August 28, 2014

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sand pile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.


August 27, 2014

Am I Not Human? Don't Discriminate

On the 27th of each month we plan to blog about human rights.  Every person is entitled to certain fundamental rights, simply by the fact of being human. These are called “human rights” rather than a privilege (which can be taken away at someone’s whim).

They are “rights” because they are things you are allowed to be, to do or to have. These rights are there for your protection against people who might want to harm or hurt you. They are also there to help us get along with each other and live in peace.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt Reviews UDHR
Born out of the atrocities and enormous loss of life during World War II, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948 to provide a common understanding of what everyone’s rights are. It forms the basis for a world built on freedom, justice and peace.  This declaration provided a list of 30 specific human rights

Human right #2 is something we need to remind ourselves about more often ...

Don't Discriminate!

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.



Just because the nations of the world signed a declaration that defined and respected 'human rights' doesn't mean that abuses don't occur.  Human rights abuses are taking place in America and in most other nations of the world.  On the 27th of each month we are going to shine our blogging spotlight on human rights abuse ... and our hope is that other bloggers will do so as well.

Roots of Humanity feels that each of us can fight against human rights abuses in the world. We simply need to do something. Protest. Meditate. Pray. In the case of bloggers ... we want you to blog on the 27th of each month. Just share information on behalf of our human siblings in all suffering areas who are either barred from communication by their governments, or lacking in technology to ask: Am I Not Human?

Wordless Wednesday: Equal Justice?


August 26, 2014

Powerful Eulogy by Al Sharpton at Funeral of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri

I've always had mixed feelings about Rev. Al Sharpton. However, I have to admit that his commitment to the empowerment of the Black community is evident from his long years and persistence. He has a daily radio show, a daily television show, runs the National Action Network and such.

The family of Michael Brown asked him to give a 'national eulogy' as part of the young man's funeral in Ferguson, MO on August 25, 2014.

Did you see it?



What are your thoughts about the clarion call for change made by Al Sharpton at the funeral of slain teenager, Michael Brown?

August 25, 2014

Melissa Harris-Perry: The Death of Black Men in America

Melissa Harris-Perry shares a powerful essay on the plight of Black men in America over the past decade. Local police killed a Black person at least twice a week in this country since 2006.

Twice per week for the past eight years...



America is a place where the Supreme Court once said, "It is too clear for dispute that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration ... Black men had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."
How much longer will our nation be victimized by its poisonous race relations? How much longer will police be able to kill Black men with impunity? What will it take to improve race relations in America?

August 24, 2014

Taser Death: Jose Paulino, Jr. (Tamaqua, PA)

It happened again! This time an unarmed 38-year old man - Jose Paulino, Jr. - was electrocuted to death after several taser shots by unidentified Tamaqua police officers. The police officers indicate that Mr. Paulino didn't comply with their orders.

So they killed him.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Since when did being disrespectful of a police officer become a death penalty offense? Were the officers in a hurry to clock out? They couldn't wait to see if there was some other way to help this unarmed husband and father?

Our blog had been sharing updates on taser-related deaths for a number of years. Perhaps it is time for us to get back into it again! Let us know if you have any additional information on this specific taser torture incident or others that may come across your timeline.

In the meantime, our prayers are with the Paulino family as they deal with the results of this horrible police encounter.

561 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States Since 2001

Today we added 35-year old Timothy Griffis (Lake City, FL) as the 210th taser-related death in America since 2009. [NOTE: the full list is shown below].

According to Amnesty International, between 2001 and 2008, 351 people in the United States died after being shocked by police Tasers. Our blog has documented another 210 taser-related deaths in the United States in 2009-2014. That means there have been 561 documented taser-related deaths in America.

This blog has been pointing out incidents of police taser torture for quite awhile. The work done over the past few years by Patti Gillman and Cameron Ward continue to be the inspiration for our work. Gillman and Ward documented over 805 taser-related deaths in North America on their blog.

