Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Or Whatever

A Louisiana cop might face criminal charges after tasering to death a Black suspect in a town near Jena. Fellow officer Chuck Curry defended his (former) compatriot:
"This has come down to a police officer that was trying to apprehend a suspect that they had warrants for," he said. "He done what he thought he was trained to do to bring that subject into custody. At some point, something happened with his body that caused him to go into cardiac arrest or whatever."

The "something" that happened, presumably, was one of the 9 taser shots officer Scott Nugent used against Baron Pikes. The seventh came after Pikes was already in the squad car, the eighth and ninth might have come after Pikes was already dead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is actually why I really think all forms of enforcement officers (police, security, etc.) should be stripped of tasers. Ever since they became widely used we've seen them being abused by everyone who has any power. They go to lower level people like security, with less training, even though these people are the most likely to abuse them, because we think "oh, it's just a taser." obviously, just a taser is enough. They have the potential to kill just like anything else, and because they incapacitate the victim they're much worse, because they instantly render them incapable of responding.

Tasers were meant to be used only in situations where the officer is being violently attacked, as a way of incapacitating the person without actually harming or killing them. It was never meant to be used as an enforcement tool, simply due to the fact that you can't get someone to comply when they're convulsing. But as stories like this continue to show, even police frequently don't seem capable of understanding that fact. They'll say "get up" to someone they've tasers, and when the person can't they taser them again.

This may sound strange, but I'd prefer police only be equipped with guns unless they are specially qualified (i.e. i don't think most police at all should ever have one). At least even the simplest mind can understand "if you shoot someone, they die, so don't shoot unless they're trying to kill you." A gun is also intimidating, and a taser isn't, which makes it in some ways more effective at forcing compliance without injury.

This is also the reason I fear the non-leathal anti-mob weapons being developed, because I know with the nature of arms companies and governments that they'll be sold to dictatorships, and a gun is much worse at breaking up a mob than a correctly used microwave gun (it makes your skin feel like it's boiling), thus they'll be more effective at suppressing protests, but without looking bad. Then they can go and kill people in private. Even our own government can oppress us (and they've done it in the past to minorities and others; you know the civil rights movement), and I don't trust them at all with these kinds of powers. I feel strangely safer in a world filled with guns than one filled with machines like these, especially when you consider that many of these people take such low paying jobs simply out of a perverse need to beat up on people.

Really, tasers are at best nothing but trouble, and at worst full on oppression (you remember Kerry's speech, with the student who asked a question that Kerry didn't want to answer and was dragged from the room, tasered over and over again; remember that he said nothing).