Today is a special day, it's a day when bloggers from around the United States, Canada, UK, Africa, Europe, Brazil, and other parts of the world have come together for “A day of blogging for Justice - Standing up against the pre-trial electrocution.”
Here is what black bloggers are saying and thinking:
Today, Black bloggers around the web (including Afrospear members and The Electronic Villiage) are setting aside the day to stand up against the use of tasers by the police. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) refers to them as “Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs)”. Some of the bloggers refer to their use as “Police Pre-Trial Electrocution”.- Villager, Electronic Village
AAPP says: Wayne Hicks has been tracking the tasing issue even before I began publishing the blog, Tasered While Black. Wayne takes a look at the tasing issue and details many of the abuses in todays post:
I've shared other examples on my blog in the past:
How many more Black folks need to be executed by the police before the Congressional Black Caucus does something about it? I encourage all villagers to immediately sign online petition demanding a congressional investigation into Taser Torture in America. More HERE
Meanwile, Asabagna of the Afrospear Think Tank says:
When I started to contemplate what I was going to write for this day of blogging action on the use of tasers… i.e., “electrocution” to control and/or stop what are considered dangerous, anti-social behaviors… what stood out in the forefront of my mind was that in the past, electrocution (called Electroconvulsive Therapy), was also widely used for a similar purpose: as an approved, standard medical/psychiatric procedure for “supposed” dangerous and anti-social behaviors deemed to be mental illnesses, which included homosexuality and political dissent.
As a police officer (in Canada), my initial point of view is that I will use whatever level of force I deem necessary, when dealing with a violent criminal suspect, to protect the life of others and/or prevent bodily harm, but more importantly… to ensure that I go home to my family at the end of my shift! Presenting my wife and son with a Canadian flag and a hug or handshake at the end of a memorial service in my honor, just isn’t a life-affirming ambition of mine. With that being said, the police organization I work for, like most if not all police services in North America, are mandated and trained to follow some sort of “use of force continuum model”, which dictates what level of force is to be used in a given situation.
However, what this type of model does not show are the individual, environmental and societal factors that may influence how an officer will react to a given situation or person. It does not consider what are the beliefs, values and more importantly, the prejudices that may spur an individual officer’s action or reaction, to a particular situation or person. More HERE
The publisher of AroundHarlem.com says, AroundHarlem.com is strongly against the use of tasers. We have based our decision on information revealed by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the fact that the use of tasers are harmful and dangerous to potentially innocent people. The NYCLU states that the NYPD has instituted the use of a leathal weapon without proper research or public dialogue. While the NYPD did conduct a Rand Study, according to Donna Lieberman (NYCLU executive director), the NYPD commissioned the study on important public policies without involving the public or anyone outside the NYPD. As a result, the NYCLU and AroundHarlem.com doubt the thoroughness and objectivity of the study.
The Rand Report, which was supposed to be aimed at evaluating the racial disparities in NYPD practices following the Sean Bell Incident (two black men and one latino man were shot at 50 times by the NYPD [Sean Bell was killed]), focuses on supporting the increased use of tasers as a replacement for handguns. The use of these weapons has been linked to hundreds of serious injuries and fatalities.
Last year police fatally tased Iman Morales, a 35 year old man suffering from mental illness. The police responded to a call by Morales’ mother, who had resorted to calling the NYPD after her son had stopped taking his medication. The incident left Morales standing on a metal box that was on top of a store’s security gate, naked, screaming incoherently with an 8 foot fluorescent light tube in his grasp.
Lt. Michael Pigott issued the order to shoot Morales with a taser which was a clear violation of NYPD guidelines stating that “when possible, the CED (taser) should not be used in situations where the subject may fall from an elevated surface.” As a result of being tased, Morales fell head first onto the pavement below and was killed. The was incident was captured on camera by an onlooker. (Lt. Pigott committed suicide shortly after the incident occurred.)
Months before this tragedy 17 year old Alexander Lombard 3rd, son of a NYPD veteran, was tasered 4 times, hit 15 times with a nightstick and put in a choke hold by a NYPD officer. Lombard suffered serious injuries (video) as the result of excessive use of force by an officer at a community sponsored barbecue in Harlem. No charges were filed against Mr. Lombard indicating that he was neither resisting arrest nor carrying a weapon. The use of the taser against Lombard can only be described as excessive and unnecessary. More HERE
Blogger Francis L. Holland provides a history of Naming" it "Police Pre-Trial Electrocution and Execution"
Check out these great bloggers and their thoughts about the torture of black American by Taser, and what they think should be done.
Nate, Nateo Blog - http://nateo.blogspot.com/
Rock, African American Opinion - http://africanamericanopinion.
Francis Holland - Francis L. Holland Blog - http://francislholland.
Kathy - Daily Kos Blogger - Do White People Care About Tasing? http://www.dailykos.
Zhana - Ancestral Energies - http://ancestralenergies.
The Kid - Pirate satellite: A Day of Blogging for Justice - http://kid-kidfunkadelic.
