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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tasers

According to Amnesty International around 500 people have died in the last decade after being shocked by Tasers.  Although A.I. is not claiming that all of the deaths were caused by Tasers (many were declared to have multiple causes) the large number of deaths following exposure to Tasers suggest that the common folklore of their safety and non-lethal nature needs to be reexamined in a serious manner.

This issue is especially important for UC at the moment.  Although batons and pepper spray were the weapon of choice for the Berkeley and Davis police departments, Tasers have been used on several campuses and the insistence—on the part of their proponents—that they are safe has encouraged the possibility that their accepted use would be written into the new system-wide rules being promulgated under the direction of Edley and Robinson.

As with other forms of weaponry, Tasers serve to further militarize campus police and transform them even more from officers of the community to officers against the community.  As they say in the theater, if authors introduce a gun in the first act they will use it by the third.  UC needs to find a way to maintain public safety without creating a dynamic that leads to violence in the third act.

2 comments:

Daedalus said...

Concise and well-written.

Save the Holy Headland said...

Is this the same Berkeley of Free Speech fame??? My God, how fascism has gained ground in recent years! Check out the campaign against tasers: RESIST CARDIAC ARREST.

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