For many months, I have been ranting against the almost indiscriminate use of tasers by police on people who pose no threat; most recently, I ranted about a 10-year-old girl who was tased by a cop because she refused her mother's demand to shower before going to bed. The following article details a horrifying aspect of tasers and taser-use with which I was unfamiliar. I highly recommand reading it, especially if you are male. Original source: National Coalition for Men via California Men's Center.
The Taser is a weapon widely used by American police without much regulation or oversight. Many widely varied 'rights' organizations, from the NAACP ot Amnesty International, have found reason to dislike the Taser and to demand that the Federal Government issue guidelines for its use or ban it outright. The biggest complaint is that it is aggressively marketed as 'non-lethal', and yet has killed over 300 people, mostly men. With each death, Taser International has offered endless excuses as to why it must have been something other than their weapon that killed the victim.
My complaint with the Taser relates to men's rights specifically. And I have been shocked that virtually no one, including Amnesty International, has had much of anything to say about this specific issue. Taser International, in the user's manual that comes with every Taser, states the following, "application of the Taser to the genitals is PARTICULARLY EFFECTIVE." Taser openly encourages the use of the weapon on the groin. For the stun gun mode, or "drive stun" mode, Taser strongly encourages that it be rammed into the genitals of a person before shocking the genitals with 50,000 volts, resulting in severe burns and destruction of the tissue and nerves in most cases. Impotence is a known side-effect of the Taser due to its destruction of nerves and tissue in the penis when used as directed by Taser. In fact, a police officer sued Taser for causing his own impotence after he was shocked with a Taser while qualifying to carry one.
Even worse, Taser International, upon purchasing the patent over 10 years ago, altered the design. Originally the Taser had 1 laser site which showed where the uppermost dart would strike the victim, while the lower dart would strike approximately 8 - 12 inches below that, before shocking the victim with 20,000 volts. The darts were smooth and could be easily removed. Police complained that the weapon didn't hurt people enough, and that the darts could be pulled out by the victim before they were incapacited.
Taser International solved all of these complaints by putting fishhook-like barbs on the speared projectile, making it very difficult to remove them without ripping flesh. The upped the voltage to 50,000 volts. And they increased the angle at which the lower projectile fires to cause it to strike before the waist and as near to the genitals as possible. But they did not add a second laser site to show the user where the lower dart will strike, making it difficult to avoid shooting the genitals if the shooter does not wish to. The vast majority of the time, when the Taser is fired at a man from the front and the laser site it focused in the area of the solar plexus just below the sternum, as instructed by Taser, the lower dart harpoons the genitals almost every time, before sending 50,000 volts through the testicles, up the spine, into every organ the nerves of the testicles are connected to, which includes the stomach, kidney and heart, and finally into the upper projectile.
In most instances, the testicles are only bruised and slightly burned. There is a little blood either from the hole it makes in the penis or the scrotum. And if the person was only Tased for the minimal 5 seconds from a single Taser gun, there is often no permanent physical damage other than burns. This, of course, says nothing as to the psychological damage of being sexually tortured in a situation in which the man is almost always unarmed and non-violent and often has his friends or family present to witness his sexual torture.
In some instances, such as that of Tavares Browning, the genitals are left with 3rd degree burns, no nerves or feeling of any kind, and no functionality at all. Tavares was shot by 3 cops at once. The first Taser speared his testicles. The second slightly missed and speared his groin area. The third speared his wrist as his hands dropped involuntarily to his harpooned genitals and blocked the dart. 100,000 volts was passed through his genitals at the same time, dropping him helplessly to the floor. At this point, a fourth office ran over to him and rammed his Taser into Tavares groin, using the drive stun mode which produces a very wide electric flame between all points of contact and burns whatever it is touching. In Tavares case, there were 4 points of contact, all in his groin, with one inside his scrotum and 3 contacting the genitals. The result was that his entire genitalia were burned to a crisp. His abdomen, groin area, and upper tights, along with this genitals, were left with no nerves at all and thus no feeling of any kind.
This was done to Tavares because he owned $1900 in back child support, was unemployed and unable to pay, and was afraid of the police, so he hid in his room when they came to take him to jail.
Each of the 3 officers testified that they were not aiming for Tavares' groin when firing their Tasers through his window. They simply aimed where they had been instructed, the solar plexus, and had no idea where the lower projectile was going to spear him.
When the Taser is fired at a man from a position below his chest, that is from a kneeling position or when the shooter is below the victim, the Taser will spear the genitals nearly 100 percent of the time. Also, the further away from the victim the shooter is, the higher the percentage of shots that will spear the genitals.
The Taser spears the genitals so often when fired from the front, and does enough damage, that almost all police departments which require an officer to be shot with their own Taser before being allowed to carry it, instruct the officers to turn their backs. There is a graphic example of what happens when they fail to do this here:
Federal law prohibits the use of torture. It would seem obvious that the application of electric shock, especially when combined with a projectile that literally harpoons the testicles and enables the shooter to hook a man's testicles on the end of a line like a fish, constitutes torture, and specifically sexual torture. This should not be legal. But federal law never defines specifically what torture is. Thus, police and private citizens are free to harpoon men's testicles and electricute them as much as they please with minimal excuse.
It isn't widely acknowledged in the United States, although it is widely known worldwide in the medical community, but you can, in fact, kill a man by injuring his testicles. The most common cause of death is listed as "neurogenic shock." In India there was a string of copycat spousal murders in which angry wives waited for their husbands to go to sleep and then grabbed and squeezed his testicles until he died. There are numerous documented cases of men and boys dying after having their testicles grabbed and squeezed, or kicked and ruptured, or otherwise injured. The pain is severe enough to cause shock and ultimately death. In the U.S., we have been given the impression, through movies and television, that no matter how badly a man's testicles are injured, he cannot die. But this is a lie.
Police officers who were Tazed in the genitals described the experience as feeling as if someone had grabbed both of their testicles and began repeatedly banging them together, or repeatedly squeezing them again and again, each time the Taser pulses. They said the pain is utterly unbearable. It is my belief that many of the men who have died as a result of the Taser, died because the shock of being electrocuted through the genitals is simply unbearable. The human heart cannot withstand this in many cases.
The Taser is powerful enough to bring down any man or woman without torturing the genitals. We, as citizens, cannot allow our government or anyone to have the authority to harpoon a man's testicles and torture them with electric shock. This is the ultimate human rights violation. It is also one step below allow castration. Further, the Taser is used without trial and in circumstances in which even the threat of deadly force is prohibited. Thus, a situation in which an officer cannot even show a handgun is a situation in which they can draw their Taser and spear and destroy a man's genitals. Police are permitted to sexually torture and mutilate American men who are unarmed, non-violent, and may be guilty of nothing more than saying "no" to an officer, or not following the officers instructions quickly enough to satisfy the officer. Any show of resistance, including moving too slowly or not understanding what was said, is currently considering justification for police use of the Taser, and your genitals are considering not only a legal target, but a primary target.
I have been writing to my representatives asking that federal
law banning the use of torture on American citizens be amended
to specifically define the application of electricity to the
genitals as torture, and to prohibit it. This does not outlaw
Tasers or stun guns. It only outlaws the use of them on the genitals.
I think this is reasonable. Further, I thin it unreasonable that
it isn't already illegal to do this.
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