Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Black Bloggers urge Congressional U.S. Taser Torture Hearings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Tuesday April 28, 2009
Black bloggers call for "Congressional Taser Torture Hearings"

Wayne Hicks, Electronic Village,
LN Rock, African American Political Pundit
Eddie Griffin, Eddie Griffin-BASG,

A group of bloggers called the afrospear, a 2 year old coalition of black bloggers from across America (and around the world) held a day of Blogging for Justice standing up against pre-trial capital punishment by electrocution event on Friday. More

The Afrospear also established a p
etition to Congress calling on Senator leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the Congressional Black Caucus to speak out and organize public hearings on the systemic human rights violations occurring with Federal funding against black, Latino, Native American and other Americans.

Group member Eddie Griffin, of the blog, Eddie Griffin-BASG, said, "While there continues to be considerable media and congressional attention to torture in Guantanamo, there is comparatively little attention to the mounting evidence of human rights violations in the streets of America by a number of police departments across America, including torture and killings of black children, women and men through-out the United States through the use and abuse of Tasers."

LN Rock, a 2008 DNC Convention Blogger, who publishes the blogs, African American Political Pundit
and Tasered While Black said, "We want Congress to stand up with us against the police pre-trial electrocution of black children, women and men - by taser. He went on to say, "We believe that few Americans support spending our tax dollars on torture, which violates our moral, religious and legal traditions. Most Americans expect an American policing policy that ensures the rights of all individuals regardless of race, greed, color, national origin, sex, disability or political or religious affiliation."

Wayne Hicks, publisher of the blog, Electronic Village, said, "We believe most Americans would favor Congressional hearings as to whether our own U.S. police, policing policies and actions violate Federal and International laws prohibiting human rights violators. Evidence of widespread police abuse of tasers is more than enough to warrant our concern and justify a congressional inquiry." He went on to say, " We propose that Congress undertake serious oversight into the extent to which our taxes are funding human rights violations and torture by tasing, and provide an alternative roadmap to the restoration of our democratic values. We want Congress to make sure that police pre-trial electrocution of black children, women and men by taser stops."

The bloggers are asking for:

1. The U.S. Attorney General and the Justice Department to aggressively fulfill its most basic mandate of enforcing the law. Torture by tasing is a crime, and the Justice Department is the right place to initiate an independent top-to-bottom investigation of the torturing of black children men, women and children by local police jurisdictions throughout the United States. It's important that the general public understand the 'use of force continuum' used by law enforcement officials, and how it is abused by many in the law enforcement community. (See the use-of-force-continuum provided by the blog Electronic Village) Note: Although there is a Justice Department Review of TASER-related Deaths the on-the-spot pre-trial electrocutions continues.

2. Congress should investigate whether US police tasing policies violate Federal or international civil and human right laws, including the U.N. Convention against Torture, and international covenants against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of citizens even in cases of so-called "state emergencies".

3. Congress should require the effective regulation of Taser use and require police/citizen review panels by Federal, state and local police and security agencies, including strict adherence to international human rights standards, or act to defund all such Federal, State and local police and security agencies who violate taser use regulations that would be established by Congress. No Federal stimulus dollars should be used to purchase tasers.

The bloggers point out UN's Committee against Torture has declared that Taser use can constitute a form of torture, while USA: Amnesty International has an on-going concern about the use of tasers on American citizens. With all the conversation about the Bush torture memos and torture in the United States, we the undersigned bring up the issue of torture of black Americans at the hands of police in the United States. We urge you to stand up against the police pre-trial electrocution of black children, women and men by taser.

Here is a sampling of what black bloggers are saying about the tasing of so many blacks in the United States.

“A day of blogging for Justice ... What bloggers are saying and thinking:
Wayne Hicks - Electronic Village -
LN Rock, African American Opinion -
Kathy - Daily Kos Blogger - Do White People Care About Tasing?
The Kid - Pirate satellite: A Day of Blogging for Justice -
Wayne Bennett, The Field Negro, Major side bar and link highlighting the importance of this day.
Purple Zoe - UltraVioletUnderground -
April Davis - Around
PaJoyner - PlezWorld -
Yobachi - Black -
Ms. Lady Deborah - From my Brown Eyed View -
Eddie Griffin BASG -
Rev. Sequoyah Kofi bin-Tomas, Intelligent Aboriginal News Service (IANS) - The Angry Indian - Inteligentaindigena Novajoservo: When "Non-Lethal" Weapons Kill
Wayne Hicks - Villager, OxDown. Firedoglake -
Wayne Hicks - Villager - Electronic Village-.. - Use of Force Continuum
SjP - Sojourners Place -
LN Rock - Post Racial Blog -
The SuperSpade -
Anyway I Have To -
Vanessa Byers- On The Black Hand Side -
It All Goes Here -
Independent Bloggers Alliance -
Rover's Morning Glory -
Assata Shukur Forum -
RiPPa - The Intersection between Maddness and Reality -
Lola - Whatever Lola Wants -
African American Political Pundit Report -
African American Political Pundit Blog -
Electrocuted While Black -
Scotty - Black Talk Radio -
Proud Black Blogger -
Carmen D. - Black Voices -
Chicago Cop Watch -

Here is a link to the Afrospear
Petition to request Congressional hearings on the Taser torture of Americans:


Tor Hershman said...

Things such as this are what inspired me to write "Hey! Hey! We're The Humans."

Power To The People said...

How do I join this AfroSpear? You should make it more easier, if it's not an exclusive group.