As a nation, as we debate proper police procedure, we need to look hard at what it means to be ‘armed’ or 'unarmed'.
I want to focus on two statistics:
1) An internet search told me that in 2005, US, 892 people died in weaponless fights.
2) From the early 2000s to 2018, 1005 people died from shocks from police-administered taser shocks.
And I want to submit I question that will help define police brutality or the lack of it:
If a suspect has committed an act that is worthy of deadly force while facing an officer or a member of the public, is the right and obligation to use deadly force nullified, if the attacker then turns to flee, either with or without the weapons used to commit the attack?
Item 1: About 900 people died in 2005 from fistfights. At what point do we consider someone with clenched fists ‘armed’?
Strange that about as many people die each year in fist fights than died in 15 years of the police using tasers.
Item 2: Do tasers have timing switches to limit the initial burst of energy going through the taser?
Item 3: Who decides if a taser, is or is not, a weapon? It seems to depend on who is holding the taser.
If a citizen can be arrested for threatening someone unprovoked with a taser,
then a suspect grabbing a taser from the police should immediately be defined as ‘being armed’. Correct?
Item 4: If 900 people die each year from fistfights, shouldn’t people who hit police with fist be considered ‘armed’?
Item 5: In the realm of crime statistics, there is always 'what if'; the attempt to project what might have happen to 'A' if 'B' had not been a factor.
I call these 'unaccountable statistics', unverifiable numbers that would help us make better decisions, if we had them.
One important statistic in the taser debate is:
How many times would the police had to use deadly force, if tasers were not available?
Opponents of tasers need to consider this.
Thanks for your time,
Eric J. Rose