50,000 volts a zap

Mad Man Marlon - Posted on 01 March 2011

Marlon Crump

(Photo taken by David Elliott Lewis)

"If, at 50,000 volts a zap five officers shoot their tasers at the same time, the subject gets 250,000 output. The electrical charge inside the death penalty (electric chair) chamber." Mesha Monge-Irizarry's explanation of the fatal functions for taser use by po-lice officers.

The Use of Force: Batons. Bean bags. Weight-knuckled (sap) gloves. Choke holds. Then of course, the gun. All of the said arsenals above commonly used by po-lice officers. Codes of conduct often used unlawfully, locally and globally. Notwithstanding, the use of an electrical controlled device, (taser gun) and its potentially deadly results.

"If your son was tasered instead of shot, would he still be alive today?" A reporter asked Mesha Monge-Irizarry. This was following the death of her only son, Idriss Stelley killed by eight San Francisco Po-lice Officers, in 2001 at the Sony Metereon Theater. Mesha replied, "No, he would've been fried to death."

An estimated total of 400,000 volts would've traveled into his body.

Before former BART Po-lice Officer Johannes Mehserle fired the fatal bullet onto the back of Oscar Grant, it was reported that Grant pleaded with him not to taser him. Theoretically, the outcome tragically could've been the same.

A Taser is an electroshock weapon that generates electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles. It fires approximately 50,000 volts, and can drop someone from up to 15 feet away. Taser International is the chief developer, manufacturer, and distributor of taser guns.

The San Francisco Board of Police Commissioners held a meeting on tasers, February 23rd, 2011. A proposal to its possible passage caused chain reactions of outrage and fear, for many communities here in San Francisco, CA: People in poverty, youths of color, the elderly with immobility issues, homeless/landless, mental health crises, undocumented immigrants (migrant scholars), and for all system resisters.

Myself, and my POOR comrades, "Tiny" Lisa Gray-Gracia, (POOR co-founder) Tiburcio (her son) Bruce Allison, and Ruyata Akio McClothin a.k.a. RAM arrived a half-hour early at S.F. City Hall. The meetings are publicly held and televised at 5:30 p.m. Outside the meeting room were many of our community comrades waiting to oppose this deadly "proposal."

Our acts of digital resistance in re-porting and solidarity supporting were shockingly met with a resistance...........from the municipal administration, itself.

A San Francisco Sheriff Deputy barred our entry until everyone inside (the commissioners and command staff) were “situated.” Apparently, they (S.F.P.D.) were afraid that community members were going to prevent po-lice personnel from seating, in an act of civil unrest and resistance.

Forced to form a line as if we were in a soup kitchen, we each held up a sign:


Finally after nearly an hour's wait, we were allowed inside. The seats quickly became filled, in that S.F.P.D. and municipality members had now reserved their own. Throughout the duration of the meeting, the room became somewhat surrounded of po-lice officers and sheriff deputies. Inside, this public televised meeting was the item agenda anticipation everyone anxiously awaited:

Discussion and Possible Action Proposal for Modification of Use of Force.

When the meeting came to order, Thomas Mazzucco, the commission’s president requested that the item agenda be "taken out of order." Protocol or not, this is a common chess game tactic used by the commission and the Board of Supervisors. The purpose: To prolong presentations, as an attempt to discourage public opposition from their own self-influenced decisions.

Imposition to impatience. Mazzucco, nearly five hours later announced the item agenda we waited patiently (and impatiently) for. He even attempted to decrease our two minute testimonies, by 30 seconds. I would later criticize the entire commission for "not prioritizing the public."

The commission heard numerous presentations from the department, proponents and opponents of tasers. Discussions took place regarding ramifications, research, and even the costs involved. The reported estimated cost to overall arm the S.F.P.D. with tasers is two million dollars. Where was the city going to find gun funding, considering its current fiscal "shortfalls?"

Is it going to come from, in light of the recent reports of the city considering to layoff 500 officers in the department?

The S.F.P.D. claims that (tasers) are an "alternative approach to officer-involved shootings in death-related cases." Allegedly-aimed for "de-escalating situations" without using "deadly force."

Whereas there are optimistic proponents of this proposal...............

"The San Francisco Sheriff's Department has used tasers for eight years. I have found them to reduce injuries to citizens and officers when force is used." San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, himself, had explained his experience to me. Seemingly optimistic in his presentation of his support, he added, "They cause temporary pain, but do not cause physical injuries.........as do nightsticks, gas or guns."

there are surely opponents to this proposal.............

“Almost all situations designated as crisis scenarios here would be inappropriate and unsafe for taser use.” Jeremy Miller says, activist, and co-director of Education Not Incarceration. During his public testimony, Jeremy pointed out his health history of epilepsy. An encounter for him with a taser if unlawfully confronted by a po-lice officer could be deadly.

Even those who've had firsthand experience.

