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Hurting Police Officers’ Egos Can Be Fatal For Black People

sandra-bland (1)Footage of the altercation between Sandra Bland, the Black woman found hanged to death in a Texas jail, and Trooper Brian Encinia has hit TV, computer and phone screens across the nation. Encinia is seen threatening to “light her up” with his taser if Brand doesn’t get out of her car. The Atlantic says the video raises questions about police officers’ use of tasers.

The taser was designed to be a non-lethal weapon used to subdue suspects without killing them, but The Atlantic states cops often use it to punish people who fail to follow their orders.

“The footage is disturbing, but it also reflects a common problem: Tasers are not only used by law-enforcement agents as less lethal alternatives to guns, or even as weapons for self-defense—but often as tools to get people to do what they want,” said Atlantic writer Robinson Meyer. “Bland does not appear to endanger Encinia, but she is not complying with his order, so he threatens to tase her.”

TASER International heavily promotes the taser as a weapon that protects both officers and suspects.

“A US Department of Justice (DOJ) study conducted by Wake Forest University School of Medicine showed that 99.75 percent of 1,201 suspects who encountered a TASER device as a means of force received only bruises and scrapes or were uninjured,” said the company’s website.

TASER’s website also stated more than 800,000 weapons have been sold since 1994 to more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies. The company reported $44.8 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2015.

Although TASER claims their weapon is non lethal, it has killed people. A report from The Guardian says 33 people have died from tasers since the beginning of the year. This figure is disputed by TASER officials, who claims the deaths were from health problems or drug use.

“If someone dies following a TASER incident, The Guardian is automatically and erroneously assuming causality,” said Steve Tuttle, the company’s vice president of communications.

However, a 2013 Amnesty International report said 540 people had died from tasers since 2001.

The real problem seems to be with police officers’ overuse of tasers. The Atlantic said too many times officers are not using tasers to end life-threatening situations; they’re using them to inflict pain on suspects who don’t follow their orders.

“Tasers are undoubtedly safer than firearms: No one, not even the company’s harshest critics, contend that,” said The Atlantic. “But they are often used not on violent or combative suspects, as William Bozeman (a lead researcher in the Wake Forest study) says, but on people simply failing to comply with officer orders. They are effectively ‘pain-compliance tools,’ not less lethal weapons.”

It seems many police officers have a real problem with rage. Across the country we are seeing several cases of out of control police officers. A Chandler, Ariz. police officer arrested Esmarelda Rossi while she was naked, after she questioned why he had illegally entered her home. And, New York Detective Patrick Cherry was captured on video berating an Uber driver in a racist tirade after the driver gestured for him to use his blinker. Cherry also threatened to arrest the driver, who later filed a formal complaint.

Rapper Immortal Technique told Hiphopdx.com police officers’ rage can often turn minor incidents into violent altercations.

“Because they obviously, in my experience, get very aggressive very quickly,” said Immortal Technique. “They’ll arrest you just because you hurt their ego. You could break the law and they’ll let you walk away, but if you hurt their ego, they’ll arrest you or they’ll hurt you or they’ll f**k with you.”

For Sandra Bland, hurting an officer’s ego turned out to be fatal.

What people are saying

13 thoughts on “Hurting Police Officers’ Egos Can Be Fatal For Black People

  1. Dredd Scott says:

    listen america: it doesn't require anything more than being black.the ttser is the electronic whip of enslavement camps and jim crow..uniforms blue, brown and black all state agents of oppression – what's inside the uniform come in all colors and stripes…what one must look at are the HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS that have created, condone, and institutionalized the genocidal policies of the usa. Southern county sheriffs maintained slavery post civil war through charging black folks for being black, when they could not pay the fine, a local business would "purchase" the "fine and fees" – the judge's and sheriff's "commissions" for entraping and enslaving blacks. the sheriffs would regularly transport them to corporate giants such as us steel to work in their mine pits "the pratt mine" in alabama – hellish conditions worse than slavery..this existed until the second world war..some opportunities (mills, car industry, etc) through the 70s while incarceration rates stayed closer to europe's..but stability brought hostility as the 1% fomented class hatred and prisons continue to overflow.- amartin had to die when he came out against the war and broadened his vision to class by ..organizing the "poor people's march". couple this with the mindfuck of white supremacy's method for driving you insane. 450 years of oppression will impress upon you that no interaction with "authority" can possibly be good…a black man who did not run at the sight of a cop is insane…to run or not run is criminal. because that black man was already judged to be a criminal 150 years ago. i am one.
    r.i.p.sandra bland. remember DENMARK VESEY

  2. Dredd while I do not completely agree with your post, it's very well written and thought out. Thanks for posting, I'm better for reading what you've written.

  3. Azure Eguchi says:

    Can you pls change the pic that shows up when you share this article. It shows Toronto Police. I'm guessing the pic itself was from the G20 Summit. Toronto police aren't like American police.

  4. WHAT GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN THEY START FIND ING THE POLICE DEAL ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD ….WHO IS GOING TO HELP….

  5. Nolan Young says:

    They get screamed at and berated by whites all the time and they remain professional. They Murdered her because she's black and they are White Supremacists..that's what they do.

  6. Dred you don't have to be black to get a cop mad as hell at ya.. Just open your mouth and get pissy.. Be lucky, ducky that you see tomrorrow if you piss off the loose nut on the wagon.. Far to many of them..

  7. Zack Selzman says:

    This was a Zoom stop. The officer approached her vehicle at an excessive rate of speed for the sole purpose of causing her to make a hasty lane change. There was no other lawful purpose for the officers excessive speed. A very large percentage of the time this will intimidate motorists into making "Illegal" lane changes. They are not "Illegal" because the motorist is yielding to the police officer in the interests of public safety. The Police officer is endangering public safety with unsafe driving and the motorist is attempting to improve public safety by yielding. The pretext for the stop 'Public safety' stands on it's head. If for any reason the officer's breaks do not work he could kill someone. The use of excessive speed to intimidate drivers into a mistake is a horrible practice and is not legal. An officer needs a reason to speed, they can't just drive dangerously whenever they want, and they certainly can't intentionally cause motorists to panic, but they do, all the time, and it is not legal

  8. Shaz Camp says:

    The Tazer is a new modern day slave masters whipping tool

  9. Dredd Scott says:

    thank you Mr. Wright..for my own development I would like to know what you disagree with and why…yes, all writing reflects the biases and prejudices of the writer as well as the reader. history is reported from the viewpoint of the victor. i present history as unfiltered as possible, i.e.supported with primary source documentation. thus your feedback would be most appreciated. if not, thank you for taking the time to read my words.

  10. I live here in Texas and I had a incident where I drive by a cop and he u-turn and was driving behind me and he came close and then hung back and then speedy up behind and then hung back by I kept my same speed and told my wife he have to go around me because I refuse to let him pull me over for speeding . After about two or three times of doing that and I didn't fall for that trick he went around me and took off.

  11. Allan Davis says:

    Everybody sing: " Massa' In The Col' ColGrave…"

  12. Allan Davis says:

    PROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOF!?!!?!?!?!

  13. Allan Davis says:

    You know something sister? HUH?All Lives Matter!

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