Tuesday, July 29, 2008
You couldn’t make it up if you tried. Police in Ozark, Missouri repeatedly tased a critically injured sixteen year old boy after he “refused to comply with the officers”.
The cops were called to investigate reports of a boy walking along a busy overpass, but when they got there they found young Mace Hutchinson had fallen 30 ft to the ground below, breaking his back and and foot in the process.
When he did not co-operate with the cops they pulled out their stun guns and fired them into his body, shocking him up to nineteen times with 50,000 volts.
According to the boy’s father, the actions of the police caused an elevated white blood cell count leading Mace to develop a fever that delayed vital surgery by two days.
Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset tried to condone the use of the taser in comments to the media:
“He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers.”
The idea that a boy with a broken back would need to be “subdued” by a team of cops is not patently ludicrous but also smacks of a desperate attempt to cover up the true events in this case.
This is a perfect example of how it has become the norm for cops to react with extreme physical force towards anyone who acts out of the ordinary in any way whatsoever.
We have previously carried reports of police tasing an already restrained disabled man, a 6-year-old boy who was wielding a piece of glass and a woman having diabetic seizure to name but a few, but this case trumps them all.
This behaviour is not limited to cops in the U.S. either, last November a man who slipped into a diabetic coma on the top deck of a bus in Leeds, England described how he was used for electric stun gun “target practice” after he “failed to respond to instructions” and police “mistook him for a suicide bomber”.
Tasers are supposed to be the last response before lethal action, yet police now use the taser as if it is a pair of handcuffs or pepper spray. The latest figures show that over 300 people died in one year in admitted cases in the US alone from being tased.
Prominent heart doctors have declared that there is no doubt that Tasers can cause heart problems and even induce sudden and lethal cardiac arrest.
The UN’s Committee Against Torture issued a statement on the TaserX26, in November of last year which read: “The use of TaserX26 weapons, provoking extreme pain, constituted a form of torture, and that in certain cases it could also cause death, as shown by several reliable studies and by certain cases that had happened after practical use.”
Despite these facts, we see stories every week of old women, children and disabled people being shot with tasers. The weapons are even being used in schools.
The police are now trained that “pain compliance,” a euphemism for torture, is acceptable in apprehending anyone even if that person poses no physical danger.
The heart of the issue is that this was another act of wanton police brutality and torture by means of tasing.