I wonder if anyone cares about the rising use of the taser as a lethal weapon?  At least we know that the Department of Justice cares.  They issued a report about the pattern of abuse against the mentally ill in Portland that included the frequent, unnecessary use of Tasers.   Recent deaths have begun to reignite the debate on taser torture.

On the other hand, I think that something is wrong in America when the police electrocute folks on a WEEKLY basis with their taser arsenal ... and the public is mute in its response. Cops are so liberal with their use of the taser that a blind man isn't safe! Sometimes it takes a lawsuit ... like the one recently settled in Ohio ... to get the police to cool it.  The police in Cincinnati, Ohio took the hint ... they changed their taser policy!

I encourage you to use our COMMENTS ('Post a Comment') option at the bottom of this blog post to let us know what you think about these weekly taser-related killings.

  1. Jan 9, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Black, Martinsville, Virginia
  2. Jan 11, 2009: Rodolfo Lepe, 31, Hispanic, Bakersfield, California
  3. Jan 22, 2009: Roger Redden, 52, Caucasian, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee-
  4. Feb 2, 2009: Garrett Jones, 45, Caucasian, Stockton, California
  5. Feb 11, 2009: Richard Lua, 28, Hispanic, San Jose, California
  6. Feb 13, 2009: Rudolph Byrd, 37, Black, Thomasville, Georgia
  7. Feb 13, 2009: Michael Jones, 43, Black, Iberia, Louisiana
  8. Feb 14, 2009: Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, Black, Los Angeles, California
  9. Feb 28, 2009: Robert Lee Welch, 40, Caucasian, Conroe, Texas
  10. Mar 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Caucasian, Bay City, Michigan
  11. Mar 26, 2009: Marcus D. Moore, 40, Black, Freeport, Illinois
  12. Apr 1, 2009: John J. Meier Jr., 48, Caucasian, Tamarac, Florida
  13. Apr 6, 2009: Ricardo Varela, 41, Hispanic, Fresno, California
  14. Apr 10, 2009: Robert Mitchell, 16, Black, Detroit, Michigan
  15. Apr 13, 2009: Craig Prescott, 38, Black, Modesto, California
  16. Apr 16, 2009: Gary A. Decker, 50, Black, Tuscon, Arizona
  17. Apr 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Black, Fort Worth, Texas
  18. Apr 30, 2009: Kevin LaDay, 35, Black, Lumberton, Texas
  19. May 4, 2009: Gilbert Tafoya, 53, Caucasian, Holbrook, Arizona
  20. May 17, 2009: Jamaal Valentine, 27, Black, La Marque, Texas
  21. May 23, 2009: Gregory Rold, 37, Black, Salem, Oregon
  22. Jun 9, 2009: Brian Cardall, 32, Caucasian, Hurricane, Utah
  23. Jun 13, 2009: Dwight Madison, 48, Black, Bel Air, Maryland
  24. Jun 20, 2009 Derrek Kairney, 36, Caucasian, South Windsor, Connecticut
  25. Jun 30, 2009, Shawn Iinuma, 37, Asian, Fontana, California
  26. Jul 2, 2009, Rory McKenzie, 25, Black, Bakersfield, California
  27. Jul 20, 2009, Charles Anthony Torrence, 35, Caucasian, Simi Valley, California
  28. Jul 30, 2009, Johnathan Michael Nelson, 27, Caucasian, Riverside County, California
  29. Aug 9, 2009, Terrace Clifton Smith, 52, Black, Moreno Valley, California
  30. Aug 12, 2009, Ernest Ridlehuber, 53, Race: Unknown, Greenville, South Carolina
  31. Aug 14, 2009, Hakim Jackson, 31, Black, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  32. Aug 18, 2009, Ronald Eugene Cobbs, 38, Black, Greensboro, North Carolina
