report but still relevant. Why are men still being allowed to abuse black woman like this and get away with it. Black Pregnant Woman 'Tasered' by police is convicted

She was rushing her son to school. She was eight months pregnant.
By
HECTOR CASTROSEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
Police used Taser on pregnant driver

She was rushing her son to school. She was eight months pregnant. And she was about to get a speeding ticket she didn't think she deserved.
So when a Seattle police officer presented the ticket to Malaika Brooks, she refused to sign it. In the ensuing confrontation, she suffered burns from a police Taser, an electric stun device that delivers 50,000 volts.

"Probably the worst thing that ever happened to me," Brooks said, in describing that morning during her criminal trial last week on charges of refusing to obey an officer and resisting arrest.

She was found guilty of the first charge because she never signed the ticket, but the Seattle Municipal Court jury could not decide whether she resisted arrest, the reason the Taser was applied. To her attorneys and critics of police use of Tasers, Brooks' case is an example of police overreaction.

"It's pretty extraordinary that they should have used a Taser in this case," said Lisa Daugaard, a public defender familiar with the case. Law enforcement officers have said they see Tasers as a tool that can benefit the public by reducing injuries to police and the citizens they arrest. Seattle police officials declined to comment on this case, citing concerns that Brooks might file a civil lawsuit. But King County sheriff's Sgt. Donald Davis, who works on the county's Taser policy, said the use of force is a balancing act for law enforcement.

"It just doesn't look good to the public," he said. Brooks' run-in with police Nov. 23 came six months before Seattle adopted a new policy on Taser use that guides officers on how to deal with pregnant women, the very young, the very old and the infirm. When used on such subjects, the policy states, "the need to stop the behavior should clearly justify the potential for additional risks." "Obviously, (law enforcement agencies) don't want to use a Taser on young children, pregnant woman or elderly people," Davis said. "But if in your policy you deliberately exclude a segment of the population, then you have potentially closed off a tool that could have ended a confrontation." Brooks was stopped in the 8300 block of Beacon Avenue South, just outside the African American Academy, while dropping her son off for school. In a two-day trial that ended Friday, the officer involved, Officer Juan Ornelas, testified he clocked Brooks' Dodge Intrepid doing 32 mph in a 20-mph school zone. He motioned her over and tried to write her a ticket, but she wouldn't sign it, even when he explained that signing it didn't mean she was admitting guilt. Brooks, in her testimony, said she believed she could accept a ticket without signing for it, which she had done once before. "I said, 'Well, I'll take the ticket, but I won't sign it,' " Brooks testified.
Officer Donald Jones joined Ornelas in trying to persuade Brooks to sign the ticket. They then called on their supervisor, Sgt. Steve Daman.
More HERE

More about this story below:
Pregnant Woman tazered after being pulled over for speeding in ...If Andrew Meyer Was Bad Then a Pregnant Black Woman is Worse
Death by Taser - TalkLeft: The Politics Of Crime
half a bubble off plumb: Taser it before it grows

Case # 8 - Sunday, December 9, 2007
59 Year old black Veteran dies of spinal cord fracture after being "Tasered While Black." Another Black American Veteran Dead at the hands of Law EnforcementWill one of your family members be next?
Samuel Baker
Hat Tip:
Community Freespeech.org

What really happened? We the people may never know. Where were the Chief of Police and other elected officials during the meeting on October 9, 2007? They had promised to be there to provide answers. Is it because our Republic is quickly becoming a Police State?
A state, Wherein the news media refuse to report the truth, and where investigative reporting has become a thing of the past—in the so-called land of the free, and the home of too many graves?


News Media Whiteout machines, and Law Enforcement reports are all similar. This death of a 59-year-old American Veterans is no different from hundreds of others by the hands of Law Enforcement for whatever reasons.
More HEREResults are expected to be finalized Friday, investigators said. The results will now be turned over to the district attorney's office, which will determine whether charges are filed against anyone involved in the incident. More HERE
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Baker, who passed away during an altercation with a Quitman Police officer, died from a spinal cord fracture and dislocation he suffered when he fell to the ground after being tased. Additionally, the GBI said that Baker's enlarged heart, due to hypertension, played a role in his death.
Hundreds of Quitman Residents March for Samuel Baker


Case # 9 -Tasered While Black, and Sleeping in North Braddock, Pittsburgh
Tasered at his own home: The Shawn Hicks Story By Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -

