Florida Man Dies After Tasered Twice

Source – Fox News

LAKE CITY, Fla. — A man died Thursday after deputies stunned him with a Taser after he jumped from an ambulance, authorities said.

A friend of Ashley Ryan Stephens called 911 to request an ambulance, saying her friend was a drug user and was sick. A deputy was sent along with the ambulance crew, which is standard procedure if drugs are involved, said Columbia County Sheriff Bill Gootee.

Once inside the ambulance, Stephens became agitated and combative and kicked out an ambulance window. When the ambulance stopped, Stephens jumped out and ran into the street. He was nearly hit by several cars, Gootee said.

Stephens was stunned twice and handcuffed. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

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UN Declares Taser Form of Torture

I’ll post it here in its entirety, but I thought it was WAY to good to pass up. Unfortunately, it won’t change anything on the situation in America, but its good to know anyway.

“The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture,” the UN’s Committee against Torture said.

“In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events,” the committee of 10 experts said.

Three men, all in their early 20s, were reported to have died in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being Tasered by Canadian police.

The man, Robert Dziekanski, 40, fell to the ground and died after the police officers piled on top of him.

There have been three deaths in Canada after the use of Tasers over the past five weeks.

The company that makes the weapons has said that similar deaths have been shown by “medical science and forensic analysis” to be “attributable to other factors and not the low-energy electrical discharge of the Taser”.

The UN committee made its comments in recommendations to Portugal, which has bought the newest Taser X26 stun gun for use by police.

Portugal “should consider giving up the use of the Taser X26,” as its use can have a grave physical and mental impact on those targeted, which violates the UN’s Convention against Torture, the experts said.

Not a very long article, but at least its entertaining. Will the United States and our cohorts north and south listen?

I doubt it.

Fox Host Says Dissenters Should Be Tased

Vodpod videos no longer available.

www.blacklistednews.

Does it surprise anyone really? Is it astonishing that a FOX News broadcaster said this? It shouldn’t. At least, not when you look at the way they operate and their position on the newly-important taser cases so far. Anyway, take a look at the video, and I hope you… enjoy it.

On a more personal note, I apologize for not doing more posts recently. I just bought Mass Effect, and all I have to say is wow. I spent most of the 4-day weekend playing it. It is the deepest game I have ever played. I also have all but one achievement scored 🙂

Tasered For A Question

A man was tasered for asking why he was pulled over at a traffic stop September 15th. The full story is here and the video is below.

We had 150 taser-related ‘incidents’ last year and an incredible amount of unresolved cases. There was the tasering of a 6 year old, a 9 year old, a 14 year old that caused a cardiac arrest, a 92 year old, a man who didn’t show ID in his school, a man who was in his own house, the death of a Polish immigrant, the death of a 54 year old, the death of a 63 year old, and I’m sure I could find more links.

The truth is, this has been going on for a long time and it is happening all over our once-great country. Can we restore it? We have the ability, but do the people have the will? Only time will tell.

Another Taser ‘Incident’

It seems I missed one. Our neighbors to the north seem to know enough not to let American cops have ALL the fun.

A Polish man ended up staying at Vancouver National Airport for TEN HOURS, after his mother, who said she would pick him up at the baggage area, wasn’t allowed to enter without a boarding pass and wasn’t allowed to tell him where to go. She then went home, after being told that her son NEVER ARRIVED at the airport. Eventually, they realize that he doesn’t speak English, only Russian, and ask for a translator to calm the man, upset at his detaining. After a while, the man picks up a computer, throws it, and then repeats the action with the folding table he has been carrying since arrival, for an unknown reason. Eventually security comes, but, unable to talk to the Russian-speaking man, they, again, ask for an interpretor. Then all hell breaks loose.

The RCNP arrive, and before even confronting the man, one officer asks another if he may TASER the Polish man. The questioned officer agrees. After confronting the man, still with no interpretor, the man shys away, and is jolted with 50,000 volts of electricity. The man falls, and far from stopping, the RCNP taser him again. Officers then pin his head to the ground with their knees, and the man loses consciousness.

The MOST remarkable thing isn’t that the man was tasered for no apparent reason, it is that the RCNP DENIED the unprovoked attack, claiming that the man fought against them, FORCING them to taser him for their own safety.

A video of the ENTIRE incident was released, filmed by a bystander, refuting this claim entirely.

The man died on the scene.

Read and commented on from CNN, and also the host of the video itself, with much of the information produced here.

The Lengths We Will Go To To Conform

From Spring.org.uk – What psychological experiment could be so powerful that simply taking part might change your view of yourself and human nature? What experimental procedure could provoke some people to profuse sweating and trembling, leaving 10% extremely upset, while others broke into unexplained hysterical laughter? What finding could be so powerful that it sent many psychologists into frenzied rebuttals? Welcome to the sixth nomination for the top ten psychology studies and as you’ll have guessed it’s a big one. Hold on for controversy though, as this study has come in for considerable criticism with some saying its claims are wildly overblown.

Explaining human cruelty
“Many wondered after the horrors of WWII, and not for the first time, how people could be motivated to commit acts of such brutality towards each other.Stanley Milgram’s now famous experiments were designed to test obedience to authority (Milgram, 1963). What Milgram wanted to know was how far humans will go when an authority figure orders them to hurt another human being. Not just those in the armed forces, but ordinary people were coerced into carrying out the most cruel and gruesome acts.