  33. Aug 20, 2009, Francisco Sesate, 36, Hispanic, Mesa, Arizona
  34. Aug 22, 2009, T.J. Nance, 37, Race: Unknown, Arizona City, Arizona
  35. Aug 26, 2009, Miguel Molina, 27, Hispanic, Los Angeles, California
  36. Aug 27, 2009, Manuel Dante Dent, 27, Hispanic, Modesto, California
  37. Sep 3, 2009, Shane Ledbetter, 38, Caucasian, Aurora, Colorado
  38. Sep 16, 2009, Alton Warren Ham, 45, Caucasian, Modesto, California
  39. Sep 19, 2009, Yuceff W. Young II, 21, Black, Brooklyn, Ohio
  40. Sep 21, 2009, Richard Battistata, 44, Hispanic, Laredo, Texas
  41. Sep 28, 2009, Derrick Humbert, 38, Black, Bradenton, Florida
  42. Oct 2, 2009, Rickey Massey, 38, Black, Panama City, Florida
  43. Oct 12, 2009, Christopher John Belknap, 36, Race: Unknown, Ukiah, California
  44. Oct 16, 2009, Frank Cleo Sutphin, 19, Caucasian, San Bernadino, California
  45. Oct 27, 2009, Jeffrey Woodward, 33, Caucasian, Gallatin, Tennessee
  46. Nov 13, 2009, Herman George Knabe, 58, Caucasian, Corpus Christi, Texas
  47. Nov 14, 2009, Darryl Bain, 43, Black, Coram, New York
  48. Nov 16, 2009, Matthew Bolick, 30, Caucasian, East Grand Rapids, Michigan
  49. Nov 19, 2009, Jesus Gillard, 61, Black, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  50. Nov 21, 2009, Ronald Petruney, 49, Caucasian, Washington, Pennsylvania
  51. Nov 27, 2009, Eddie Buckner, 53, Caucasian, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  52. Dec 11, 2009, Andrew Grande, 33, Caucasian, Oak County, Florida
  53. Dec 11, 2009, Hatchel Pate Adams III, 36, Black, Hampton, Virginia
  54. Dec 11, 2009, Paul Martin Martinez, 36, Hispanic, Roseville, California
  55. Dec 13, 2009, Douglas Boucher, 39, Caucasian, Mason, Ohio
  56. Dec 14, 2009, Linda Hicks, 62, Black, Toledo, Ohio
  57. Dec 19, 2009, Preston Bussey III, 41, Black, Rockledge, Florida
  58. Dec 20, 2009, Michael Hawkins, 39, Caucasian, Springfield, Missouri
  59. Dec 30, 2009, Stephen Palmer, 47, Race: Unknown, Stamford, Connecticut
  60. Jan 6, 2010, Delano Smith, 21, Black, Elkhart, Indiana
  61. Jan 17, 2010, William Bumbrey III, 36, Black, Arlington, Virginia
  62. Jan 20, 2010, Kelly Brinson, 45, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  63. Jan 27, 2010, Joe Spruill, Jr., Black, Goldsboro, North Carolina
  64. Jan 28, 2010, Patrick Burns, 50, Caucasian, Sangamon County, Illinois
  65. Jan 28, 2010, Daniel Mingo, 25, Black, Mobile, Alabama
  66. Feb 4, 2010, Mark Morse, 36, Caucasian, Phoenix, Arizona
  67. Mar 4, 2010, Roberto Olivo, 33, Hispanic, Tulare, California
  68. Mar 5, 2010, Christopher Wright, 48, Black, Seattle, Washington
  69. Mar 10, 2010, Jaesun Ingles, 31, Black, Midlothian, Illinois
  70. Mar 10, 2010, James Healy Jr., 44, Race: Unknown, Rhinebeck, New York
  71. Mar 20, 2010, Albert Valencia, 31, Hispanic, Downey, California
  72. Apr 10, 2010, Daniel Joseph Barga, 24, Caucasian, Cornelius, Oregon
  73. Apr 30, 2010, Adil Jouamai, 32, Moroccan, Arlington, Virginia
  74. May 9, 2010, Audreacus Davis, 29, Black, Atlanta, Georgia
  75. May 14, 2010, Sukeba Olawunmi, 39, Black, Atlanta, Georgia
  76. May 24, 2010, Efrain Carrion, 35, Hispanic, Middletown, Connecticut
  77. May 27, 2010, Carl Johnson, 48, Caucasian, Baltimore, Maryland
  78. May 29, 2010, Jose Martinez, 53, Hispanic, Waukegan, Illinois
  79. May 31, 2010, Anastasio Hernández Rojas, 42, Hispanic, San Ysidro, California