When Shawn Hicks returned to his North Braddock home on Stokes Avenue after a Saturday night out on the town with friends, he didn't bother turning on the lights. Instead of heading to his bedroom, Mr. Hicks, a 29-year-old business major at Point Park University, plopped himself face down and fully dressed on his cream-colored leather sofa in his living room. He also neglected to deactivate his home security system, which has a silent alarm. Surrounded by the darkness and familiar comforts of his home, Mr. Hicks was asleep within five minutes. He didn't know it at the time, but he was not destined to have sweet dreams that night. "I felt a lot of voltage going through my body," Mr. Hicks said recalling the events of that late July weekend. "That's what woke me up." Jumping to his feet, Mr. Hicks was aware of an intense sensation between the shoulder blades of his 150-pound body. It didn't stop there. His whole body felt as if it were on fire. When his eyes finally adjusted to the light, his heart skipped yet another beat. Two North Braddock police officers, Gerard Kraly and Lukas Laeuricia, were standing in his living room. To this day, Mr. Hicks still doesn't know which is Kraly and which Laeuricia. The shorter of the two officers did most of the talking. His mustached partner was a burly over-6-footer in his late 30s or early 40s. He held the Taser, the prongs of which were sticking in Mr. Hicks' back. The polite family newspaper version of what Mr. Hicks said in response to being electrified translates roughly as "What's going on here?" The shorter cop, whom Mr. Hicks remembers as blond, asked him to calm down. The officer said that North Braddock police received a call from the security company monitoring Mr. Hicks' home. They believed a break-in was in progress More HERE. There is still more. The FBI reviewing Tasering of sleeping man. Hat Tip blogger Another Opinionated Youth who reports, Back in September, a man living in North Braddock, Pittsburgh, was tasered in his own home, while sleeping on the couch. The story is summed up below: Shawn Hicks had come back from a night out and plopped down on his own couch in his own home. Unfortunately, he failed to deactivate the silent alarm on his home security system. According to Hicks, two police officers responded to the alarm, entered his home, and woke him with a taser between the shoulder blades. When Hicks tried to explain that the whole thing was a misunderstanding, and that the officers were in his own home, they tasered him again. They next checked his wallet and ID, which confirmed his name and address. Then they tasered him again. The police then removed the taser pellets from Hicks' bloody back, refused to get him medical treatment, and arrested him for "being belligerent." They threw him in a holding cell until 5 am the next morning, when they released him without filing any charges. More HERE

Case # 10 - Retired Black Police Lt. Son Tasered While Black

Tasered while Black - NYPD StyleH/T Police Brutality Blog for reporting on the 17-year old Alex Lombard, III still has burn marks from the stun gun. He was stun-gunned four (4) times in one incident. His father, a retired police Lieutenant from the same New York City Police force, said, "I was just hurt by what happened, to think that members of the service, of the police department I worked on, could do this to my son." More HERE

Case # 11 - Woman Dies After Being Handcuffed, Tasered By Police
Here is another one. This happened back in May of 2007 in Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A mentally ill homeless woman died after she was arrested outside a shelter and stunned with a Taser while she was on the ground in handcuffs, authorities and witnesses said. An autopsy was performed on Milisha Thompson, 35, but her cause of death has not been determined pending toxicology tests, police Sgt. Paco Balderrama said Tuesday. One witness, Edwin Davis, said onlookers began yelling, ``You killed her! You killed her!'' as Thompson slipped out of consciousness during Saturday's confrontation outside the City Rescue Mission. But Balderrama said Thompson repeatedly kicked and attacked officers, even after being stunned with the Taser. After she lost consciousness, officers began CPR and she was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
More HERERelated coverage below:
5/20/2007
Woman Dies After Police Shoot Her With Taser
5/22/2007 Woman Dies After Being Handcuffed, Stunned With Taser By Police 5/31/2007 Police Release Video, Answer Questions In Taser Death

Case # 12 - Wichita Police Taser deaf man who could not hear verbal commands
Wichita NAACP Holding Wichita Police Department AccountableWPD Officer uses a Taser gun on a deaf man who could not hear verbal commands On November 20th, a man by the name of Donnell Williams, 39, was at home alone . Mr. Williams is hearing impaired, has a glass eye, and walks with a slight limp. He was taking a shower when 4 officers responding to a call of 'shots fired' knocked on his door. Mr. Williams did not (and could not) hear them and he continued to shower.When he exited the shower, he walked into his living room, dressed only in a towel to find 4 Wichita Police Officers, one of which was carrying a bullet proof shield. Mr. Williams saw the officers gesturing to him, but could not hear what they were saying so he motioned towards his hearing aid which was sitting on his dining room table.When Mr. Williams turned to get his hearing aid from the table, he was shot with a taser gun by one of the officers. (remember; he was wearing only a towel, and motioning towards his hearing aid which was sitting on the table) more HERE and HERE - Hearing Impaired Man Tased by Police more HERE

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Case # 13 - Don't forget the tasing of black folks is international. "Taser Profiling" or being "Tasered While Black" is not limited to the U.S. - Enter Digby (Nova Scotia) .

2 comments:

Bree said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

и всё эе: шикарно! а82ч