April 15, 2009

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts Calls for Independent Investigation Into Robert Mitchell Taser-Killing by His Police Officers

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Warren mayor Jim Fouts questioned whether police should continue using Tasers in his city, following the death last week of 16-year-old Robert Mitchell. [SOURCE]

Fouts called for an independent investigation to determine whether Tasers are safe.

You can’t overlook the tragic death of a human being,” Fouts said.

"I'm not a critic of the Taser nor am I a devotee," he said. "What I am interested in (are) the facts," Fouts said. "Anytime there is a tragic death you need to re-evaluate. We want to make sure we have a safe, crime-free city and balance that with no tragic, needless death."
I wish that Mayor Fouts went a step further and demanded the resignation of the two officers involved in Mitchell's death.

Mitchell, a sophomore at Kettering High School in Detroit who had a learning disability, was riding in a car driven by his cousin. The car was pulled over for an expired license plate. Mitchell was unarmed, 5'2" tall and weighed all of 110 pounds. There was simply no need for the Warren police offers to taser him to death.

"It was just senseless," said his grandmother Charlotte McGlory of St. Clair Shores. She described Mitchell as a quiet boy who stayed out of trouble. "That was a misuse of power," she said. "We want justice."
Can anyone provide an explanation for why this young teenager had to die?


underOvr (aka The U) said...


Two deaths at the hands of police officers brandishing tasers warrants more than an investigation into the use of tasers.

It this wasn't so sadly serious, it would actually be laughable.


Regina said...

Such a sad occurrence. I was also surprised that he wants an investigation, we don't hear that often.

Villager said...

underOvr and Regina - I think that this taser death may be what it takes to get many to rethink taser policy in all police stations. This kid was small, puny and unarmed. There is no reason that he had to be tasered to death...

MacDaddy said...

More and more, the news about the danger of tasers is getting out; and, though he could have gone farther, I think the mayor's call for an independent investigation is very good. This means that the police internal affairs division may not be able to sweep this under the wrong.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello Villager,

WHAT will black men do to address this?

WHAT plan of action will black men implement that will cause the entire nation to take notice and realize that black men are serious about demanding equal protection from the law?

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Villager said...

MacDaddy - I agree that the mayor did a good thing by publically calling for investigation. However, the issue seems sorta simple. Young teenager ... 5'2" tall ... 110 pounds ... asthmatic ... it is impossible to think that these Warren police officers couldn't have apprehended him without the 50,000 volts of taser energy...

Lisa - Have you seen any male bloggers out here doing something similiar to you?