  80. Jun 8, 2010, Terrelle Houston, 22, Black, Hempstead, Texas
  81. Jun 12, 2010, Curtis Robinson, 34, Black, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  82. Jun 13, 2010, William Owens, 17, Black, Homewood, Alabama
  83. Jun 14, 2010, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, 42, Hispanic, Harris County, Texas
  84. Jun 15, 2010, Michael White, 47, Black, Vallejo, California
  85. Jun 22, 2010, Daniel Sylvester, 35, Caucasian, Crescent City, California
  86. July 5, 2010, Damon Falls, 31, Black, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  87. July 5, 2010, Edmund Gutierrez, 22, Hispanic, Imperial, California
  88. July 8, 2010, Phyllis Owens, 87, Caucasian, Clackamas County, Oregon
  89. July 9, 2010, Marvin Booker, 56, Black, Denver, Colorado
  90. July 12, 2010, Anibal Rosario-Rodriguez, 61, Hispanic, New Britain, Connecticut
  91. July 15, 2010, Jerome Gill, Race: Unknown, Chicago, Illinois
  92. July 18, 2010, Edward Stephenson, 46, Caucasian, Leavenworth, Kansas
  93. July 23, 2010, Jermaine Williams, 30, Black, Cleveland, Mississippi
  94. Aug 1, 2010, Dennis Sandras, 49, Caucasian, Houma, Louisiana
  95. Aug 9, 2010, Andrew Torres, 39, Hispanic, Greenville, South Carolina
  96. Aug 18, 2010, Martin Harrison, 50, Caucasian, Dublin, California
  97. Aug 19, 2010, Adam Disalvo, 30, Caucasian, Daytona Beach, Florida
  98. Aug 20, 2010, Stanley Jackson, 31, Black, Washtenaw County, Michigan
  99. Aug 24, 2010, Michael Ford, 50, Black, Livonia, Michigan
  100. Aug 25, 2010, Eduardo Hernandez-Lopez, 21, Hispanic, Las Vegas, Nevada
  101. Aug 31, 2010, King Hoover, 27, Black, Spanaway, Washington
  102. Sep 4, 2010, Adam Colliers, 25, Caucasian, Gold Bar, Washington
  103. Sep 10, 2010, Larry Rubio, 20, Caucasian, Leemore, California
  104. Sep 12, 2010, Freddie Lockett, 30, Black, Dallas, Texas
  105. Sep 16, 2010, Gary L. Grossenbacher, 48, Caucasian, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  106. Sep 18, 2010, David Cornelius Smith, 28, Black, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  107. Sep 18, 2010, Joseph Frank Kennedy, 48, Caucasian, La Mirada, California
  108. Oct 4, 2010, Javon Rakestrau, 28, Black, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana
  109. Oct 7, 2010, Patrick Johnson, 18, Caucasian, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  110. Oct 12, 2010, Ryan Bain, 31, Caucasian, Billings, Montana
  111. Oct 14, 2010, Karreem Ali, 65, Black, Silver Spring, Maryland
  112. Oct 19, 2010, Troy Hooftallen, 36, Caucasian, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
  113. Nov 4, 2010, Eugene Lamott Allen, 40, Race: Unknown, Wilmington, Delaware
  114. Nov 6, 2010, Robert Neill, Jr., 61, Caucasian, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
  115. Nov 7, 2010, Mark Shaver, 32, Caucasian, Brimfield, Ohio
  116. Nov 23, 2010, Denevious Thomas, 36, Black, Albany, Georgia
  117. Nov 26, 2010, Rodney Green, 36, Black, Waco, Texas
  118. Nov 27, 2010, Blaine McElroy, 37, Race: Unknown, Jackson County, Mississippi
  119. Dec 2, 2010, Clayton Early James, Age: Unknown, Black, Elizabeth City, North Carolina
  120. Dec 11, 2010, Anthony Jones, 44, Black, Las Vegas, Nevada
  121. Dec 12, 2010, Linel Lormeus, 26, Black, Naples, Florida
  122. Dec 20, 2010, Christopher Knight, 35, Black, Brunswick, Georgia 
