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Monday, December 14, 2009

Set the tasers on Kill!

Searching the headlines in recent days, it seems like each new day provides another victim of Law Enforcement and its over-reliance on the Taser. O'er the land of the cowards, and the home of the slaves (America-btw), the portable electroshock device has proven itself a cop's best friend. “You can gain compliance just by having it,” said Jeff Petty, a Loves Park (IL) police Taser instructor. “The value of that is priceless. A lot of times people will say, ‘Don’t tase me! Don’t tase me! Sometimes just the presence of a Taser can calm a situation down.” Unless, of course, YOU TASE HIM! Police cheerleaders and other neocon-bootlicker-types, who bow in reverence to the festooned badgery, cheered and snickered at Andrew Meyer (you know, the "Don't tase me, bro" guy from the University of Florida). Four police, who were each pinning down a limb, found it necessary to shock the young man in front of a public audience. Tasers were supposedly originally deployed as an alternative to the use of deadly force, but in this case (like many, many others) UF officers used it as a form of punishment. As the Taser instructor stated above, their goal is to gain compliance.
Below are the names of the thirty-four men killed by American law enforcement tasers in the last six months. Now, I would not sit here and try to defend all of these individuals: some attacked officers with weapons, but some were mentally ill, and others were just trying to run away. We must let our local law enforcement agencies know that we are against cruel and unusual punishment, and tasers are exactly that. Moreover, until it is made clear that tasers cannot be used to dish out punishment (ie. torture), they should be off our streets. People can accept using a taser to thwart an attack against a suspect with a weapon-- and if the taser kills him, it was the perpetrators own fault. But we must no longer accept casualties to irresponsible LEOs who use the device to teach a lesson to a restrained suspect, or to subdue someone because they're too lazy to do the physical part of the job.

*God Bless the families and friends of those who have been killed at the hands of Taser,
International. May they one day inherit what is rightfully theirs.

Douglas Boucher (Mason, OH) 12/13
Paul Martin Martinez Jr. (Roseville, CA) 12/11
Hatchel Pate Adams III (Hampton, Va) 12/11
Andrew Grande (Panama City, FL) 12/11
Edward Buckner (Chattanooga, TN) 11/27
Jesus Gillard (Bloomfield Township, MI) 11/19
Ronald Petruney (Washington, PA) 11/17
Matthew Bolick (East Grand Rapids, MI) 11/16
Darryl Bain (Long Island, NY) 11/14
Herman George Knabe (Corpus Christi, TX) 11/13
Jeffrey C. Woodward (Gallatin, TN) 10/27
Frank Cleo Sutphin (San Bernardino, CA) 10/17
Christopher John Belknap (Ukiah, CA) 10/12
Derrick Humbert (Bradenton, FL) 9/28
Richard Battistata (Laredo, TX) 9/21
Robert Lee Thompson (Anderson, SC) 9/20
Yuceff W. Young II (Brooklyn, OH) 9/19
Alton Warren Ham (Modesto, CA) 9/16
Shane Ledbetter (Aurora, CO) 9/7
Manuel Dante Dent (Modesto, CA) 8/27
Miguel Molina (Los Angeles, CA) 8/26
Mark Anthony Barmore (Rockford, IL) 8/24
T.J. Nance (Arizona City, AZ) 8/22
Francisco P. Sesate (Mesa, AZ) 8/20
Ronald Eugene Cobbs (Greensboro, NC) 8/18
Hakim Jackson (Philadelphia, PA) 8/14
Ernest Owen Ridlehuber III (Greenwood, SC) 8/12
Terrace Clifton Smith (Moreno Valley, CA) 8/9
Jonathan Michael Nelson (Riverside County, CA) 7/30
Rory McKenzie (Bakersfield, CA) 7/2
Shawn Iinuma (Fontana, CA) 6/29
Derek Kairney (South Windsor, CT) 6/20
Dwight Jerome Madison (Baltimore, MD) 6/13
Brian Cardall (Hurricane, UT) 6/9

Thanks to Truth-not-Tasers for the names of older taser death victims, who are no longer in the headlines.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In Gratitude to Those Who Justly Serve

In light of the recent string of attacks against law enforcement in the US, I think it necessary to mourn the lives of the fallen officers and to thank the average cop on the beat who is willing to put his life on the line to secure the safety of others. In my 28 years on this earth, I have had plenty of encounters with law enforcement. Like in all walks of life, we are stuck with the bad along with the good. I believe that, as I have stated previously, our government has become like a cancer to our once prosperous and free society. Offshore banks and multinational corporations have essentially bought off both parties in our political system. As throughout history, many peace officers have answered the call to serve and protect their communities with the same dignity, honor, and respect for the law-abiding citizen as in generations past. But when government becomes self-serving and corrupt, it ever increasingly spends more resources protecting its own power and authority. On this foundation forms a culture of arrogance and suspicion, and make no mistake-- the Feds are largely to blame. At least in suburban and rural America, local police forces are the most professional as they are directly responsive to their communities. It is the Homeland Security sponsored "events," such as at the G20 or at the many federally granted police checkpoints, that police abuse is most rampant. For some reason, when you get State, County, and local police together, people end up dead. And now the military is becoming increasingly involved in civilian policing, in violation of the century and a half old Posse Comitatus Act that has served us well.
We need police reform. More law enforcement agencies involved means less accountability and more plausible deniability. We, the people, are neighbors and co-stakeholders with the police. This relationship worked for a couple hundred years in our country, and it can still work today. This article is particularly troubling for those of us who seek to lessen the tension with our local police. Indeed, some horrible acts have been committed against officers in recent months, and our hearts go out to the families, friends, and coworkers of the fallen. Let us work to keep law enforcement local when at all possible.

The Canadian Police State

The unprecedented buildup of law enforcement and paramilitary forces in preparation for the Olympic Winter Games sheds light onto the burgeoning police state north of the border. The Vancouver police have already announced their purchase of the medium-range acoustic device (MRAD), the somewhat smaller cousin of the LRAD used against protesters in Pittsburgh in September during the G20 summit. The VPD has assured Canadians that the sonic weapon will ostensibly serve as an extremely overpriced public address system. But evidence has already surfaced that the Canadian authorities are seeking to deny entrance to individuals likely to engage in speech critical of the government. Indeed, the Olympic Games have become little more than an opportunity for the politicians to have a grand gala (while enriching their cronies) at the expense of the lives of average citizens. Rumors persist that the homeless will be rounded up and moved to some out of the way place for the length of the games. After all, you can't have street people walking around the city. Nor can you have dissent in the streets while the whole world is watching!
If I didn't know better, one could conclude that Canada is in the midst of an internal military lock-down, complete with victim disarmament! The Toronto Chief of Police has instituted Project Safe City, which sought to round-up nominally illegal firearms that had expired registrations and the like. At the same time, the Defence Department has rolled out the new Canadian Urban Environment Pattern for its soldiers deployed to major urban centers like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. The governments of the US, Canada, Britain, and Australia are clearly all reading from the same script. Long established separations between the military and civilian law enforcement are being blurred, and unfortunately, the enemy is: YOU.
Out of love for the free men and women of Canada, Police State Watch will continue to monitor developments north of the 49th parallel. We must lend each other support in our fight against the tyranny of the New World Order. We must reject the corporate push for a North American Union, and continue to exercise out rights as free people- lest we lose them all together!