Friday, September 20, 2013

All Police Who Use Tasers Are Murderous Thugs

Because this shit happens everywhere, all the time.


They shot him full of electricity from the back. He couldn't hear them coming.
There have been too many horrible stories of violence lately, but some still have the power to shock. This is one:
The family of a 12-year-old boy known only as “A.M.” in court documents is suing police, the American School for the Deaf and the city of Hartford, CT over allegations that police unnecessarily Tasered the boy after school officials abused him and denied him food. According to the Courthouse News Service, the student ran away from the school to a construction site to escape staffers who had beaten and choked him, and it was there that police Tasered the boy, who is “profoundly deaf,” with no warning.

A.M., frustrated and upset that he was being denied contact with his parents, fled the building. At a construction site on the ASD campus, he came face to face with Hammond and other staffers, who attempted to violently subdue him, according to the complaint.

“Defendant Chris Hammond informed plaintiff that he was going to kill him and push him into an unsafe area of the construction site,” said the suit. “Defendant Chris Hammond proceeded to grab plaintiff and punched plaintiff in the face with closed fists.”

The boy reportedly picked up a stick to defend himself against Hammond and the other adult staffers. They retreated from the scene and left A.M. sitting by himself with his back to the school.

Police arrived at the construction site after dark. Knowing the boy was deaf, they allegedly made no effort to warn or communicate with him, but Tasered him from behind. As A.M. writhed on the ground from the “burns, paralysis and pain” caused by the Taser barbs, the two police officers rushed him and placed him in handcuffs.

He was taken to Connecticut Children’s Hospital and treated for electrical burns.
I've documented many terrible taser stories over the years. But those that horrify me the most are ones that feature deaf people who cannot hear the orders to comply before they are shot through with electricity. This is the worst yet. They hit this kid from the back. He couldn't hear them coming. God.

Update: This is an excellent piece from David M Perry in The Nation about this war on the disabled. Horrifying.

Update II: According to the police report the student was holding a rock. Which, according to certain readers, makes shooting him full of electricity a-ok.
 No doubt the school officials, terrified of their abuse of the boy being exposed, lied to the police about the danger from the boy. But he was still a boy. A deaf boy. Armed with a stock and a rock. Against multiple armed and supposedly trained adults.

I hope both the school is shut down and the city forced to pay a high enough settlement that it eliminates tasers and gets its cops real training in non-violent conflict resolution.

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