Monday, November 26, 2007

 

Poinography! » Tasers “an option” for Hawaii County PD


by Larry Geller

Doug covered two recent Big Island articles on the use of Tasers in Hawaii today on his Poinography blog. I won't steal his thunder, please read his article. You won't want to miss the part about keeping police use of Tasers a secret from the public. 

The wording of the policy regarding Tasers hasn’t been added to the general orders book at the Kealakehe Police Station, nor is the use of force policy available on the Police Department’s Web site, though other orders are. In general, according to the use of force policy, officers may use “less than lethal force” to protect themselves or other people from physical harm, to restrain or subdue a person who is resisting arrest or to “bring an unlawful situation safely and effectively under control.” [Poinography! » Tasers “an option” for Hawaii County PD]

Does that last part scare you? It should. Remember the video of the cop using a Taser during a speeding stop. There was a video camera running. Fortunately the driver was not killed by the cop. How many times have Tasers been used improperly without making the news because there was no camera and no one killed?

I also seem to have underreported the number of people recently killed by police wielding Tasers. From today's Democracy Now I learned that four men in the United States and three in Canada have died after being shot with Tasers in the past two weeks: 

UN Committee: Tasers Can Be Form of Torture
The United Nations Committee Against Torture has determined the use of taser stun guns can be a form of torture and violate the U.N. Convention Against Torture. The committee said the stun guns cause extreme pain and in some cases death. Four men in the United States and three in Canada have died after being shot with tasers in the past two weeks. Earlier this month a video emerged showing Canadian police tasering an unarmed Polish tourist in a Vancouver airport. The man died after he was shocked twice with 50,000 volts. The stun gun manufacturer Taser claims that no deaths have ever been definitively connected to the taser.[Democracy Now! | Headlines for November 26, 2007]

More from CBS/Associated Press: 

Sunday, November 25, 2007 by CBS News

UN: Tasers Are A Form Of Torture
“Stun Guns” Are Under Fire After Six Deaths This Week; Rallies Held Demanding They Be Banned

(CBS/AP) - A United Nations committee said Friday that use of Taser weapons can be a form of torture, in violation of the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

Use of the electronic stun devices by police has been marked with a sudden rise in deaths - including four men in the United States and two in Canada within the last week.

Canadian authorities are taking a second look at them, and in the United States, there is a wave of demands to BAN them.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture referred Friday to the use of TaserX26 weapons which Portuguese police has acquired. An expert had testified to the committee that use of the weapons had “proven risks of harm or death.”

“The use of TaserX26 weapons, provoking extreme pain, constituted a form of torture, and that in certain cases it could also cause death, as shown by several reliable studies and by certain cases that had happened after practical use,” the committee said in a statement.

Tasers have become increasingly controversial in the United States, particularly after several notorious cases where their use by police to disable suspects was questioned as being excessive. Especially disturbing is the fact that six adults died after being tased by police in the span of a week. [UN: Tasers Are A Form Of Torture“Stun Guns” Are Under Fire After Six Deaths This Week; Rallies Held Demanding They Be Banned - CommonDreams.org]

So now if you haven't read Doug's post on Tasers in Hawaii and the intent to keep their use secret, please visit Poinography! and check it out. He has links to the original newspaper articles.

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Comments:

We've got a few "bad eggs" on the Hawaii County police force. Put those lasers in their hands and we are bound to have problems real soon.
 

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