Green Party Renews Call for Moratorium on Tasers

This press release from the Green Party of Suffolk appeared in some local on-line newspapers:

from Village Tattler, Huntington
Green Party Renews Call for Moratorium on Tasers in Suffolk

By Dorf Schwatzer, on June 4th, 2011

“The Green Party of Suffolk is outraged to discover that Suffolk County has continued using Tasers against its residents,” said its chair Roger Snyder. “It is inconceivable that Suffolk has continued to use Tasers given the questions about the Taser-related death of Darryl Bain  in 2009.”

Snyder repeated the Green Party’s plan to protect the lives of Suffolk residents: “In line with our pillar of nonviolence, the Green Party of Suffolk demands Suffolk County seek out ways to avoid the use of easily abused and potentially lethal Tasers. As an immediate step, the Green Party of Suffolk calls on the county to put a moratorium on the use or purchase of any Tasers. In the long term, the Green Party calls on the county to train the police in nonviolent methods of resolving situations.”

The renewed call for a moratorium on Taser use in Suffolk County was prompted by the death of Daniel McDonnel after he was tasered twice by the Suffolk Police.  According to Newsday, McDonnel is the fifth person to die after being tasered by Suffolk Police.  Amnesty International USA has found that at least 350 people died in the United States and Canada after being shot by Tasers since June 2001.

The heavy-handed use of Tasers in Suffolk is striking.  According to a 2009 Newsday after the death of Bain, “Suffolk police have 669 Tasers, and supervisors hope to arm most patrol cops with one.”  The large number of Tasers has created an explosion in their use in Suffolk.  Newsday also reports “Tasers were used 44 times in 2006, 53 times in 2007, 65 times in 2008 and 146 times so far this year.”

The dangerous nature of Tasers is well-known.  Amnesty International released a report on December 16, 2008 that labeled Tasers as “Potentially Lethal and Easy to Abuse.”  Angela Wright, US researcher at Amnesty International and author of the report said that “Tasers are not the ‘non-lethal’ weapons they are portrayed to be. They can kill and should only be used as a last resort.”

The Amnesty International report showed that abuse of Tasers is widespread.  The Amnesty report “found that 90 per cent of those who died after being struck with a Taser were unarmed and many did not appear to present a serious threat. Many were subjected to repeated or prolonged shocks – far more than the five-second “standard” cycle – or by more than one officer at a time. Some people were even shocked for failing to comply with police commands after they had been incapacitated by a first shock.”  The report found that Tasers were used against persons with “medical conditions such as seizures.” It also found that “police officers also used Tasers on schoolchildren, pregnant women and even an elderly person with dementia.”

The Green Party is an alternative party to the Democrats and Republicans. The four pillars of the Green Party are: Nonviolence/Peace; Grassroots Democracy; Social and Economic Justice; and Ecological Wisdom. The Green Party Party is now a ballot-qualified party, so they are listed on the new voter registration forms.  On the old voter registration forms, you can enroll in the Green Party by checking the box marked “Other” on the voter registration form and writing in the word “Green” on the line next to it.

From the office of Ian S. Wilder, Green Party of Suffolk Secretary

6 thoughts on “Green Party Renews Call for Moratorium on Tasers

  1. NewFederalist

    “Tasers are not the ‘non-lethal’ weapons they are portrayed to be. They can kill and should only be used as a last resort.”

    I would think that would be the case for firearms. Perhaps tasers are the second to the last resort?

  2. Michael Cavlan RN

    Old Buddhist saying

    If a Green Statement falls in the forest and there is no one listening, does it make a noise?

    Or we could talk about how Green Party City Councilman Cam Gordon stabbed the police accountability movement in the back, with his support of Minneapolis Police Chief Dolan. Who is in charge of a police force that is recognized as out of control and one of the worst in the nation.

    Green Party City Councilman Cam Gordon was on the Committee that was deciding if Minneapolis should reappoint Chief Dolan. Who had just awarded the police officer who had shot 16 year old unarmed Fong Lee in the back, as he was running away with a MEDAL OF HONOR for the shooting.

    Gordon was the deciding vote as to whether Dolan should be reappointed Chief. Communities United Against Police Brutality (who I work with) asked him to not reappoint Dolan.

    Green Party elected official Cam (we call him Scam) Gordon did so anyway.

    He was too busy making deals with the Minneapolis Democrat Mayor RT Ryback to encourage the Green Party NOT run against Ryback and then the Democrats would not run against him.

    All of this is documented and in fact came out in Court. To which the GP have refused to talk about it or hold him accountable.

    Suffolk County Greens may be fine but the GP in general have no right, what so ever to talk about this issue.

  3. Starchild

    Good call by the Suffolk County Green Party coming out against Tasers. Tasers are indeed dangerous and unfit tools for subduing suspects, as the press release points out.

    Police should be trained to respect the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, and stop abusing their power by enforcing unpopular laws that infringe on peoples’ rights. If they did this, they could more readily count on the support and assistance of members of the public, and would have less need for high-tech tools to cause injury and death.

    Too bad about the Green Party elected official betraying the police accountability movement. Hopefully GP leaders will send a strong message by censuring him, if not expelling him from their party.

  4. Rev. Alberto Medvedev

    I, the Reverend Alberto Medvedev, have given consideration to forming a “Xenu United Party” to promote Xenuian values to those running for office. Would anyone be interested?

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