Another Taser Death

This past year has been the year of the Taser. Three incidents immediately come to mind in which a taser was used to "subdue" three men, one of which ended in death. Now there is another one that ended in death.

The first of the three that gained national attention happened on the campus of UCLA. A student was using a computer in a campus library when he was approached by campus police performing random student ID checks. The student did not provide an ID and was eventually tased a number of times, including at least once after being handcuffed. There is video footage of the incident, though it show more of the surrounding environment accompanied by the students screams and the pleadings of other students for the police to stop their brutality.

See the footage.

The second is the now very infamous case from the University of Florida when a student was dragged away from a microphone and then tased while aggressively questioning Senator John Kerry about the 2004 Presidential election.

The third and most unfortunate was the case of a Polish man tased and killed by airport officials in Vancouver, Canada. The man who had just made his first ever flight could not speak any English. He was supposed to meet his mother in the baggage area but she could not get to him. She was denied entry into the baggage area, could not get a message to him and was told he had not arrived. The man grew impatient and was clearly confused and scared. Within seconds of being approached by the police he was tased twice and subsequently died. There is also video footage of that incident. It is pretty disturbing.

I think it was radio talk show host Rachel Maddow who talked about how tasers were originally intended to be a substitute for real guns but that they are now being used in situations that could be diffused in non-violent ways, like, say, talking.

Lastly, the Amnesty International reports that more than 150 people have died after being tased since June of 2001.

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