Death by taser, caught on tape

Death by taser, caught on tape

by digby

Even if you believe in Taser International's pet medical diagnosis that only afflicts people in custody ("Excited Delirium")you would think this would be considered to be wrong.

Unfortunately, police commonly taser people in the US who are already in handcuffs and in custody and it doesn't raise a hue and cry. They usually say, as the officer in that video does, that they had to do it for their own safety but it's quite clear it's because they are trying to force "compliance." They lie because it's impossible to explain how someone who is mentally ill, high on drugs or in the midst of having an epileptic fit can be expected to understand the commands to "comply." And frankly, when you listen to the agitated police screaming at the person to stop struggling, it's quite clear that if "excited delirium" exists it is a disease that afflicts the authorities as well.

I've come to believe that tasers are deadly torture devices and I think they should be banned. (I didn't always think so, but I no longer believe the authorities can be trusted with such a device.) But if they are used, there should definitely be zero tolerance for using them on anyone who is handcuffed in custody. It's as outrageously immoral as using a cattle prod. The police can back off and let the person flail if that's what it takes. Hitting them repeatedly with electro-shock on the scene is no different than hitting them repeatedly over the head with a baton.

Some people die, like this fellow, although not all do. But the minute an electrical shock in administered to suspects already custody, they become victims of torture. There is no excuse for it.