  123. Dec 31, 2010, Rodney Brown, 40, Black, Cleveland, Ohio 
  124. Jan 5, 2011, Kelly Sinclair, 41, Race: Unknown, Amarillo, Texas
  125. Feb 5, 2011, Robert Ricks, 23, Black, Alexandria, Louisiana
  126. March 15, 2011, Brandon Bethea, 24, Black, Harnett County, North Carolina
  127. Apr 3, 2011, Jairious McGhee, 23, Black, Tampa, Florida
  128. Apr 22, 2011, Adam Spencer Johnson, 33, Caucasian, Orlando, Florida
  129. Apr 23, 2011, Ronald Armstrong, 43, Caucasian, Pinehurst, North Carolina
  130. Apr 25, 2011, Kevin Darius Campbell, 39, Race: Unknown, Tallahassee, Florida 
  131. May 1, 2011, Marcus Brown, 26, Black, Waterbury, Connecticut
  132. May 6, 2011, Matthew Mittelstadt, 56, Caucasian, Boundary County, Idaho
  133. May 11, 2011, Allen Kephart, 43, Caucasian, San Bernadino County, California 
  134. June 13, 2011, Howard Hammon, 41, Caucasian, Middleburg, Ohio 
  135. June 22, 2011, Otto Kolberg, 55, Caucasian, Waycross, Georgia 
  136. June 28, 2011, Dalric East, 40, Black, Montgomery County, Maryland
  137. July 5, 2011, Kelly Thomas, 37, Caucasian, Fullerton, California
  138. July 10, 2011, Joshua Nossoughi, 32, Caucasian, Springfield, Missouri
  139. July 19, 2011, Alonzo Ashley, 29, Black, Denver, Colorado 
  140. July 21, 2011, La'Reko Williams, 21, Black, Charlotte, North Carolina 
  141. July 30, 2011, Donald Murray, 39, Caucasian, Westland, Michigan
  142. August 4, 2011, Pierre Abernathy, 30, Black, San Antonio, Texas
  143. August 6, 2011, Everette Howard, 18, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  144. August 6, 2011, Debro Wilkerson, 29, Black, Prince William County, Maryland
  145. August 6, 2011, Gregory Kralovetz, 50, Caucasian, Kaukauna, Wisconsin 
  146. August 12, 2011, Joseph Lopez, 49, Hispanic, Santa Barbara, California
  147. August 17, 2011, Roger Chandler, 41, Caucasian, Helena, Montana 
  148. August 21, 2011, Montalito McKissick, 37, Black, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  149. August 24, 2011, Michael Evans, 56, Race: Unknown, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  150. August 30, 2011, Nicholas Koscielniak, 27, Caucasian, Lancaster, New York
  151. September 11, 2011, Tyree Sinclair, 31, Black, Corpus Christi, Texas
  152. September 13, 2011, Damon Barnett, 44, Caucasian, Fresno, California 
  153. September 17, 2011, Richard Kokenos, 27, Caucasian, Warren, Michigan
  154. September 24, 2011, Bradford Gibson, 35, Black, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
  155. September 24, 2011, Donacio Rendon, 43, Hispanic, Lubbock, Texas
  156. September 29, 2011, Howard Cook, 35, Black, York, Pennsylvania
  157. October 4, 2011, Glenn Norman, 46, Caucasian, Camden County, Missouri
  158. October 9, 2011, Darnell Hutchinson, 32, Black, San Leandro, California
  159. October 31, 2011, Chad Brothers, 32, Caucasian, Colonie, New York
  160. November 6, 2011, Darrin Hanna, 43, Black, North Chicago, Illinois
  161. November 13, 2011, Ronald Cristiano, 51, Caucasian, Bridgeport, Connecticut
  162. November 15, 2011, Jonathan White, 29, Black, San Bernardino, California
  163. November 22, 2011, Roger Anthony, 61, Black, Scotland Neck, North Carolina
  164. December 16, 2011, Marty Atencio, 44, Hispanic, Phoenix, Arizona
  165. December 22, 2011, Wayne Williams, 27, Black, Houma, Louisiana
