Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Taser-Related Death in Pasadena

First, just wanted to update our coverage of Pasadena residents (and friends of our Amnesty chapter) seeking to draw attention to human rights issues in China in view of the up-coming Beijing Olympics with this Pasadena Star-News article.

Meanwhile, we've been drawn to another story playing out in the pages of the Star News, "Police identify Taser victim", "Details on Taser victim emerge," yet another tragic death by Taser.

A review of Amnesty's position on Tasers:
Since June 2001, there have been over 230 TASER-related deaths. According to an Amnesty International study, 61 people alone died in 2005 after being shocked by law-enforcement agency TASERs, over twenty times the number killed in 2001. AI is concerned that TASERs are being used as tools of routine force --rather than as weapons of last resort--and calls on law-enforcement agencies to withhold use pending an independent, unbiased study of their effects.
Amnesty has two reports from 2004 and 2006 offering more details of these Taser-related deaths and the lack of independent verification of the safety of these "non-lethal" weapons or for something more user-friendly, there is the Amnesty magazine article "Aftershocks". There's also a whole page of multimedia resources and news.
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