October 28, 2009

Taser Death: Jeffry Woodward (Gallatin, TN)

I wonder what goes through the head of a police officer involved in these taser-related killings? Does their adrenaline get flowing so much that they lose control of their senses? Police are killing citizens at a rate of once per week in America with these taser guns.

The police in Gallatin, Tennessee decided to jump on the taser abuse band wagon. They used a taser and a police dog to take down 33-year old Jeffry Woodward after he 'filed a false police report'. [VIDEO]

The police are engaged in damage control right now.
"This person did not immediately die as a result of being Tased," said Sgt. Bill Storment, public information officer for Gallatin police. "He died a short time later."
Three unidentified Gallatin police officers responded to a home invasion call. En route to the scene, police encountered Woodward. According to police, Woodward was walking down the street carrying a knife. After surrendering the knife, Woodward reportedly told officers that someone was holding his mother in her house against her will.

Upon investigation, Woodward’s mother was found to be OK, resulting in police arresting Woodward for filing a false report.

As officers attempted to arrest Woodward, police say, he began to fight with officers. This gave the police all of the excuse that they needed to jolt Woodward with 50,000 volts of electricity from their taser guns. The police brought Woodward to the ground and handcuffed him.

It was soon after that that police believed Woodward was suffering from a medical problem and called for an ambulance. Woodward was transported from the scene to Sumner Regional Medical Center, where he died soon after.

The three police officers involved in the killing of this citizen are not being placed on suspension or administrative leave during the investigation.
"They will be back at work on their next tour of duty," Storment said.
The police may have a hard time slipping this taser-related death under the rug. There was a witness to the killing this time. [SOURCE]
Shawn Hill, 22, of Gallatin, said he was trying to get a little extra sleep Tuesday night before going to work, hitting the snooze button on his alarm clock when he heard a struggle outside.

Stepping out of his home, Hill said he witnessed the struggle between Woodward and police.

Hill said he watched as Woodward ran from the police and dove onto the hood of a police car.
"All I could hear was tick tick tick tick tick (the sound made by the Taser). That was when he was on the ground."

Hill said Woodward’s mother pleaded with officers not to kill him. He said Woodward himself was also yelling.

"He was yelling, ‘Help me, help me,’" Hill said. "I won’t ever forget that."

Hill said that police deployed the K-9 unit against Woodward after he jumped onto the hood of the patrol car and was taken to the ground by several officers.

"While he was on the ground, they let the dog out to get on top of him," Hill said.

Storment said a K-9 was there, but as of Wednesday afternoon, Storment was unsure whether a K-9 dog made contact with Woodward.

While police are investigating what happened, Storment said he doesn’t believe any charges will stem from the investigation and that they have no reason to believe the officers used excessive force.

Hill, however, disagrees.

"For somebody to die, you did too much," he said.
We have raised awareness of the continued taser torture in America. It is time that we take our protests and concerns to a new level. There are two upcoming events that I encourage all villagers to support and publicize.
  1. November 7 - March for Dignity in Ft. Worth, TX. The SCLC is calling for 10,000 people to join them in a march to protest the aftermath of the taser-related death of Michael Jacobs.
  2. December 4 - The AfroSpear is asking all bloggers to support a Day of Blogging for Justice: Stop Taser Torture.
What say u?


blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi Villager,

I thought that the statistic was actually higher than one taser murder per week now...

The police taser has replaced the noose...

What do you think will be done on a national scale if the primary targets are black and male?

The nation won't be outraged until white people are facing taser deaths with the regularity that we are seeing it with black male adults and black male teens...

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

tj said...

my name is kristyn rutter, jeff woodward was my uncle. he was a wonderful and loving person myself along with my family are very saddened and outraged by this. he was not a violent person. the police should have recognized that he was sick and handled the situation properly. my grandmother was not even allowed to see his body before the burial. something doesn't add up. the police have shown themselves to be brutal and ruthless in their actions. this is not over. thanks to everyone who has shown support. we love you jeff!

Villager said...

Lisa - Will you be participating in the Dec 4th Day of Blogging for Justice: Stop Taser Torture?

Kristyn - Our prayers are with you and your family. Let us know if there is anything that we can do through our online community to support you and your family.

Chad said...

I think it's important to be careful in the assumtion that anytime someone is tasered, especially a black person, that it is racially motivated. In the case, Mr. Woodward was a white man, however that is completely irrelevant in my mind. Our local police are the first line of defense in keeping our cities safe and they should not be continually lambasted everytime they arrest someone of color. Let's be very careful and examine the facts of every case. Are there rogue, racist cops out there? Sure. But I strongly believe that they are such a small minority that it is an insult to put so much politically correct pressure and false assumtions on the ones that do their job well in accordance with their training.

I believe tasing is much more humane than a 9mm round in the body. We must remember that police officers must protect themselves too from people that were obviously distraught and ill like Mr. Woodward was. I, for one, am happy to see such a better alternative to subdue a suspect. Consider that probably hundreds of people are tasered every day, and although it's not perfect, in almost every case the suspects are alive and the officers go home to their families unhurt.

Please let's use cautious judgement for law enforcement officers.

Villager said...

Chad - I appreciate your insights. In my view it is obvious that there is racial bias in the way that law enforcement officials mete out justice within the African American community. I note that 40% of the taser-related deaths in 2009-2010 are African Americans. We don't make up 40% of the population ... why are we making up 40% of the taser-related deaths?

That being said ... my thought is that the problem is the taser gun itself ... not the police officers. I think that Taser International lied to the police when they sold these taser guns as being 'safe'. They are not...

heather said...

I agree that it is the people who makes the guns fault not police. Cops go into work everyday not knowing if this is his last, no matter what color they are. We don't have places that are for white people only or who represents white only, but that would be racist. But there are NAACP and Black only webs and chat and many other thing but that's not racist. Hmmmmm strange how tables turn. Every time something happens you throw color into it. Get over it the only persn u need to worry about is urself.

cruciblethorn said...

I pray the family moves the suit out of Gallatin. The good ole boy system there is terrible and in full effect. The cops in that town are thugs and one of them is the son of the district attorney who lies in court to protect his buddies. They all think they are above the law and I hope they burn for this one. Bednarz is a fantastic attorney and I hope he pummels these punks into the ground and I hope they lose their jobs. I really wish they would go to prison as they have damaged many people over the years by lying on the stand. The cops in Gallatin are worse than anyone can imagine.

Villager said...

Heather - Our nation still has issues with race and skin color. It is unfortunate, but true.

CrucibleThorn - I hope that the Woodward family finds justice in Gallatin TN. Hopefully, the national scrutiny will force the 'powers-that-be' in Gallatin TN to do the right thing.