Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tazer Torture

[UPDATE Below]

Death on the North Coast

As reported in the Times-Standard newspaper, Wednesday, June 23, 2010: Del Norte man dies in Taser incident.

Incidentally, the Times-Standard also tweeted: @eurekaTS: Our most-read story today is about the Del Norte man who died from a Taser incident.

Here again a sick person is killed by the police incompetently trying to affect an arrest. According to the Times-Standard as told to them by the Del Norte Sheriff's Office, “...the deputies found Daniel Sylvester, who became violent and assaulted the deputies.” Why is the report always the same? They knew going in, again as reported, “...a 911 call regarding a man with a history of psychological problems who was 'out of control' – when they got there “the reporting party” ... “were scared and had left.” Uniformed and armed police officers confronting such a person in such a situation always pose a threat to the sick person. So, why is it that the very first thing they do is “deploy a tazer”? Even sane normal people when really angry are not prone to immediately submit to some officers order when they believe the officer is unreasonable. Hell, you can't even ask one of the guys a question without threatening them or their perceived authority.

Here again is a classic example of the standard use application of tasers by the police. Taser guns are often used by police as a compliance tool on unarmed individuals who pose no deadly threat, who are drunk or on drugs and simply quarrel with officers.

This idea that this or any other person is guilty of some crime just because a police officer decides to confront someone is taking our normal relatively peaceful communities into the same reality that this country brought to Iraq and Afghanistan – Shoot first and explain it away after. Personally, while I and my family support the police and always look to them as our first line of defense, we certainly do not want to live is some sort of bastardized police state.

Two well-trained, able-bodied police officers BEFORE receiving Tazers, where there was absolutely no justification for lethal force, would have simply taken control and enforced that sick man's arrest. Why? Because they weren't there to protect their thin skins as a first priority. They were there to HELP that sick person. And not by first torturing that poor person to death because he or she didn't respect and instantly comply or obey their every command and dictate. Those two deputy Sheriff's officers might as well have done the same thing the two Eureka Police officers did to David Sequoia, simply put a gun to his head and execute him. It amounts to the same thing – they're both dead and for the same reasons.

As long as the police are unable to do their jobs without people first giving them that right, there are going to be many more unnecessary deaths. The police, the individual police man or woman are NOT the Law. They enforce the law. There is a difference. They are not accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury or executioner. So how it, that is how they conduct themselves when they enforce their legal mandate when someone refuses to immediately so what they want?

Websites of interest:
  1. Police Brutality (and Atrocity) Blog
  2. Electrocuted While Black  "Tracking and reporting on pre-trial, extra-judicial death penalty, because it's 21st century lynching, by another name."
  3. Tazer International Advisory Bulletin - Issued to police October 12, 2009.
  4. Use of Force Continuum - 6 level specific process police follow.
  5. Amnesty International's continuing concerns about Taser use. U.S.A. use of taser.
[UPDATE :: Tuesday, June 6, 2010]

Mother of man Tased and killed in Del Norte speaks out – now we get the other side of the story.

Why are the witness accounts always different than the police official reports? The Times-Standard's John Driscoll reports that the mother, who initially called the police and told them of her son's mental state of mind before the engaged him says, “her son was backing away from deputies.” So what obscure, nonsensical reason could this person possibly be doing that made these officers believe he was attacking them, that they were “fighting for their lives”? You think maybe he raised his voice a little and told them to stay away? Fear can do that you know?


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