June 23, 2009

Black Bloggers Urge Congressional Hearings on Taser Torture

The AfroSpear, a 2-year old coalition of Black bloggers recently conducted a Day of Blogging for Justice: Standing Up Against Pre-Trial Electrocution event.

The Afrospear encouraged supporters to sign online petition calling on Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus to speak out and organize public hearings on the systemic human rights violations occurring against Black, Latino, Native American and others in America.

Group member Eddie Griffin (Eddie Griffin-BASG), said, "While there continues to be considerable media and congressional attention to torture in Guantanamo, there is comparatively little attention to the mounting evidence of human rights violations in the streets of America by a number of police departments across America, including torture and killings of Black children, women and men through-out the United States through the use and abuse of Tasers."

LN Rock (African American Political Pundit and Tasered While Black), a 2008 DNC Convention Blogger, said, "We want Congress to stand up with us against the police pre-trial electrocution of Black children, women and men - by taser. He went on to say, "We believe that few Americans support spending our tax dollars on torture, which violates our moral, religious and legal traditions. Most Americans expect an American policing policy that ensures the rights of all individuals regardless of race, greed, color, national origin, sex, disability or political or religious affiliation."

Wayne Hicks (Electronic Village) said, "We believe most Americans would favor Congressional hearings as to whether our own law enforcement officials, policing policies and actions violate human rights laws. Evidence of widespread police abuse of tasers is more than enough to warrant our concern and justify a congressional inquiry." He went on to say, "We propose that Congress undertake serious oversight into the extent to which our taxes are funding human rights violations through taser torure. Perhaps Congress can provide an alternative roadmap to the restoration of our democratic values while putting a stop to police pre-trial electrocution of Black children, women and men."
The bloggers are asking for:

  1. The U.S. Attorney General and the Justice Department to aggressively fulfill its most basic mandate of enforcing the law. Torture by tasing is a crime, and the Justice Department is the right place to initiate an independent top-to-bottom investigation of the torturing of Black children men, women and children by local police jurisdictions throughout the United States. It's important that the general public understand the 'use of force continuum' used by law enforcement officials, and how it is abused by many in the law enforcement community. Although there is a Justice Department Review of TASER-related Deaths the on-the-spot pre-trial electrocutions continue.
  2. Congress should investigate whether US police tasing policies violate Federal or international civil and human right laws, including the U.N. Convention against Torture, and international covenants against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of citizens even in cases of so-called "state emergencies".
  3. Congress should require the effective regulation of Taser use and require police/citizen review panels by Federal, state and local police and security agencies, including strict adherence to international human rights standards, or act to defund all such Federal, State and local police and security agencies who violate taser use regulations that would be established by Congress. No Federal stimulus dollars should be used to purchase tasers.

The bloggers point out UN's Committee Against Torture has declared that Taser use can constitute a form of torture. Amnesty International has a longstanding concern about the use of tasers on American citizens.

There is much angst in the mainstream media about the Bush torture memos and torture in the United States ... perhaps it is time for u to look at taser torture of Black people right here in our nation.

Here is a sampling of what Black bloggers are saying about the tasing of so many Blacks in the United States:
  1. LN Rock - African American Political Pundit Report

  2. LN Rock- African American Political Pundit Blog

  3. Asabagna - Afrospear Think Tank

  4. Antoinette - Antoinette's Point of View

  5. Zhana - Ancestral Energies

  6. The U - Anyway I Have To

  7. April Davis - Around Harlem

  8. Assata Shukur - Assata Shukur Forum

  9. Yobachi Boswell - Black Perspective.net

  10. Scotty - Black Talk Radio

  11. Carmen Dixon - Black Voices

  12. LN Rock - Chicago Cop Watch

  13. Kathy - Daily Kos: Do White People Care About Tasing?

  14. Shawn Williams - Dallas South Blog

  15. Eddie Griffin - Eddie Griffin, BASG

  16. LN Rock - Electrocuted While Black

  17. Wayne Hicks - Electronic Village

  18. Mr. E-D - Excited-Delirium

  19. Francis Holland - Francis L. Holland Blog

  20. Deborah Maiden - From my Brown Eyed View

  21. Various - Independent Bloggers Alliance

  22. Rev. Sequoyah Kofi bin-Tomas - Inteligentaindigena Novajoservo

  23. Cherie S. - Lessons in Transition

  24. Nate - Nateo Blog

  25. Vanessa Byers - On The Black Hand Side

  26. The Kid - Pirate Satellite

  27. Plez Joyner - PlezWorld

  28. Wayne Hicks - Proud Black Blogger

  29. Sojourner - Sojourners Place

  30. LN Rock - Post Racial Blog

  31. Rover - Rover's Morning Glory

  32. Super Spade - The SuperSpade

  33. RiPPa - The Intersection between Madness and Reality

  34. Lola - Whatever Lola Wants

  35. Purple Zoe - UltraVioletUnderground

The AfroSpear petition to request Congressional hearings on the taser torture of Americans will also let you send personalized message to your congessional represenatives.

Share this post with others so that they are aware of our efforts. What other steps would you suggest?


Eddie G. Griffin said...

Great job. Something will break in Congress sooner or later on this taser issue.

Villager said...

Eddie - We just need to keep up the pressure over time...