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Let's talk about tasers

Disturbing accounts of taser use and analysis by blogger Digby. This follows Digby's take on the Henry Louis Gates event, which had much to do with the discrepency between what citizens are legally allowed to do when talked to by cops, and police's own idea of what people are allowed to do (i.e., respect & comply or be tasered).

The Robert Dziekanski affair seems to have cooled off the RCMP somewhat in Canada, but unless there is actually legal restrictions or stringent activism shaming cops away from using tasers, we'll slowly edge back to what the situation was a year ago, and then more towards the current American situation.

[livejournal.com profile] bitchphd, from whom I got the link, also quoted from another article:
Wherever electric torture is depicted in the popular imagination, in movies like Lethal Weapon or Rambo, electric torture belongs to evil forces such as the Gestapo, French Fascists, cruel US Marines, the KGB, the Viet Cong, or Latin American Fascists. There is another story of electric torture, one that is in the grey patent documents. It follows on the trail of various devices created for the convenience of a democratic public: for the consumption of meat, for personal safety in the dark, and for airline safety. It culminates in a range of 'acceptable' torture devices such as tasers and stun guns to be found in our everyday life. This forgetfulness seems much in evidence in the civil rights histories which don't note the growing use of electric stun technology. We all remember how badly Rodney King was beaten by L.A. police but no one remembers how many times King was shocked and how much voltage he received.


So much garbage.

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