The Electronic Village blog has composed and posted a list of the names, ages and skin color/national origins of 45 electrocution victims from across the United States, and these names are being republished at blogs from across America, like the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC graphically recalls the cost of the war in human lives.
AfroSpear and afrosphere participants are also circulating an online petition calling for Congressional hearings into the increasing number of "Taser" electrocution deaths, and into video evidence that "Tasers" are being used as torture devices and devices of summary extra-judicial executions.
What has not been clarified is whether the blogging community will call upon its readers to engage in additional action whose purpose is to end "Taser torture". For example, the favorable outcome in the Jena Six case came not merely from blogging and reading about the Jena Six, but also from a march that mobilized as many as 30,000 people and captured media attention worldwide, focused on an inexplicably anachronistic "white tree" and nooses at a public Louisiana high school.
The Bloggers Against "Taser" Electrocution action effectively poses the question, "What will be the functional equivalent of the Jena Six march in protest of the 45 electrocution deaths in the United States since the beginning of the year?" Bloggers know as a matter of historical fact that they were effective in the Jena Six action, in conjunction with Color of Change and the Chicago Tribune, by informing the public and calling the public to action, while the action of a much broader outraged and disgusted public, including Black students from universities throughout America, really brought justice for the Jena Six, in conjunction with Color of Change's very effective legal resources fundraising.
So the December 4 Bloggers Against Taser Electrocution action of writing and informing about Taser torture is not an end in itself, but a catalyst for the type of national mobilization needed to exercise political pressure.
Below are the names of those electrocuted (killed by electric force) by police this year without the benefit of trial or judicial process:
"has documented 45 taser-related deaths in the United States since the beginning of the year:I personally do not understand why Electronic Village prepares a list of 45 electrocution deaths and then says that "Tasers" should be classified as "near lethal". The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines lethal as "capable of producing death." If Tasers were not "capable of producing death", they would not have produced the 45 deaths documented by Electronic Village. I also question whether attacking the semantics of police guidelines that police obviously are not following anyway will be a successful strategy for attacking pre-trial, extra-judicial electrocutions and executions.
I think it is worth noting that 42% of these taser-torture killings occurred against African American men. We make up about 6% of the total population, yet 42% of the taser-related deaths in America this year are Black men.
- Jan 9, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Black, Martinsville, Virginia
- Jan 11, 2009: Rodolfo Lepe, 31, Hispanic, Bakersfield, California
- Jan 22, 2009: Roger Redden, 52, Caucasian, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee
- Feb 2, 2009: Garrett Jones, 45, Caucasian, Stockton, California
- Feb 11, 2009: Richard Lua, 28, Hispanic, San Jose, California
- Feb 13, 2009: Rudolph Byrd, 37, Black, Thomasville, Georgia
- Feb 13, 2009: Michael Jones, 43, Black, Iberia, Louisiana
- Feb 14, 2009: Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, Black, Los Angeles, California
- Feb 28, 2009: Robert Lee Welch, 40, Caucasian, Conroe, Texas
- Mar 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Caucasian, Bay City, Michigan
- Mar 26, 2009: Marcus D. Moore, 40, Black, Freeport, Illinois
- Apr 1, 2009: John J. Meier Jr., 48, Caucasian, Tamarac, Florida
- Apr 6, 2009: Ricardo Varela, 41, Hispanic, Fresno, California
- Apr 10, 2009: Robert Mitchell, 16, Black, Detroit, Michigan
- Apr 13, 2009: Craig Prescott, 38, Black, Modesto, California
- Apr 16, 2009: Gary A. Decker, 50, Black, Tuscon, Arizona
- Apr 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Black, Fort Worth, Texas
- Apr 30, 2009: Kevin LaDay, 35, Black, Lumberton, Texas
- May 4, 2009: Gilbert Tafoya, 53, Caucasian, Holbrook, Arizona
- May 17, 2009: Jamaal Valentine, 27, Black, La Marque, Texas
- May 23, 2009: Gregory Rold, 37, Black, Salem, Oregon
- Jun 9, 2009: Brian Cardall, 32, Caucasian, Hurricane, Utah
- Jun 13, 2009: Dwight Madison, 48, Black, Bel Air, Maryland
- Jun 20, 2009 Derrek Kairney, 36, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, South Windsor, Connecticut
- Jun 30, 2009, Shawn Iinuma, 37, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, Fontana, California
- Jul 2, 2009, Rory McKenzie, 25, Black, Bakersfield, California
- Jul 20, 2009, Charles Anthony Torrence, 35, Caucasion, Simi Valley, California
- Jul 30, 2009, Johnathan Michael Nelson, 27, Caucasion, Riverside County, California
- Aug 9, 2009, Terrace Clifton Smith, 52, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, Moreno Valley, California
- Aug 12, 2009, Ernest Ridlehuber, 53, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, Greenville, South Carolina
- Aug 14, 2009, Hakim Jackson, 31, Black, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Aug 18, 2009, Ronald Eugene Cobbs, 38, Black, Greensboro, North Carolina
- Aug 20, 2009, Francisco Sesate, 36, Hispanic, Mesa, Arizona
- Aug 22, 2009, T.J. Nance, 37, Race: Unknown, Arizona City, Arizona
- Aug 26, 2009, Miguel Molina, 27, Hispanic, Los Angeles, California
- Aug 27, 2009, Manuel Dante Dent, 27, Hispanic, Modesto, California
- Sep 3, 2009, Shane Ledbetter, 38, Caucasian, Aurora, Colorado
- Sep 16, 2009, Alton Warren Ham, 45, Caucasian, Modesto, California
- Sep 19, 2009, Yuceff W. Young II, 21, Black, Brooklyn, Ohio
- Sep 21, 2009, Richard Battistata, 44, Hispanic, Laredo, Texas
- Sep 28, 2009, Derrick Humbert, 38, Black, Bradenton, Florida
- Oct 2, 2009, Rickey Massey, 38, Black, Panama City, Florida
- Oct 12, 2009, Christopher John Belknap, 36, [skin color, natl. origin]:: Unknown, Ukiah, California
- Oct 16, 2009, Frank Cleo Sutphin, 19, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, San Bernadino, California
- Oct 27, 2009, Jeffrey Woodward, 33, [skin color, natl. origin]: Unknown, Gallatin, Tennessee
However, nothing seems to be able to stop the continued taser-related killings. I remain convinced that the 'Use of Force Continuum' needs to show tasers as 'near-lethal' ... definitely an error to claim that they are 'non-lethal'.
Something is wrong. Join us in asking for congressional hearings on taser torture."
Torture devices do not need to be reclassified; they need to be banned and eradicated.
Since tasers have produced the death of 45 people in ten months, the devices are not merely "near-lethal", which would mean "almost" capable of producing death. They are in fact, and without meaningful dispute, "capable of producing death," and therefore they are "lethal" by definition, and not merely "near lethal".