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Its from CNN so it's true.

HOUSTON (AP) -- Houston police officers have used Tasers more on black suspects than any other group of individuals, according to a city study released Monday.

Of 1,417 Taser deployments by officers between December 2004 and June 2007, nearly 67 percent were used on black suspects, according to an audit conducted for the city by a team of criminology, statistics and mathematics experts. About 25 percent of Houston's population is black.


Minister Robert Muhammad, with the southwest regional headquarters for The Nation of Islam, said the study shows that police are more apt to use the weapons on black suspects than suspects of other races.

"Can we say it's racism? Yes, and some people would argue no," said Muhammad. "The greater argument is abuse of authority. We give them authority to protect us. But instead of using that authority to protect us, they abuse us with it."

We can sort of imagine who will argue this isn't a shocking indictment of widespread racial prejudices thriving in the law enforcement community. I will not go and dig up a number of links showing the times cops have tased black people to death. it's unnecessary. The few tht will will scream for links are most likely the same ones who will try to challenge the facts of racial prejudice influencing the abuse of tasers.

This study is akin to studying the rising of the sun and discovering, indeed, it rises in the East each day.

Now, Mr. Muhammed brings up a good point - I am surprised it made it into the paper>

"The greater argument is abuse of authority. We give them authority to protect us. But instead of using that authority to protect us, they abuse us with it."

When he says "us" he means all of us, not just black people.

Black people are truly getting the most raw of deals from the police, but the abuse of power latent in the taser will be used on any of us at any time, even those yay-hoos who will come to support the taser as a way to "protect cops" and who will whine about "just do what the cops tell you and you wont get tased".

This is a stupid reason, first and foremost,but will NOT protect you from abusing police. You will be abused when an abusive cop elects to do so.

The audit also found that no policy exists as to how many times a Taser may be used on an individual.

Thus they can and do tase people numerous times and this often leads to the killings of people who are already subdued and handcuffed but poorly trained and racist officers shoot the shit out of people because they are told the thing is "non-lethal.

Supporting the abuse of tasers with the lame "just do what the cops tell you and you wont get tased" is relying on the same sort of argument used by FISA capitulation supporters - you don't have anything to hide, so why worry?

It simply misses the entire point.

It's time to talk about a man named Stanley Milgram and an experiemnt he did involving getting "normal people" to deliver painful electric shocks to other people they did not know.

The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' [participants'] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' [participants'] ears ringing with the screams of the victims. Authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.

Add a gun and a badge and the oft-repeated claim that "tasers are non-lethal" and any ordinary cop WILL shock and shock and shock somebody they feel "Deserves it".

The taser should be removed from the police, but there are a lot of "shoulds" in this life that the "system" prevents from occurring because "the system" wants things just like they are now.

Originally posted to Toking Points Memo on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:38 AM PDT.

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