My comrade, Mesha informed me just recently regarding her experience of actually being tasered................as a volunteer. Much to my shock and surprise. "In 2004, Steve Tuttle of Taser International called me to fly two of his representatives to S.F. from Arizona, to do a promotional demo at Idriss Stelley Foundation." According to Mesha, "This was to gain a 1.2 Million contract with the S.F.P.D.

She laid out in detail of the medical aftershocks from being (no pun intended) shocked.

"One copper prong ended embedded in my right sciatic nerve, and the second damaged the conjunctive tissue between my right femur and the pelvic bone, aggravating my diabetic neuropathy. This is why I walk with a cane to this day."

On the display screens in the meeting room were draft drawings. They proposed alternative targeted areas, as opposed to a po-lice officers shooting at "center mass." One of the critical areas was the groin area. An officer presented a "less lethal force" weapon before the commission. It looked like an old fashion Tommy machine gun used in old gangster movies.

"It is a Penn Arms Forty millimeter multi-launcher." the officer replied when I asked him what it was. It is used in SWAT team situations. They can shoot a suspect at 250 feet per second with rubber bullets causing significant blunt trauma. A "less" lethal weapon? A blatant attempt to sway support from the commission, by inducting intimidation.

"It is also important to keep in mind that tasers are NOT non-lethal weapons. They are less lethal." Barbara Attard, stated in her address. She was a consultant for NACOLE, the National Association Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. "In San Jose, at least six people have died after tasers were used on them. In two of those cases, the coroner ruled that the taser was the contributing factor in the death."

In a disgusting display of entertainment/education via racism, two plain clothes officers engaged in a mock theater role play before the audience. One was a black male and a white woman. The act was he was the aggressor in a dispute with his girlfriend, in which he shook and screamed at her.

Two uniform officers of Asian descent "responded" to a domestic dispute call via a computer-voiced over 9-1-1 dispatch, weapons drawn. One had a gun drawn, the other a taser. The male suddenly pulled a knife from his back pocket and threatened them with it. Before he could advance further towards the officers, the "performance" was halted.

For viewing of video credited to The Bay Citizen;

"I've been in at least ten-related cases involving taser-related cases." Civil rights attorney, John Burris stated briefly to me. He too was here at this hearing to present his opposition. "Tasers can be an abusive weapon."

There were testimonials from officers of the Mission District Station, of "life threatening" experiences they claim to have encountered. To me, it seemed as if this was another blatant attempt to blindside public opinion. Secret agendas to sway support from the commission.

"Let me be fair for a moment here. How do we know that a police officer's 'use of force' was really justified?" I asked during my own public testimony. "Police officers have lied, lied, and lied SO many times. Its difficult for anyone to determine if they're telling the truth or not." (Based on my own personal experience of observing cops, and their collective cover ups to their own crimes.)

Dr. Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, presented his report and support for tasers. In his mid-presentation, Wexler argued that tasers "were not made to kill." His argument was met with mellow reactions of ridicule from the audience. Commissioner Petra De Jesus (a opponent to tasers) fired back at Wexler, regarding her concerns of serious ramifications, if this instrument were implemented.

This exact same "proposal" was brought before the commission, last year. Then-police chief, George Gascon (handpicked by Dr. Wexler) pushed for this proposal, but was narrowly defeated in a 4-3 vote. “I underestimated the political environment that I was operating under." Gascon later told reporters.

It’s rather interesting how quickly he was immediately appointed as District Attorney by Gavin Newsom, before Newsom left his mayoral seat for his elected position, as California Lieutenant Governor. Gascon contributed to Gavin’s campaign, as so did an employee of the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, attorneys for Taser International.

(Records of their contributions found at the following site.)


Speculation surfaced recently that stun gun manufacturers will be contributing to Gascon's upcoming DA campaign. Time can only tell reality.

The commission voted to conduct further study and research on these "less-than-lethal" weapons. In 90 days, they will render a report to determine its decision for taser use in the community. If passed, elders, youth, pregnant women, houseless/landless people, protesters, Sit-Lie law victims (Prop L), migrant scholars, and people in poverty will literally be in the line of fire, via voltages.

Any weapon, advanced, sophisticated, and or "less than lethal" weapon they vastly equip themselves with expresses their desires to brutalize, criminalize, and marginalize communities deemed "undesirable."

From our own experiences, po-lice culture is a trendy terrorism attributed with fascism and imperialism for immobilization. Arming po-lice terror with a taser does not "modify" use of force. Rather, it ensures more cruel and unusual punishment, of future torture techniques from one device.

Silenced voices. Voltages to our voices in our villages.

...at the same time, the subject gets 250,000 output. The electrical charge inside the death penalty (electric chair) chamber." Mesha Monge-Irizarry's explanation of the fatal functions for taser use by po-lice officers.

Apparently, Mongo doesn't understand that the voltage is not cumulative. Maybe next time you can get an explanation from from someone who knows what they're talking about.


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