Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, December 07, 2017

Reuters documents 104 prisoner fatalities after corrections officers deployed Tasers, often with other force. Most inmates were unarmed, and many were handcuffed or pinned to the ground. Some abuses, experts say, are akin to torture. ... The 2009 incident is among hundreds documented by Reuters in which Tasers have been misused or linked to accusations of torture or corporal punishment in U.S. prisons and jails. Reuters identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars, nearly all since 2000 -- 10 percent of a larger universe of more than 1,000 fatal law enforcement encounters in which the weapons were used.

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The potential for abusing prisoners with Tasers has grown dramatically. Since 1980, the U.S. prison population has exploded from 500,000 to 2.2 million in a tiered confinement system -- from highly secured federal and state prisons for convicted felons to often-overcrowded local and county jails mostly holding misdemeanor offenders or people charged but not convicted.

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Corporal Matthew Stice pointed his Taser at Martini Smith's bare chest.

Smith was 20 years old, pregnant and stripped nearly naked, standing in a cell in the Franklin County jail in Columbus, Ohio. She had been detained on charges of stabbing a boyfriend she'd accused of beating her. Stice and a deputy had ordered her to disrobe, take off all jewelry and don a prison gown. But she hadn't been able to obey one command – remove the silver stud from her tongue.

"Take the tongue ring out," Deputy Shawnda Arnold said. Smith continued struggling to unscrew the ring, inserting fingers from both hands into her mouth. No luck. Her fingers were numb, she protested: She had been cuffed for six hours with her hands behind her back.

"I will Tase you," Stice said. The ring was slippery, Smith said, asking for a paper towel. The deputies refused. "I just want to go to sleep," Smith cried.

#1 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-12-06 10:05 AM | Reply

The 2009 incident is among hundreds documented by Reuters in which Tasers have been misused or linked to accusations of torture or corporal punishment in U.S. prisons and jails.

Reuters identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars, nearly all since 2000 – 10 percent of a larger universe of more than 1,000 fatal law enforcement encounters in which the weapons were used. Some of the in-custody deaths were deemed "multi-factorial," with no distinct cause, and some were attributed to pre-existing health problems. But the Taser was listed as a cause or contributing factor in more than a quarter of the 84 inmate deaths in which the news agency obtained autopsy findings.

Of the 104 inmates who died, just two were armed. A third were in handcuffs or other restraints when stunned. In more than two-thirds of the 70 cases in which Reuters was able to gather full details, the inmate already was immobilized when shocked – pinned to the ground or held by officers.

#2 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-12-06 11:12 AM | Reply

What else is new?

#3 | Posted by fresno500 at 2017-12-06 07:45 PM | Reply

Tasers should only be used on someone who is acting violently.

Using a taser to demand compliance IS torture and shouldn't be allowed.

If guards can't tell the difference, take the taser a away.

#4 | Posted by Sully at 2017-12-07 10:46 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If guards can't tell the difference, take the taser a away.

#4 | Posted by Sully at 2017-12-07 10:46 AMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

And then take the guard away.

#5 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2017-12-07 11:38 AM | Reply

Using a taser to demand compliance IS torture and shouldn't be allowed.

What should be allowed then? Talking?

Try that with a 250LBS Crips member and see how far you get. Talking doesn't always work.

#6 | Posted by boaz at 2017-12-07 12:15 PM | Reply

"Talking doesn't always work." - #6 | Posted by pfc. boazo at 2017-12-07 12:15 PM

You're proof of that, pfc. boazo.

#7 | Posted by Hans at 2017-12-07 12:23 PM | Reply

"According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013"

So, 104 out of 2.2 million people. Not doing the math, I'm estimating that is less than .0001%. This is a ridiculous article. Sensationalizing something that isn't in a sensational state is boring. I just read that in a year, there are on average 100 deaths due to bee stings a year yet there are millions of people trying to save bees. Where's the sensationalized, faux outrage over bees?

#8 | Posted by humtake at 2017-12-07 12:49 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

#6 - depends on the situation. Resorting to a taser the minute a guard becomes frustrated has to be off the table

#9 | Posted by Sully at 2017-12-07 01:03 PM | Reply

Try that with a 250LBS Crips member and see how far you get.

Except in this very article we're instead talking about a naked pregnant woman who was tased for being unable to remove her tongue ring, and subsequently had a miscarriage.

We're also talking about dozens of people whp doed from being tased even though they were already handcuffed or otherwise immobilized.

Jesus christ i cannot believe how ignorant some of you power-hungry bootlickers are. Grow a brain.

#10 | Posted by JOE at 2017-12-07 01:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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It is horrible. Not rampant, but horrible.

#11 | Posted by Petrous at 2017-12-07 01:35 PM | Reply

"Try that with a 250LBS Crips member and see how far you get. Talking doesn't always work."

Have you tried Ebonics?

#12 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-07 03:27 PM | Reply

"Jesus christ i cannot believe how ignorant some of you power-hungry bootlickers are."

He kills civilian women and children for a living, and thinks he's providing taxpayers with a valuable service by doing so.

Some people are just nihilistic death cultists. Just because they speak English doesn't mean they don't think like ISIS.

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-07 03:32 PM | Reply

"Using a taser to demand compliance IS torture and shouldn't be allowed."
What should be allowed then? Talking?
Try that with a 250LBS Crips member and see how far you get. Talking doesn't always work.

#6 | POSTED BY BOAZ

Each day I am impressed by your level of stupidity. It's like an art form at this point.

#14 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-12-07 04:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

You people are sick.

Obviously, you haven't watched Lock-Up, the show MSNBC puts on when no one otherwise is watching the network.

Banning tasers certainly isn't the answer and going crazy over a few deaths, that are probably the result of negligence on the officer, certainly isn't the answer.

Prosecute the guards in the case like this one. That's all it takes.

These people are in prison and jail for a reason. Taking away the tools the people who are keeping them away from society is not a smart thing to do. Train the guards and put them in jail when they step over a line.

#15 | Posted by boaz at 2017-12-08 09:31 AM | Reply

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