Wayne Bennett, The Field Negro, Major side bar and link highlighting the importance of this day.
Purple Zoe - UltraVioletUnderground - http://purplezoe.blogspot.com/
April D. - Around Harlem.com http://blog-aroundharlem.com/
PaJoyner - PlezWorld - http://pajoyner.blogspot.com/
Yobachi - Black Perspective.net - http://www.blackperspective.
Ms. Lady Deborah - From my Brown Eyed View - http://msladydeborah.blogspot.
Eddie Griffin BASG - http://eddiegriffinbasg.
More Links to come...
Check out The Angry Indian's blog post on When "Non-Lethal" Weapons Kill
*This article is in response and solidarity with the call from fellow Afro-blogger African American Political Pundit's call for editorials concerning the use of Tasers on not just the African population but against free citizens in general. Follow the links immediately after this commentary. Check out more of the post HERE
AAPP: Hat tip to all the afrosprear, and other bloggers who contributed to this day of blogging for justice. Don't forget to sign the online petition demanding a congressional investigation into Taser Torture in America
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A Day of Blogging for Justice: Standing Up Against the Police Pre-Trial Electrocution - April 24, 2009
Hat Tip and Shout Out to the Villager at the blog Electronic Village for his recent blog post. Check out how the afrospear is blogging about the issue of the tasing, beating and electrocution of Black folks in America. He writes about A Day of Blogging for Justice: Standing Up Against the Police Pre-Trial Electrocution
The rules are simple:
Related Blog Posts
15 Year old Detroit boy with asthma dies after being Tasered While Black
From African American Political Pundit
Fort Worth Police Tasered a Mentally Ill Black Man To Death
From African American Political Pundit
Monday, April 20, 2009
Perhaps the most powerful lesson we could learn from the Columbine tragedy of 10 years ago, is how completely wrong the mass media can get a story. If you still think of Columbine as a cautionary tale on the dangers of violent video games or bullying and cliques, let it go. These are comforting fairy tales we tell ourselves to make sense of the senseless. It all seems so much more controllable, if we can identify the social mechanisms and change them. Don't get me wrong. I think anti-bullying programs in schools are a great idea, but nothing of the kind would have stopped Eric Harris, or his sidekick Dylan Klebold. Such is the conclusion of author Dave Cullen and of FBI investigators who scrutinized the evidence. Cullen's book, entitled simply Columbine, pubs this Wednesday.
Cullen concluded that the killers weren't part of the Trench Coat Mafia, that they weren't bullied by other students and that they didn't target popular jocks, African-Americans or any other group. A school shooting wasn't their initial intent, he said.
It turns out the reason for the Columbine massacre is as simple as it is troubling. Eric Harris was a psycopath. Dylan Klebold, the weaker personality, was a suicidally depressed kid who took on Eric Harris's ethos as his own. Together, they planned a spectacular event -- one that would have eclipsed the Oklahoma City bombing. Their bomb-making skills were inadequate and they failed to wipe out the entire school. But, their plan had little to do with personal grudges against individuals. They just wanted to kill as many people as they could.
The killers, in fact, laughed at petty school shooters. They bragged about dwarfing the carnage of the Oklahoma City bombing and originally scheduled their bloody performance for its anniversary. Klebold boasted on video about inflicting "the most deaths in U.S. history." Columbine was intended not primarily as a shooting at all, but as a bombing on a massive scale. If they hadn't been so bad at wiring the timers, the propane bombs they set in the cafeteria would have wiped out 600 people. After those bombs went off, they planned to gun down fleeing survivors. An explosive third act would follow, when their cars, packed with still more bombs, would rip through still more crowds, presumably of survivors, rescue workers, and reporters. The climax would be captured on live television. It wasn't just "fame" they were after—Agent Fuselier bristles at that trivializing term—they were gunning for devastating infamy on the historical scale of an Attila the Hun. Their vision was to create a nightmare so devastating and apocalyptic that the entire world would shudder at their power.
In his original article for Slate, Cullen debunked the litany of Columbine myths propagated by the media:
1. Targeting jocks, blacks, and Christians: There were no targets. Harris and Klebold just wanted body count, and they didn't care who died. They expected their bombs to do most of the killing, murdering everyone in the cafeteria, irrespective of clique or social standing. When the bombs failed, they shot indiscriminately, firing into open crowds and under tables without bothering to see who their victims were. They taunted jocks briefly in the library, but they taunted virtually everyone else there, too.
Columbine is a cautionary tale. Just not for the reasons we were led to believe. It should serve as a reminder of how completely wrong the prevailing narrative can be, and how badly professional journalists can serve their audience, in their haste to tell us the story.
“Columbine” is an excellent work of media criticism, showing how legends become truths through continual citation; a sensitive guide to the patterns of public grief, foreshadowing many of the same reactions to Sept. 11 (lawsuits, arguments about the memorial, voyeuristic bus tours); and, at the end of the day, a fine example of old-fashioned journalism.