6 responses to “Publicity and the Taser: When Stories Get Told (and When They Don’t)”

  1. Kaitlyn

    The 911 story is disgusting – well they all are, but wow.

    What was the outrage icing on the taser cake is the extra violence – ripping out his hair, punching him. It reminded me of the teenager (a black girl) punched by a cop after she pushed him. She was no longer touching him, he was the adult and had the training and there were a million other things he could do than punching a girl.

    What I hate is the blue wall, or whatever it’s called. Cops are always right.

    Their actions with POCs has long pissed me off – I recently unblocked my dad, who is a cop now working an ER downtown where the poor (=black) often go. He makes ableist statements all the time (bipolar’s not real – it’s red bull and cigs) and I’m sure he’s talking about black people.

    But now I’ve added another reason, thanks to this site, to doubt them – was a person really resisting arrest, or were they deaf and couldn’t hear the instructions and were shot for being black? I watch COPS with my mom and go, “What if so-and-so is a PWD?”

  2. Storm

    This is simultaneously enraging and terrifying! I’m a Type 1 diabetic, and I’ve had instances of low blood sugar that have left me incoherent and unbalanced and swervy – what if I’d done that around a cop? Would they have fucking Tasered my ass? I’m white, but I’m also a tall woman. Would my paleness protect me, or would my medical problem and my womanness be viewed as a ‘threat’?

    Gah, those poor people. I feel so badly for them, but I’m glad that the news is getting out. And thank you, s.e. smith, for posting this. I knew the Taser situation was bad, but seeing how widespread (and how many diabetics are being targeted) is truly eye-opening.

  3. Paul Simmons

    Don’t underestimate the par that Taser Int’l and its lawyers play in these types of cases. In the infamous Robert Dziekanski case here in Canada (a tired, dehydrated immigrant was shocked 5 times, and died, after he picked up a stapler; it’s all on YouTube), Taser’s lawyers are now suing the commission for saying that Tasers can cause death. There have been hundreds of people killed by Tasers (most of them in police custody) but Taser’s lawyers have been there every time to prevent anyone from asking the hard questions. In my opinion, the police unions, Taser Int’l, and various police departments from across North America have been working together to protect their own – not the public they swore to protect.

  4. Kaitlyn

    A distressing postscript for anyone “weird” (POC, PWD, POCWD…) – there are laws in three states making it illegal to film an on-duty cop. Why? Because they keep abusing people. (Of course, in Thomas’ case, it wouldn’t make a difference.)

    I can’t find a newspaper source – it was on Cracked today, people brought it up in comments on Jezebel (Jezebel may have ableist comments, but it’s much safer than most places when it comes to comments – like comments on news articles. eugh.), and all I can find is a Gizmodo article.


    I think the article is pretty safe, no promises about the comments.

    It’s disgusting – recent technology has been a great way to hold cops accountable for their crimes. Before (and in the states with the law), if you were lucky, you had eye-witnesses. Hopefully not somebody who knew the “suspect.” Or it was just you vs. the cop (and the justice system).

    I fear the police, I hate getting in trouble, but I do not respect them as an entity, some are good, but the system is bad.

  5. Storm

    Holy shit, Kaitlyn, that article scared the hell outta me! You can’t record a police officer beating the bejesus out of you, or a police officer shooting you, or a police officer in some way, shape, or form assaulting you illegally, or you’ll be arrested FOR A FELONY? OMG. That is truly terrifying.

    Thanks for the head’s up.

  6. Steve

    I’ve been collecting stories on seizure victims being tasered, beaten, killed, pepper sprayed, and sending the stories to the media – nobody in the mainstream media cares at all. Killing sick people is just fine with the media – in fact, it only continues because of the silence and complicity of the media. Animals have more rights in America than seizure victims do