Melon Farmers Original Version

Taser Not So Non Lethal

Taser stun gun proves lethal in police hands

10th March

 Offsite Article: Big Pricks...

Police thugs lay into stag party with tasers and pepper spray

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19th June

 Offsite: Lethal Weapons...

Ban Police Use of Tasers

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17th June

Update: Police Thugs...

Nottingham police caught on cam using taser on downed suspect

LBC's Nottingham newsroom has received video footage which appears to show a police officer punching a suspect in Nottingham city centre three times.

It shows officers attempting to arrest a man on Upper Parliament Street on Sunday night using a taser gun as he lays on the ground. An officer is also seen pushing a bystander.

A Nottinghamshire Police statement read: Officers were called for assistance by door staff to help deal with an aggressive customer. Police attended and an officer was assaulted, requiring hospital treatment.

While no complaint has been made against any of the officers involved in the incident and no one has been suspended, the footage has been voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Police are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident or events leading up to the arrest, or anyone who has footage of events leading up to and during the incident.

"A 40-year-old man been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and has been released on police bail.

Assistant Chief Constable Peter Davies, said: We understand that some members of the public may be concerned about this. The public's trust and confidence is very important for us, which is why we have referred this matter for an objective investigation to the IPCC.

We are proactively looking at other CCTV in the area to ensure we have a clear picture of events leading up to the arrest and I would ask anyone in possession of such evidence, including the person who took the footage that has been published, to come forward as witnesses.


20th December

Update: Not So Non Lethal...

US police tasers kill 334 and are open to abuse

Amnesty International has said that industry claims that Taser stun guns are safe and non-lethal do not stand up to scrutiny.

The organization called on governments to limit their deployment to life-threatening situations or to suspend their use.

The call came as the organization released one of the most detailed reports to date on the safety of the stun gun. The report USA: Less than lethal? is being published as the number of people who died after being struck by Tasers in the USA reached 334 between 2001 and August 2008.

Tasers are not the 'non-lethal' weapons they are portrayed to be, said Angela Wright, US researcher at Amnesty International and author of the report. They can kill and should only be used as a last resort. The problem with Tasers is that they are inherently open to abuse, as they are easy to carry and easy to use and can inflict severe pain at the push of a button, without leaving substantial marks.

Amnesty International's study – which includes information from 98 autopsies – found that 90% of those who died after being struck with a Taser were unarmed and many did not appear to present a serious threat.

Many were subjected to repeated or prolonged shocks – far more than the five-second "standard" cycle – or by more than one officer at a time. Some people were even shocked for failing to comply with police commands after they had been incapacitated by a first shock.

In at least six of the cases where people died, Tasers were used on individuals suffering from medical conditions such as seizures – including a doctor who had crashed his car when he suffered an epileptic seizure. He died after being repeatedly shocked at the side of the highway when, dazed and confused, he failed to comply with an officer's commands.

Police officers also used Tasers on schoolchildren, pregnant women and even an elderly person with dementia.


20th February

Update: Potentially Lethal...

UK police to use Taser guns against children

Police have been given the go-ahead to use potentially lethal Taser stun guns against children.

The relaxing of restrictions on the use of the weapons comes despite warnings that they could trigger a heart attack in youngsters.

Until now, Tasers, which emit a 50,000-volt electric shock, have been used only by specialist officers as a "non lethal" alternative to firearms. Tasers work by firing metal barbs into the skin which then discharge an electrical charge.

However, they can now be used against all potentially violent offenders even if they are unarmed. It is the decision not to ban their use against minors that is likely to raise serious concerns.

Home Office Police Minister Tony McNulty said medical assessments had confirmed the risk of death or serious injury from Tasers was "low". But he failed to mention Government advisers had also warned of a potential risk to children.

The Defence Scientific Advisory Council medical committee told the Home Office that not enough was known about the health risks of using the weapons against children. The committee, which is made up of independent scientists and doctors, said that limited research suggested there was a risk children could suffer "a serious cardiac event".

It recommended that officers should be "particularly vigilant" for any Taser-induced adverse response and said guidance should be amended to identify children and adults of small stature as being at potentially greater risk from the cardiac effects of Tasers.

The Government scientists were also asked to test whether the weapons could cause a miscarriage if used on a pregnant woman. While not saying whether police would be allowed to Taser an expectant mother, the Home Office said the DSAC committee had "specifically asked" for computer simulations to be carried out to analyse the effect on "a pregnant female".

Amnesty International claims Tasers have been responsible for 220 deaths in America since 2001. Many cities and police forces there have banned their use against minors. Two years ago in Chicago a 14-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest after being shot with one. Medics had to use a defibrillator four times to resuscitate him.


4th January


Taser happy Canadian police zapped by video game parody

A While it remains unclear what caused Robert Dziekanski’s death in October, there’s no disputing that the Polish immigrant was tasered several times by Canadian police at Vancouver International Airport.

Video of the fatal incident was widely broadcast and is available online eg at YouTube. reports on a recent YouTube video which parodies the incident using an early version of the Mega Man video game series.

Mega Man vs. Polish immigrant shows Mega Man confronting Dziekanski in the airport. Mega Man is offered three choices of action, including “Use restraint,” “Call a translator,” or “Tazer mercilessly.”

The creator of the parody, Vancouver resident Mike Greenway, said: The video was really more of a statement on police Taser use than anything. The video that I made is a tongue-in-cheek parody about the incompetence of everyone involved, not police brutality.

Aga Magdolen, a spokeswoman with the Canadian Polish Congress, found the YouTube video offensive: This tragedy should not have been portrayed as a game. It is disrespectful to the victim, his family and the Polish community.

RCMP Staff Sgt. John Ward was also offended: Any right-thinking person who would look at the video would be offended by that. A gentlemen lost his life and it is in extremely poor taste.

However, Marta Grywalska, a spokeswoman for Polish Ambassador Piotr Ogrodzinski, seemed less condemnatory: The public was disturbed by the event. This is how the subculture reacted to it.


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