June 16, 2011

Taser Death: Howard Hammon (Middleburg Heights, OH)

Howard Hammon
It happened again. This time a 41-year old man was electrocuted by Middleburg Heights (OH) police officers after he was involved in a traffic accident. The police in this case are already beginning to look suspicious. The police are spinning the story as quickly as they can to place the blame on the victim, Howard Hammon.

The basic facts of the case appear clear. Howard Hammons was alive on Monday evening at 11:00 PM. He was driving and got involved in a car accident. The driver of the other car said Hammon stopped and asked her if she was OK.

Police arrived on the scene of the accident. Instead of helping a man who was obviously dazed from the car accident ... they went into 'gestapo' mode and pumped Hammon's body with 50,000 volts of electricity four or five times. Once he was knocked out from the electrocution he was handcuffed.

Unfortunately for the police it turns out that Hammon was dead. He was rushed to the hospital where his death was confirmed.

Here is where the police try to taint the public perception of Hammon. They claim Hammon resisted efforts to handcuff him, and officers took him to the ground. The man, more than 6 feet tall and 275 pounds, continued to struggle with officers after they warned him that he would be shocked if he did not stop.

The first time he was shocked he was unfazed. After the second time, officers were able to link two sets of handcuffs on him and he stayed on the ground.   The police don't mention that they used their taser guns at least twice more before they were done.

The police also wanted the police to know that Hammon had a marijuana joint clip in his pocket. Why was that factoid important? Does having marijuana paraphernalia justify execution?

Of course the police were not as honest in their approach to the family. The family was informed that Hammon died in an auto accident. They didn't realize that he had been electrocuted until they saw the reports on television.

"How could they do that to a person? What if that was their brother? I loved him with all my heart," said Hammon's sister, Neva Hammon.

"They executed my son. That's cowboy action," said Hammon's father, Howard Hammon, Sr.
John Maddox
Middleburg Heights Police Chief John Maddox says that his police officers decided it was best for the hospital to break the news to the family about what happened.

When asked why the hospital failed to inform the family about the extra-judicial electrocution, Maddox said he wasn't sure why that wasn't mentioned.
"They told us he died from hitting the windshield. Or maybe his chest from hitting the airbag. That's what the doctors told us," said Neva Hammon.
The police indicate that the arrest was caught on their patrol car's video camera. Well, they say that "most" of the arrest is on film. The end of the arrest appears to be unavailable. I imagine that will be the part of the tape where Hammon was killed.

This taser-killing seems suspicious to me. What say u?


AmandaReconwith said...

As unfortunate as Howard Hammon's untimely death may be, there is little concern about the hundreds of taser-torture deaths in America. Life is cheap and expendable in a country where police are glorified and human rights have little value and are considered a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Please note point number 2 and 12 below. March in your parades, wave your flag, and bury your dead.

Fascism Anyone?

Analysis of seven fascist regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.


Gunfighter said...

From the video, it is quite clear that Hammon was resisting the officers.

You stated in your post that the police warned him that he would be tased... If he was still resisting or fighting at that point, he brought the taser on himself.

Lastly, the last part of the fight that wasn't seen on the video, couldn't be seen because the subject (hammon) was (most likely) out of the field of view of the camera.

Hammon wasn't executed. Hammon was Tased, legitimately.

AmandaReconwith said...

To Gunfighter:

The issue is not whether Howard Hammon resisted.

The issue is not whether Howard Hammon was warned.

The issue is not whether Howard Hammon had an arrest record.

The issue is that the Middleburg Heights Police had other means to subdue Howard Hammon such as pepper spray.

The issue is that the Middleburg Heights Police tortured Howard Hammon to death with an electoral charge.

The issue is that the Middleburg Heights Police lied to Howard Hammon's family as to his cause of death.

To say Howard Hammon wasn't executed by the Middleburg Heights Police is like saying, "It wasn't the police officer that killed him, it was the bullet that killed him."

And you call yourself a "Servant of God's church." What part of "thou shalt not kill" don't you understand?

Gunfighter said...

So by your reckoning, cops shouldn't have guns, right?

By your reckoning, cops really shouldn't use pepper spray, either, because sometimes, rarely, but ometimes, pepper spray causes death... or didn't you know that?

Hamon died, and that is awful, but your engagement in reckless, irresponsible hyperbole isn't helping matters at all.

Hammon was resisting arrest. Resisting arrest makes force a valid option. The taser, being good tool in the less-lethal realm was employed, because Tasers are usually (but not always) fight-stoppers.

Tell me, Wayne, if I were arresting you and you were resitant, and I told you that if you kept it up, you would be tased... would you stop? or would you keep resisting?

Odds are that you would get the idea and stop... because that is what sensible people WOULD do.

I won't respond to what you said about my serving the church. That was unworthy of you.

Pardon the short response, I have to get up in the morning... I am conducting a training course on how patrol officers should respond to active shooters in the workplace... you can bet your last money that we won't be talking about pepper spray or tasers, either.

Villager said...

Gunfighter - Please note that it wasn't "Wayne" that made comment about you / your church. I hope you would know that I would never say such things about you or any other villager for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Howard Hammon was my friend, his sister Neva like a sister to me since the sixth grade. I know the family well, and though Howard was not perfect (who is) he was never a violent person. He was far from it. Since his death, I have done research that indicates that tasers are dangerous, especially when apply multiple times. The cops want to spin this story like he was some kind of dirt bad and they were in danger, but the video doesnt show that, does it? From 2001 through 2009, 351 people have died from being tasered. Many of them children under the age of eighteen. We need to make people aware of the danger of tasers and of police who are eager to use them.

AmandaReconwith said...

To Gunfighter:

I have one word for you...


Villager said...

All - The family of Howard Hammon is suing the city of Middleburg Heights for his taser-related killing.

Anonymous said...

The guy was obviously under the influence of something..struck a lady at a red light going about 40..get the facts straight. People usually continue to do the same thing as the past..tons of duis..drug use