Monday, August 12, 2013

Common sense tells me that cops don't need a Taser or a shotgun to subdue a 95-year-old man.

Kass: Was police killing of 95-year-old necessary?

Common sense tells me that cops don't need a Taser or a shotgun to subdue a 95-year-old man.

August 02, 2013|John Kass

The old man, described by a family member as "wobbly" on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.

First they tased him, but that didn't work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.
"The Japanese military couldn't get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,"
Wrana's family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.

Wrana's family wants answers. The Illinois State Police are investigating the horrific incident but won't comment, and neither will the Park Forest police pending the outcome of the inquiry.
I wasn't at the scene, and maybe the police have a good explanation. But common sense tells me that cops don't need a Taser or a shotgun to subdue a 95-year-old man.
Read the full story.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fort Worth man dies after being shocked by police Taser

Saturday, May 18, 2013

RE: Fort Worth man dies after being shocked by police
Commentary by Eddie Griffin

A disabled African-American
man was tasered to death by the Fort Worth Police Department. Jermaine Darden, age
34, a 300-pound asthmatic on a breathing machine, was wrestled to the floor and
tased, after police kicked in his unlocked front door on a “no-knock” warrant. Officers
claimed he was resisting arrest when he would not comply with their order to roll
over on his stomach. But family members claimed the man was having breathing problems,
which were especially aggravated when he tries to lie on his stomach.

Darden’s mother, Donna Randle
describes what happen: “When they came in, they had
their weapons drawn like we were members of a drug cartel. There were six
people who told the police the man had health problems, yet they continued to
do what they did.”

She is now
asking why the police had to “use such excessive force.”

The incident
took place in the same neighborhood where Michael Jacobs, Jr., a 24-year old mentally
challenged African-American, was tasered to death by police in April, 2009. The
City of Fort Worth eventually had to pay a $2 million settlement to the family.

Darden would be
the seventh taser related death in the city’s history.

There have been
several attempts by the community to reconcile with the FWPD over racially
charged excessive force issues. The problem with taser related deaths should
have been settled when Chief of Police Jeff Halstead negotiated with TASER
International, the maker of the stun guns, to modify the design of their taser
product, which would allow an automatic shut off after a 5-second burst. But
change the weapon’s shut-off system does not change police abusive practices in
its deployment. Tasers still kill, with or without a 5-second shutoff. And Darden
is the second taser related death since Michael Jacobs, Jr.

It should be
evident here of a violation of police policy. According the WFAA 8 Jim Douglas
report, the weapon was deployed multiple times. What is not clear is whether one
officer used the override on the 5-second cutoff or whether several tasers were
deployed at once. The incident is still under investigation.

Besides FWPD
policy, whether officers complied with it or not, there are serious human
rights and constitutional questions about the right of the accused, and the
nature of the heavy-handed gang buster tactics.

Human Rights
advocates have always contended tasers to be torture in violation of the Eight
Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment. A victim being stunned
by 50,000 volts of electricity is equivalent to being electrocuted by high
voltage utility wires, or comparable to the electric chair.

importantly, however, is that a person has the right to life. No one should be
summarily executed by electrocution at the whims of a law enforcement officer.
This violates the First Amendment Right to life, and the Sixth Amendment Right
to Due Process.

It would be
fruitless, however, to argue constitutional rights issues with the same agency guilty
of the violations. If the agency cannot enforce its own policy and the City
unable to protect the public, then monetary retribution should be exacted as
heavily as possible. Corrections can and will be made, if liabilities for abuses
of authority began to cost more than the City can willingly afford.

Of course, little
defense can be offer for Derrick Anthony Birdow who was tasered to
death while in the act of killing a preacher. Some might rationalize his death as
justifiable in the heat of the moment. But the point still stands: Tasers kill.
And multiple jolts of 50,000 volts of electricity will kill with surety,
something every FWPD officer should know. Thus, the killing of Darden should
not have come as a complete surprise to the deploying officer or officers.

Someone needs to be held
accountable. First, there is the officer or officers who deployed the weapon or
weapons. Was he or she or they criminally negligent? If they had full knowledge
of the Michael Jacobs tragedy, then they cannot claim ignorance.

