Friday, September 16, 2005


I was as shocked as anyone by the recent case where a man who was securely fastened to a restraint chair, was shocked numerous times with a Taser at the Gwinnet County jail. He lost consciousness, never revived, and was taken off life support 2 days later. The Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter has chosen not to seek indictments in Williams' death.

The SCLC has called for and end to the use of Taser stun guns by police, because some people have died after their use. That doesn't make sense to me. If a Taser is used instead of shooting someone, or knocking them unconscious, it would surely cause fewer deaths and brain damage.

The problem is when it is used inappropriately, as in the Williams case. This was a case of torture by the police, and it is inexcusable that Porter has chosen to let the police get away with it. The Gwinnett police said they continued to shock Williams because he continued resisting and trying to get away. Some police forces have required police who carry a Taser to allow themselves to be shocked by it, so they can experience the effects, to avoid frivolous use. Some police have objected. A policeman who had been shocked by a Taser said it was so painful, he would have done anything to get away from it, and that that Williams continued to try to escape because of the pain. I don't know whether the Gwinnett County police require those who use Tasers to experience the effects themselves. If not, they were less guilty, but not innocent; even if you have not experience a Taser shock personally, you have to expect it to be quite painful for it to be strong enough to be useful.

1 comment:

Thomas Nephew said...

I've been reading a lot about tasers lately; here's a post at hullabaloo a very good blog by a fellow who just goes by "digby." It has a link to a whole set of posts on the subject by Jeralynn at "talkleft."

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