Domestic Tool of Torture: The Taser
This post is part of: A day of blogging for justice: Standing up against the police pre-trial electrocution of black children, women and men by taser.
Torture talk has been all over the news recently. The unfortunate [yet understandable] focus of the conversation is on torture in a military & international context.
This causes us to overlook the torture and murder of citizens here at home, victims of racial profiling, police brutality, and excessive use of lethal force by law enforcement.
Torture mentality has perverted our entire system
What happens at the top always impacts the bottom. Lawless leadership leads to lawless practices on the ground. When the Bush Administration OK’d torture, low-level interrogators became torturers. On the local level, when police chiefs embrace tasers as “non-lethal” alternatives to guns, people get killed unnecessarily.
Leadership complicit in torture and murder must be held accountable at all levels.Further, we need to preemptively demand that our leaders craft policies that prevent death, not enable it.
Our wars here at home on petty criminals and the disenfranchised should not be ones that result in capital murder.
What you can do
Contact your local police chief and ask whether officers are carrying tasers. Look up their contact information by searching for their zip code on USACOPS. If they’re using tasers not, thank him or her. If they are carrying, do the following:
- Sign this petition calling on the Congressional Black Caucus to investigate this phenomenon.
- Ask: Is the entire force armed with tasers?
If not, which units have them?
- Ask: Do officers carry both tasers and guns?
Ask what the motivation is for this policy.
- Ask: What’s the usage protocol for tasers?
This will answer the question “when should tasers be used in place of guns?”
- Suggest: Stop carrying tasers
Direct them to our site documenting taser abuses in the US. Let them know that you’ll feel safer if police enagaged in non-lethal ways whenever possible. You know that the officers are well-trained and highly professional, and you just want them to do the best they can without taking lives.
Simply asking these questions will cause leadership to reflect on their policy. Reflection is the first step to change.
Let’s prevent this from spreading further.
One Love. One II.
Photo Credit: strangedays on Flickr