  166. January 15, 2012, Daniel Guerra, 24, Hispanic, Ft. Worth, Texas
  167. February 29, 2012, Raymond Allen, 34, Black, Galveston, Texas
  168. March 5, 2012, Nehemiah Dillard, 29, Black, Gainesville, Florida
  169. March 12, 2012, Jersey Green, 37, Black, Aurora, Illinois 
  170. March 19, 2012, James Barnes, 38, Caucasian, Pinellas County, Florida
  171. April 10, 2012, Bobby Merrill, 38, Black, Saginaw, Michigan
  172. April 21, 2012, Angel Heraldo, 41, Hispanic, Meriden, Connecticut 
  173. April 22, 2012, Bruce Chrestensen, 52, Caucasian, Grass Valley, California
  174. May 10, 2012, Damon Abraham, 34, Black, Baldwin, Louisiana
  175. June 9, 2012, Randolph Bonvillian, 41, Caucasian, Houma, Louisiana
  176. June 20, 2012, Macadam Mason, 39, Caucasian, Thetford, Vermont 
  177. June 30, 2012, Victor Duffy, 25, Black, Tukwila, Washington
  178. July 1, 2012, Corey McGinnis, 35, Black, Cincinnati, Ohio
  179. July 5, 2012, Sampson Castellane, 29, Native American, Fife, Washington 
  180. July 6, 2012, Joshua Salvato, 21, Hispanic, Ocala, Florida
  181. September 1, 2012, Denis Chabot, 38, Caucasian, Houston, Texas 
  182. September 14, 2012, Bill Williams, 60, Caucasian, Everett, Washington
  183. September 17, 2012, Phillip McCue, 28, Caucasian, Bangor, Maine
  184. November 29, 2012, Robert Maurina, 46, Caucasian, West Allis, Wisconsin
  185. December 13, 2012, Philip Coleman, 38, Black, Chicago, Illinois
  186. December 25, 2012, Kevin Culp, 29, Black, Richmond, Washington
  187. January 1, 2013, Andrew Layton, 26, Caucasian, Mankato, Minnesota
  188. January 4, 2013, Marcus Slade, 32, Black, Marshall, Texas
  189. February 23, 2013, Christopher Parker, 33, Caucasian, Spokane, Washington 
  190. April 19, 2013, Anthony Howard, 51, Black, Gaithersburg, Maryland
  191. April 19, 2013, Anthony Firkins, 33, Caucasian,  Nampa, Idaho
  192. June 9, 2013, Mark Koves, 28, Caucasian, Thornton, Illinois
  193. July 21, 2013, Deomain Hayman, 28, Black, Wilmington, Delaware 
  194. July 22, 2013, Thomas Martinez, 40, Caucasian, Coralville, Iowa
  195. July 24, 2013, Dainell Simmons, 29, Black, Middle Island, New York 
  196. July 26, 2013, John Wrana, 95, Caucasian, Forest Park, Illinois 
  197. July 29, 2013, Zheng Diao, 76, Asian, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  198. August 6, 2013, Israel Hernandez, 18, Hispanic, Miami, Florida 
  199. August 21, 2013, Michael Ruiz, 44, Hispanic, Phoenix, Arizona 
  200. February 4, 2014, Randall Hatori, 39, Asian Pacific Islander, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  201. February 27, 2014, Treon 'Tree' Johnson, 27, Unknown, Hialeah, Florida 
  202. April 11, 2014, Gregory Towns,24, Black, East Point, Georgia
  203. May 11, 2014, Ron Hillstrom, 44, Caucasian, University Place, Washington
  204. May 14, 2014, George King, 18, Black, Baltimore, Maryland 
  205. June 21, 2014, Dominic Graffeo, 56, Caucasian, Chelsea, Massachusetts
  206. July 7, 2014, Ennis Labaux, 37, Unknown, LaPlace, Louisiana
  207. July 19, 2014, Francisco Rocha, 41, Hispanic, Chicago, Illinois
  208. August 8,  2014, Jose Paulino, 38, Hispanic, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania
  209. August 12, 2014, Dante Parker, 36, Black, Victorville, California 
  210. August 24, 2014, Timothy Griffis, 35, Caucasian, Lake City, Florida