Then there is the FWPD itself.
Do loopholes in its policy allow for and exonerate such on-the-spot street summary
execution of suspects, contrary to the constitutional rights of the suspect? The
officer who tased Michael Jacobs to death claimed she did not know that holding
the taser trigger down continued to shoot electricity into his body. Nobody
ever told her, and TASER International never educated officers about the risks.
What excuse can they offer now to exonerate them of their legal and criminal

The third party is the City
of Fort Worth, who are obligated to back the police action and cover their
liabilities in cases where excessive force is employed. Shouldn’t they have
learned something from the Jacobs’s case? Didn’t they assure the community that
this would never happen again where an innocent person would be tasered to

Fourth, there is TASER
International who falsely advertises tasers are non-lethal weapons. They are
the guiltiest insofar as they leave cities, like Fort Worth, to pick up the
pieces, pay off the wrongful death suits, while they continue marketing their
product as if it does no harm.

There is a memorial south of Fort Worth filled with
crosses for those killed by tasers, named the Michael C. Jacobs, Jr. Memorial. The official death count now
stands at 779, with a cross for Jermaine Dardento be added. Here is a list of those who died by tasers in Fort Worth:

·       November 2, 2004: Robert Guerrero,
21, Fort Worth, Texas
·       April 3, 2005: Eric Hammock, 43, Fort
Worth, Texas
·       June 24, 2005: Carolyn Daniels, 25,
Fort Worth, Texas
·       August 23, 2006: Noah Lopez, 25, Fort
Worth, Texas
·       April 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr.,
24, Fort Worth, Texas
·       October
29, 2012: Derrick Birdow, 33, Fort Worth, Texas
·       May 17, 2013: Jermaine
Darden, 34, Fort Worth, Texas

As for the investigation by the
FWPD’s major-case unit and the Department’s heavy-handed “no knock” tactic that
allowed the police to kick open a family’s “unlocked door”, under the pretext
of a big drug raid that eventually cost this disabled man his life, let’s see what
they were after and what they netted for their effort:

Five people who were
•         [Suspect No. 1], age 25, suspected of
possessing 1 to 4 grams of a controlled substance and 2 to 4 ounces of
•         [Suspect No. 2], age 22, suspected of
possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana. Police also found that [Suspect No. 2] was wanted on two
warrants from other jurisdictions.
•         [Suspect No. 4], age 27, accused of
evading arrest and detention. [Suspect
No. 4] also had a warrant.
•         [Suspect No. 5], age 29, and [Suspect No. 6], age 29, both with class
C warrants from Fort Worth. [Suspect No.
6], who identified herself as Darden’s cousin, said she has an unpaid
ticket for talking on a cellphone while driving in a school zone.

In a police report, Officer
N.B. Danford was the one who drafted the probable-cause warrant to search for
cocaine at the house. The “no-knock” warrant was signed by Tarrant County
Magistrate Cheyenne Minick at 3:35 p.m. Thursday, according to the report.

The investigation should not
begin with the suspects, because there was never any really “big fish” in this
expedition, only a few misdemeanor guppies at worst. So they kick down an
unlocked door and kill a man for the above probable-causes.

No, the investigation should
begin at the determination level of probable cause and a criminal justice
system that allows a magistrate who signed off on a “no-knock”
(kick-the-door-down) raid to bag a few petty misdemeanor offenders.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Los Angeles to Reopen Its Inquiry of Officer's Allegations of Color-Aroused Abuses

A Black ex-officer of the Los Angeles Police Department says that witnessing police brutality and fellow cops referring to Blacks using the "N" word prompted him to file reports against the officers in question.  And then the LAPD fired him, accusing him of filing false reports, although no one has explained why Dorner would file a false report under circumstances or what he would have to gain by doing so.

The officer has drawn national attention to his case by promising to kill LAPD police officers involved, as well as members of their families, and by allegedly actually killing three people.
The New York Times linked to an online manifesto by the fired officer, Christopher J. Dorner, in which the ex-officer uses the word "nigger" eight times while describing how he and other Blacks were treated, in his presence, by members of the LAPD.

Ex-officer Dorner alleges that his present rampage is color-aroused and based in the color aroused ideation, emotion and behavior of people in the LA police department.  However, the New York Times did not mention the color-aroused nature of the case until the LA Police acknowledged it and determined to reopen the investigation into Mr. Dorner's allegations.

The Times reports:
The Los Angeles Police Department will reopen its investigation into the 2007 episode that led to the firing of Christopher J. Dorner, the former police officer who is wanted in three killings, department officials said Saturday night. Mr. Dorner pledged revenge against Los Angeles police officers in a manifesto he posted online, in which he also claimed that racism in the department had led to his dismissal. He is wanted in connection with the killing of a former police captain’s daughter and her fiancĂ© last Sunday and the shooting death of a Riverside, Calif., police officer on Thursday morning.

