Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Taser death

May, 2013: In South Boston, Virginia, police were taking a man named Linwood Lambert to a psychiatric hospital. He wasn't a criminal; he was a man with mental health issues. He was also in handcuffs.

When he arrived at the hospital, Lambert freaked out. Not surprising, given the man's psychiatric condition. 
Instead of taking into consideration that Lambert was delusional and in emotional distress, Cpl. Tiffany Bratton and Officers Travis Clay and Clifton Mann tased the handcuffed Lambert as he tried to go into the hospital. It has been revealed that the taser was used 20 times in less than half an hour. Further, these out of control cops broke their own department’s rules here, which state that a tased suspect is to receive immediate medical attention. Further, since Lambert was restrained, they never should have tased him at all, seeing how their own rule book states that “is no longer justified once the subject has been restrained.” The cops clearly care about none of this, and they appear to be sadistically enjoying their use of excessive — and eventually deadly — force, as they can be heard saying on the highly disturbing video that they were going to “light up” the prone and clearly terrified man.
Lambert died. The family attributes his death to the taser fire he received, although there is some official dispute as to the exact cause of death.

Obviously, dealing with a mentally distressed individual is often stressful and difficult; nobody envies the cops who have to perform such tasks. Nevertheless, there should have been a way to keep this man alive: He was not a criminal, and he was restrained. (A restrained man is not supposed to receive taser fire.)

My great problem with non-lethal weaponry has always been that the threshold for use is lowered, which can result in the recklessness. This video illustrates the point.
Once the person was on the ground, he can be heard saying he did ok. Seems like the police suddenly got interested in arresting him for cocaine use than helping him by taking him inside the hospital. All three officers have since been promoted, to what?
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