startribune.com — Mark Backlund was driving to the airport to pick up his parents when he got in an accident. State troopers stopped and said he became “uncooperative” and tasered him. He was later pronounced dead. Authorities have not described the uncooperative behavior.
The Star Tribune link is down as I write this (perhaps their server crashed under the weight of people trying to read this article), but Digg’s story has (at present) 407 diggs and 115 comments, including these:
“Gordon Backlund said he was told his son’s heart stopped. A 1996 graduate of Fridley High School, he had no heart conditions, his father said.”
For being a “safe” means of restraining people, I think there have been far too many deaths from these things.
I could be wrong…it has happened before…but I cannot recall people dying from pepper spray.
I think some policemen relish the fact that they can shock people into submission, there for giving them a rush of adrenaline. Tasers are promoted to the public as non-lethal, but they are marketed by the manufacturer as less-than-lethal, hence you can still die from it.
Taser companies and the police force should be held liable for these deaths. They ARE caused by the taser whether directly or indirectly and the idiot officer who can’t use his hands and feet to do real police work.
A taser is an appropriate replacement for a firearm. It has no other appropriate function. You do not shoot somebody with a gun because they are uncooperative.
This is one of the reasons I have stopped respecting cops..all of them.. Question them in any way or don’t pay your respects to them and you will pay with your freedom (or in this case..your life)
American police is quickly becoming what Solzhenitsyn described as the ‘blue hats’ in Gulag Archipelago..
My friend (we all went to the same high school as Mark) made the point that Mark wasn’t a very big guy. The fact that he couldn’t be restrained by the five(!) officers on the scene is pretty nuts. There is more on the Taser controvesy here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taser_controversy including links to the stories about a 6 year old boy and a 12 year old girl being tasered.
Heartbreaking. He had a 2-year old son!
tasers were originally sold to us as a non-lethal alternative to firearms. mostly, police seem to use them as alternatives to communication. this situation is a perfect example. the victim was uncooperative. would the police have shot him for that? then why were they allowed to taser him? 2nd degree murder under color of authority.
I am SO glad I live in Australia!