(More) Tasers About to Hit the Streets of Fullerton

Tonight, the city council will consider the acceptance of a $41,410 Justice Assistance Grant (Homeland Security stuff) to purchase 35 tasers for the police department. Do we need tasers in Fullerton? Judith Kaluzny raises some good questions in this letter to the council.

jkcl15047_150Dear City Council Members:

I see you will consider the purchase of 35 taser guns, number 8 on June 16 agenda.

Tasers have been outlawed in several states, including New York, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and in a number of cities, including Chicago, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia.

The use of tasers can lead to lawsuits for cities.  There have been many lawsuits over mis- or mal- use. Do  we really want to get into this dubious technology?

Judith A. Kaluzny, Mediator and Lawyer
www.judithkaluzny.com

The new ones are even better.
Smile now, cry later

Amnesty International provides a few examples of taser abuse:

  • December 20, 2007, Daytona Beach, FL – Elizabeth Beeland was struck by a Taser after she became loud and unruly at a Best Buy store. Video
  • November 14, 2006, Los Angeles, CA – Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a student at UCLA, neglected to show his student identification card at the library. He was then asked to leave, and when he refused he was struck by a Taser multiple times. Video
  • September 17, 2007, Gainesville, FL – Andrew Meyer persistently questioned Senator John Kerry at a university forum. University of Florida police tried to escort him from the auditorium and later struck him with a Taser for resisting arrest. Video
Big Brother Fullerton City Council

22 thoughts on “(More) Tasers About to Hit the Streets of Fullerton

  1. I was all set to receive a copy of the taser policy this morning when suddenly the department changed its mind and said that the policy was protected from public disclosure as “police tactics”. In my book, that’s a problem and the department should be ready to discuss this at tonight’s meeting.

    I also learned that the department has already been using tasers for many years. The item on tonight’s agenda will give them permission to buy enough for each patrol officer.

    I think the taser has a valid place as a tool for law enforcement. My concerns center around the potential for abuses and the accountability needed to mitigate such abuses. Most of the public will agree that police officers need to be strictly held accountable for any and every use of force performed in the line of duty.

    If they’re doing their jobs right, the department has nothing to hide. Non-disclosure of the taser policy is a problem.

  2. Here is the denial that I received from the department —

    Dear Mr. Kiger,

    Thank you for your recent request seeking a copy of our taser policy. This policy is part of our less lethal control device section, and to the extent that this policy describes the use and deployment of secondary weapons maintained by on-duty police officers, this section is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 6254(c), 6254(f), and 6255 of the Government Code.

    Please call if you have any further questions regarding this issue.

    Sincerely,

    John Petropulos

  3. … and my letter to the council:

    Council,

    On Monday, I asked for a copy of the police department’s taser policy on in reference to item #8 on tonight’s agenda. Today I was politely told that the police department’s taser policy will not be disclosed to the public.

    Public disclosure of department policy regarding the use of less-than-lethal devices should be a requirement before the Justice Assistance Grant item is approved. If citizens are denied access to the policies and procedures that are supposed to protect us, how can we hold our government accountable? How can we be certain that proper disciplinary action would be taken if an officer were to abuse non-lethal force? Certainly such abuse among other police departments is not unheard of.

    Non-disclosure of this policy goes against the community-oriented principles that are frequently pronounced by the police department. I urge you to discuss this item at tonight’s meeting.

    Travis Kiger

  4. WHAT, no policy, how could the City Council vote to give these weapons to their employees without a policy?

  5. It looks like there is no policy for tasers. Let’s just speculate.
    It would be ok for a cop to tazer me if I;
    a) looked at him cross-eyed
    b) raised my arm to hail a taxi
    c) was jogging and failed to heed a stop sign
    d) used my pocket knife to peel an apple
    e) played loud and live rock and roll music without a Special Event permit
    f) played loud and live rock ranchero music without a Special Event permit and didn’t offer him a schooner of beer
    g) all of the above

    Correct answer in Fullerton; f

    1. Mr. Loco, time to update your taser policy list? It should now include:

      h) or denied access to look into your back pack. And then you get tasered three times just for good measure.

      1. especially the “policy” when it comes to mentally challenged people, and then the Chiefs taser policy is:

        Give ’em (tase) all you’ve got and then some. Oh, and it’s also OK for officers once organized into a group to surround the suspect tase, pounce, tase, pounce, well you get the jest and smash the possible suspects brains directly into the asphalt with (group) force. And smash even harder if he or she is harmless and mentally challenged or asks what he/she is being singled out for.

        1. Oh one more thing, I’m sure it’s just a matter days before we’ll hear stories (Badwrench) like Kelly Thomas was a this or a that or he stole this or he stole that…

  6. rephrase $41,000 in justice assistance grants to $41,000 tax dollars siphoned into bogus homeland security grant to buy new toys for cops. homeland security is a reaction to 9/11 not a splinter faction of any local police force. How will the purchase of 35 tasers protect us from terrorists?

    1. van,

      van get it da artiste :
      How will the purchase of 35 tasers protect us from terrorists?

      Terrorist? No, it’s those crazed super human homeless people that we needed those new tasers for.

      Say, what ever happened to the taser policy, did FFFF ever receive a copy of the FPD’s taser policy from your pal Chef Sellers?

  7. Couple of things…

    …for those of you that act as if FPD is just getting Tasers, they have had Tasers for years. This is just for additional Tasers. This is nothing new.

    …secondly, anything can be abused. More damage is done by police cars than ever has been done by Tasers.

    If Tasers weren’t an option, then officers would be using their batons. Batons do CONSIDERABLY more damage than Tasers do.

    Things to think about…

  8. randomresident, so when terrorists try to fly a plane into a building on harbor blvd, the FPD will protect us by shooting tasers at the plane. remember this is a grant from Homeland security

  9. No, van get it da artiste, that is the SAM system we put into Hillcrest Park. It was disguised as a “water tank”.

    Hopefully, after we shoot it down, it lands in BP. 🙂

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