But Milgram didn’t investigate the extreme situation of war, he wanted to see how people would react under relatively ‘ordinary’ conditions in the lab. How would people behave when told to give an electrical shock to another person? To what extent would people obey the dictates of the situation and ignore their own misgivings about what they were doing?

The experimental situation into which people were put was initially straightforward. Participants were told they were involved in a learning experiment, that they were to administer electrical shocks and that they should continue to the end of the experiment. Told they would be the ‘teacher and another person the ‘learner’, they sat in front of a machine with a number of dials labelled with steadily increasing voltages. This was the ‘shock machine’. The third switch from the top was labelled: “Danger: Severe Shock”, the last two simply: “XXX”.

During the course of the experiment, each time the ‘learner’ made a mistake the participant was ordered to administer ever-increasing electrical shocks. Of course the learner kept making mistakes so the teacher (the poor participant) had to keep giving higher and higher electrical shocks, and hearing the resultant screams of pain until finally the learner went quiet.

Participants were not in fact delivering electrical shocks, the learner in the experiment was actually an actor following a rehearsed script. The learner was kept out of sight of the participants so they came to their own assumptions about the pain they were causing. They were, however, left in little doubt that towards the end of the experiment the shocks were extremely painful and the learner might well have been rendered unconscious. When the participant baulked at giving the electrical shocks, the experimenter – an authority figure dressed in a white lab coat – ordered them to continue.

Results
Before I explain the results, try to imagine yourself as the participant in this experiment. How far would you go giving what you thought were electrical shocks to another human being simply for a study about memory? What would you think when the learner went quiet after you apparently administered a shock labelled on the board “Danger: Severe Shock”? Honestly. How far would you go?

How ever far you think, you’re probably underestimating as that’s what most people do. Like the experiment, the results shocked. Milgram’s study discovered people are much more obedient than you might imagine. 63% of the participants continued right until the end – they administered all the shocks even with the learner screaming in agony, begging to stop and eventually falling silent. These weren’t specially selected sadists, these were ordinary people like you and me who had volunteered for a psychology study.

How can these results be explained?
At the time Milgram’s study was big news. Milgram explained his results by the power of the situation. This was a social psychology experiment which appeared to show, beautifully in fact, how much social situations can influence people’s behaviour.

The experiment set off a small industry of follow-up studies carried out in labs all around the world. Were the findings still true in different cultures, in slightly varying situations and in different genders (only men were in the original study)? By and large the answers were that even when manipulating many different experimental variables, people were still remarkably obedient. One exception was that one study found Australian women were much less obedient. Make of that what you will.

Fundamentally flawed?
Now think again. Sure, the experiment relies on the situation to influence people’s behaviour, but how real is the situation? If it was you, surely you would understand on some level that this wasn’t real, that you weren’t really electrocuting someone, that knocking someone unconscious would not be allowed in a university study?

Also, people pick up considerable nonverbal cues from each other. How good would the actors have to be in order to avoid giving away the fact they were actors? People are adept at playing along even with those situations they know in their heart-of-hearts to be fake. The more we find out about human psychology, the more we discover about the power of unconscious processes, both emotional and cognitive. These can have massive influences on our behaviour without our awareness.

Assuming people were not utterly convinced on an unconscious level that the experiment was for real, an alternative explanation is in order. Perhaps Milgram’s work really demonstrates the power of conformity. The pull we all feel to please the experimenter, to fit in with the situation, to do what is expected of us. While this is still a powerful interpretation from a brilliant experiment, it isn’t what Milgram was really looking for.

Whether you believe the experiment shows what it purports to or not, there is no doubting that Milgram’s work was some of the most influential and impressive carried out in psychology. It is also an experiment very unlikely to be repeated nowadays (outside of virtual reality) because of modern ethical standards. Certainly when I first came across it, my view of human nature was changed irrevocably. Now, thinking critically, I’m not so sure.

Another Taser Case To Add

Back in September, a man living in North Braddock, Pittsburgh, was tasered in his own home, while sleeping on the couch. The story is summed up below.

Shawn Hicks had come back from a night out and plopped down on his own couch in his own home. Unfortunately, he failed to deactivate the silent alarm on his home security system. According to Hicks, two police officers responded to the alarm, entered his home, and woke him with a taser between the shoulder blades. When Hicks tried to explain that the whole thing was a misunderstanding, and that the officers were in his own home, they tasered him again. They next checked his wallet and ID, which confirmed his name and address. Then they tasered him again. The police then removed the taser pellets from Hicks’ bloody back, refused to get him medical treatment, and arrested him for “being belligerent.” They threw him in a holding cell until 5 am the next morning, when they released him without filing any charges.

Of course, the police department suspended the officers who tasered Hicks without pay while they conducted an investigation. Then, the chief had them arrested for assaulting Hicks with their tasers, falsely arresting him, and violating his civil rights. They are now serving the justly deserved prison sentence.

Or not. Police officers just seem to be flying off the handle more and more these days, getting away with things that once could only happen on New York soil in the 50’s.

They MUST be held accountable