Tasers in Palo Alto?
Original post made
by Nat, Midtown,
on Dec 4, 2006
I'm terribly upset by the Palo Alto City Council Colleagues' Memo regarding tasers, which will be discussed by the Council tonight, December 4.
Police Chief Johnson is quoted in Sunday's (Dec. 3) Daily News as saying, as justification for acquiring these weapons, that "Our officers are running into more and more violent people, and people who are high on methamphetamine. They have super strength".
I've been following news stories on taser use for years. People on meth have been frequently reported as not responding to tasers. Either the tasers are completely ineffective or are used repeatedly to the point where the victim often dies. Drug users are the very people on whom tasers should not be used.
Police Auditor Gennaco is quoted as referring to tasers as "this traditional tool". That shows a bias in my opinion. When did these weapons become "traditional"?!
The colleagues' memo suggests, at the same time as the establishment of a task force to study the issue, both a use policy be prepared by the police chief and an application be made this month for a grant to fund these weapons. This memo chills me to the core. It appears that the powers that be in this City - the city manager, the police chief, and some council members - have already decided that Palo Alto will acqure these tools of torture, for that is what they are. And they often kill the very people upon whom they are meant to be used, people on drugs who cannot obey police orders and who may be vulnerable to heart arrythmia.
When tasers don't kill, they always torture. Even some police officers who have experienced the tasers in training have been injured, despite only one 5 second shot and support by fellow officers. Officers have attested to the excruciating pain. And suspects, usually unarmed, have routinely received multiple shots.
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Posted by David
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 4, 2006 at 8:56 pm
This story has been all over the news today. "Man dies, taser used"
Now the real story comes out and the taser had nothing to do with his death. TASER saves lives everyday but a few loud mouth liberals want to handcuff police. Don't let them
TASER's Saves Lives Everyday
Taser didn't kill man, police say
By Mike Ferenchik and Matthew Marx
The Columbus Dispatch
Monday, December 4, 2006 11:02 PM
Columbus is considering purchasing 110 additional model X-26 Tasers for police use.
Columbus police say a Taser didn't work against a Dayton man who died after struggling with officers at a Downtown hotel this weekend.
The Franklin County coroner's office will perform an autopsy Tuesday, Dr. Brad Lewis, coroner, said.
Police identified the man tonight as Briant K. Parks, 39. Parks might have been in town visiting a sister who lives in Columbus, but she couldn't be reached last night.
Parks had a 15-year-old son who lived in Iowa, relatives said. Briant Parks was living with his grandmother in Dayton and worked at a cleaning service, a relative said.
Relatives in Springfield, Ohio, and South Carolina last night were shocked to learn of his death and the events leading to it, saying he wasn't violent or the type to get into trouble with the law.
"No, it doesn't sound like him at all," said a woman who would identify herself only as a relative.
Parks has no criminal record in Ohio or in Indiana or Illinois, where he previouslyl lived, computer records show.
His father, an ordained minister, had died in April in South Carolina, the woman said.
Tonight, the Columbus City Council heard legislation to buy 110 more Tasers for Columbus police to add to the 205 already on the street. The City Council could vote next Monday on whether to buy the X-26 Tasers, including training cartridges and street-use cartridges, for $140,975, from Vance's Outdoors.
Parks died after police fired a Taser at him and wrestled with him inside The Columbus, a Renaissance Hotel, on Sunday night.
Parks resisted when police tried to arrest him after he swung a cane at a security guard, police said.
An officer fired Taser probes, which are connected to the gun by wires. One of the probes hit the man's coat and the other probe missed entirely, police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Corcoran said. Both probes have to hit the body, creating a circuit, for 50,000 volts of electricity to fully stun the person, Columbus Public Safety Director Mitchell J. Brown explained.
Police said Parks went into cardiac arrest in the hotel lobby and died at Grant Medical Center.
He had refused to leave Bar 41, which is in the lobby of the hotel at 50 N. 3rd St.
Police refused to release the name of the officer who fired the Taser and the names of other officers involved.
"As in all in-custody deaths, a full investigation is under way by the Columbus Division of Police's Critical Incident Response Team, and no specific-incident details will be discussed until the investigation is complete," Deputy Public Safety Director Barb Seckler said.
Council member Charleta Tavares said that even if the Taser didn't work, she wants to know why the man went into cardiac arrest.
Mayor Michael B. Coleman continues to support the city's Taser purchase, his spokesman, Mike Brown, said yesterday.
"We still see them as an important tool to save lives," he said.
Some civilian Taser models are less expensive than the police model, but have a shorter range -- 15 feet compared with 21 feet for the police model, Seckler said. The legislation states that only the X-26 is acceptable for police use.
An internal police study completed this year on Taser use in 2005 said police saved 24 lives that year by using Tasers instead of resorting to deadly force.
Seckler said from late 2004 through 2005, people filed nine complaints on Taser use with the Internal Affairs Bureau. Police exonerated officers in seven incidents and said two complaints were unfounded.
During last week's hearing, Brown called Columbus officers' experience with Tasers "very positive." He said injuries to prisoners were down by nearly 27 percent and to officers by 16 percent, according to 2005 statistics. Bruce said officers haven't used batons or flashlights as much. And the fire medical director, Dr. David Keseg, told officials that of the 383 times police fired Tasers in 2005, 31 people were taken to hospitals, and four of those were admitted.