You can see that we don't know the race or national origin (RNO) for Kevin Darius Campbell, Michael Evans, Jerome Gill, James Healy Jr.,  Treon 'Tree' Johnson, Ennis LaBaux, T.J. Nance, Stephen Palmer or Earnest Ridlehuber. We can use some research assistance from villagers to help us identify the RNO for these folks who died after being electrocuted by police taser guns.

We track the RNO information because we sense that these taser-related deaths are happening at a disproportionate level to people of color.

For example, we see that at least 92 (91 men and a 62-year old woman) of these taser-torture killings occurred against African Americans. Black people are only 13.6% of the total population, yet 44% of the 2009-2014 taser-related deaths in America are Black people.

At last count, there are more than 514,000 Tasers among law enforcers and the military nationwide. Tasers are now deployed in law enforcement agencies in 29 of the 33 largest U.S. cities. Some states, such as New Jersey, are loosening up their rules for taser use.  Other states, like Delaware, seek to justify taser use in spite of rising death toll.

However, the tide may be turning. As taser-related deaths and injuries have continued to rise (as well as the amount of Taser litigation), many departments are starting to abandon the weapon in favor of other means of suspect control. Currently, Memphis and San Francisco have opted to ban the use of tasers by law enforcement. Charlotte (NC) pulled all the tasers off the street.  Nevada revised their taser policy so that it would be more aligned to proposal from the ACLU.

South Carolina is beginning to question its use of tasers. Additionally, a federal court has ruled that the pain inflicted by the taser gun constitutes excessive force by law enforcement. The courts don't want police to electrocute people with their tasers unless they pose an immediate threat.


Perhaps the idea of an electric rifle made sense when it was first invented. "Taser" refers to an electrical weapon trademarked by the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company known as Taser International. The word Taser stands for "Tom A. Swift Electrical Rifle."

The Taser was developed by Jack Cover, a contract scientist on NASA's Apollo moon program in the 1960s. Inspired by his favorite childhood book series - Victor Appleton's Tom Swift - Cover drew up plans for a non-lethal weapon like the one the series' main character used.

In 1993, Rick and Tim Smith, who launched Taser International, worked with Cover to improve his design and introduced the device the next year. Since then, use of the word Taser has became part of the common American language.

However, we now see too much taser abuse. First available to law enforcement in February 1998, now used by more than 14,200 law enforcement agencies in more than 40 countries. More than 406,000 taser guns have been sold since the product hit the market. It may be time for congressional hearings.