“I am aware of the ghosts of the L.A.P.D.’s past, and one of my biggest concerns is that they will be resurrected by Dorner’s allegations of racism within the department,” Chief Charlie Beck said in a written statement. 
“Therefore, I feel we need to also publicly address Dorner’s allegations regarding his termination,” he said. “I do this not to appease a murderer. I do it to reassure the public that their Police Department is transparent and fair in all the things we do.”
The Times has, to my knowledge, failed to report the skin color of the victim of the alleged kicking incident, even though this fact might  be essential to understanding Dorner's reaction to the incident and the LAPD's reaction to his complaint.

It seems possible that, as the facts are known, this case will prove to be a clear example of extreme color-aroused ideation, emotion, and behavior leading to abuses within the LAPD and then leading a Black man to fight those abuses in a way that shows that he, too, suffers from extreme color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior.

Had the LAPD dealt with the allegations of Christopher J. Dorner more seriously when they occurred, whether they were based on fact or not, then this rampage might not have occurred.

Whether or not a fellow officer kicked a suspect who was on the ground, as Dorner alleges, the LAPD decision to fire him for even asserting that it happened would predictably dissuade other officers from reporting abuses they witnessed.  That attitude on the part of the LAPD seems as though it might partially explain why Mr. Dorner believes a rampage is necessary.  Dorner's reaction is not so strange when one recalls that that were generalized riots in LA in 1992 over similar questions of police brutality that was often color-aroused.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Accused Killer LAPD Cop Says Color-Arousal Drove Him to Kill

The New York Times reports that a Black, male ex-LAPD officer and ex-Navy reservist has gone on a murderous rampage after explaining why in a essay he posted to the Internet.  In the essay, Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, asserts that feelings of powerlessness in the face of color-aroused LAPD behavior drove him to begin killing.  The Times characterizes the ex-officer's explanation as "a rambling and threatening note" but the Times fails to report Dorners subjective belief that extreme color-arousal in the LAPD led to the killing spree.

Among the color-aroused incidents Dorney reports: 
The internal affairs investigation in the academy involving Schefres was spurned by a complaint that I had initiated toward two fellow recruit/offifcers. While on a assigned patrol footbeat in Hollywood Division, Officers Hermilio Buridios IV and Marlon Magana (both current LAPD officers) decided that they would voice their personal feelings about the black community. While traveling back to the station in a 12 passenger van I heard Magana refer to another individual as a nigger. I wasn't sure if I heard correctly as there were many conversations in the van that was compiled of at least 8 officers and he was sitting in the very rear and me in the very front. Even with the multiple conversations and ambient noise I heard Officer Magana call an indivdual a nigger again. Now that I had confirmed it, I told Magana not to use that word again. I explained that it was a well known offensive word that should not be used by anyone. He replied, "I'll say it when I want". Officer Burdios, a friend of his, also stated that he would say nigger when he wanted. At that point I jumped over my front passenger seat and two other officers where I placed my hands around Burdios' neck and squeezed. I stated to Burdios, "Don't fucking say that". At that point there was pushing and shoving and we were separated by several other officers. What I should have done, was put a Winchester Ranger SXT 9mm 147 grain bullet in his skull and Officer Magana's skull. The Situation would have been resolved effective, immediately. The sad thing about this incident was that when Detective Ty from internal affairs investigated this incident only (1) officer (unknown) in the van other than myself had statements constistent with what actually happened. The other six officers (John Carey, Gary Parker, Jacob Waks, Abraham Schefres and names I have forgotten) all stated they heard nothing and saw nothing. Shame on every one of you. Shame on Detective Ty (same ethnicity as Burdios) for creating a separate 1.28 formal complaint against me (Schefres complaint) in retaliation for initiating the complaint against Burdios and Magana. Don't retaliate against honest officers for breaking your so called blue line. I hope your son Ryan Ty, who I knew, is a better officer than you, Detective Ty.The saddest part of this ordeal was that Officer Burdios and Magana were only given 22 day suspensions and are still LAPD officers to this day. That day, the LAPD stated that it is acceptable for fellow officers to call black officers niggers to their face and you will receive a slap on the wrist. Even sadder is that during that 22 day suspension Buridios and Magana received is that the LAPPL (Los Angeles Police Protective League) paid the officers their salaries while they were suspended. When I took a two day suspension for an accidental discharge, I took my suspension and never applied for a league salary. Its called integrity.
In a sense, it barely matters whether Dorner's accounts are true.  It seems likely clear that color-aroused experiences, emotion and ideation play a significant role in his own understanding of why he has done what he has.