Some tell us that tasers are making America safer. Police kill about 600 people per year in shootings. So what?! Should we be we be happy that they are ONLY killing people once-a-week with taser guns?

How Do Tasers Work? When a Taser’s trigger is pulled, two wires shoot out of the device at the suspect from up to 35 feet away. At the ends of the wires are probes that either embed in a person's skin or cling to clothing.
  • When the probes hit, an electrical pulse is delivered for five seconds, causing involuntary muscular contractions in the subject.
  • At the end of the first pulse, police tell the person to roll onto their abdomen, so they can be handcuffed. If they do not comply, they may be shocked again.
  • Once a person is arrested, police remove the barbs and call EMTs to the scene.
  • The person is taken to the hospital to be checked out. If the barbs remain in the person after police try to remove them, they are removed at the hospital.
  • The Taser is equipped with a chip that records information on each use, which can be used in court if someone alleges they were shocked multiple times.
Personally, I think that the 'Use of Force Continuum' needs to show tasers as 'near-lethal' ... definitely an error to claim that they are 'non-lethal'.

Many of us think that that immediate problem with Taser use is the lack of state and federal training standards for Taser certification. There are too many police officers with a taser on their hip and insufficient training on how ... or when ... to use it. Without set training standards (which includes a block on the liabilities of the weapons use in the event of bodily injury or death), officers are not fully aware of the ramifications of Taser use.

What say u?What would you suggest we do to deal with these weekly taser-related deaths?
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August 23, 2014

What To Do If You're Stopped by the Police

We all recognize the need for effective law enforcement, but we should also understand our own rights and responsibilities — especially in our interactions with the police. We also need to realize that having rights doesn't guarantee that you will survive to tell the tale of your interaction with the police as demonstrated by the following photo array!


Here are some are some suggestions on what to do if you are stopped, questioned, arrested or injured in your encounter with the police:
  • Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
  • Don’t get into an argument with the police.
  • Don’t resist even if you believe you are innocent.
  • Don’t run.
  • Don’t touch any police officer.
  • If you are arrested, ask for a lawyer immediately.
  • If you are injured, take photos of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you get medical attention first. Ask for copies of your medical treatment files.
  • If you complain at the scene, or tell the police they’re wrong, do so in a non-confrontational way that will not intensify the scene.
  • Keep your hands where the police can see them.
  • Never bad-mouth a police officer.
  • Remember officers’ badge numbers, patrol car numbers and physical descriptions.
  • Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.
  • Stay calm and in control of your words, body language and emotions.
  • Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
  • Write down everything you remember ASAP.
Is there anything you would add to this list? Any thoughts run through your mind as you read through this list?

August 22, 2014

Taser Lawsuit: La'Reko Williams vs. Officer Michael Forbes (NC)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Michael Forbes took the stand this week in the civil case surrounding a 2011 death. The wheels of justice move slowly ... but, the parents of the La'Reko Williams, 21, have not given up. They are suing Forbes for wrongful death and say he used excessive force when he shot Williams with a Taser two times in 2011. Williams later died of a heart attack.  [SOURCE]

Officer Forbes was cleared by the department of any wrongdoing and is still on patrol. But Williams' family said the actions of Forbes are the reason Williams died.

The attorneys suing Officer Forbes, on behalf of Williams' parents, showed autopsy photos of Williams. They also played the video dash cam recording, which included audio. Attorneys said Forbes tased Williams within 15 seconds of arriving on-scene.

The audio cuts out right before Forbes used his Taser the second time. Was the second shot from Officer Michael Forbes’ weapon necessary?

Opening statements to the five-woman, three-man jury on Wednesday were brief, but direct. Attorneys for the prosecution said Williams was not a threat when he was approached by the officer in July of 2011. They say he didn't try to punch, bite or run from Officer Forbes, and only asked why he was detained.