Cop cleared for using taser on suspect in cell?

April 29, 2014

Well, what a shock (pun intended)!  A police officer tasered a naked man in a cell because the suspect threw his underpants at him… and his brutality has been vindicated by a court!

Wiltshire PC Lee Birch, the cop who shot the man was cleared of assault and misconduct.  He must have acted in self-defence, as everyone knows that underpants are dangerous weapons… And the victim, Daniel Dove, hadn’t even committed a crime.  He had been arrested for being “drunk and disorderly” but was later released with no charge (except for the electrical charge he got from the stun gun of course). Which makes me wonder: if throwing his underpants at PC Birch was such a vicious attack that warranted use of a taser, how come he wasn’t charged for that attack?  And why was Dove being strip-searched anyway?  He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly, not suspicion of possessing drugs or carrying concealed weapons.  It’s not routine procedure to strip-search suspects.

My guess is that Dove was pissed off for being nicked for no reason.  He probably got mouthy, so the police decided to put him in his place and humiliate him by strip-searching him.  Dove was naked when he threw the underpants, but police rules state that during a strip-search the suspect should never be completely naked at any one point.  He should have been wearing a shirt or t-shirt when removing his underpants. Birch was deliberately humiliating him.  If it happened to me, I’d probably throw more than my underpants at the cop.

taser-in-cell

Cop about to taser a suspect in Burnley police cells

 

Unfortunately, police are using their tasers without proper reason all over the country. Lancashire Police constable Scott Fairclough used the electro-shock weapon on the 20 year old man after he had refused to be strip-searched.  The whole incident was captured on CCTV.  And Fairclough’s colleagues thought the whole thing was funny! One PC was heard saying the 50,000 volt weapon would make him “glow in the dark” and produce “blue flames coming out of his eye sockets. ” And another officer commented: “Ahh did you make him cry? Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.”

The Mirror reported:

In an interview, PC Fairclough said he asked the man to remove his clothing and was met with the reply: “Don’t come in here, you’ll regret it.”

He then said that he heard a deep inhalation of breath from the man and took that as a sign he was about to attack him and activated his Taser.

However, in its report, the IPCC said the CCTV footage it had seen showed the man arrested was not showing signs of being volatile towards officers before the Taser was used.

Guidelines state officers may use the weapon “when faced with violence or threats of violence of such severity that force is needed to protect the public, themselves or the individual concerned”.  I don’t see how any of these cases meet that criteria. And there are cases where taser use has been ridiculously cavalier.  Another Lancashire Police officer Stuart Wright tasered a63 year old blind man, Colin Farmer, because he supposedly mistook Farmer’s white stick for a samurai sword!  And Farmer clearly posed no danger to PC Wright at the time, as Mr Farmer was walking away from the cop and Wright shot him in the back.

The home office has reported that the police also use their tasers on children.  Every  day kids as young as 11 are being tasered!

Rachel Baines, chair of the Lancashire Police Federation, said there were “always lessons to be learned” where tasers were involved. She said: “The public still find it odd. We are under a lot of scrutiny, but it’s worth remembering that it is a less lethal option than using a baton and causes less injuries to people. We are pleased with the IPCC findings which say the uses were justified.”

Baines is missing the point here, even though she said it herself: tasers are allegedly “less lethal” but they have a horrific effect and can kill. Wikipedia says:

Tasers and other high-voltage stun devices can cause cardiac arrhythmia in susceptible subjects, possibly leading to heart attack or death in minutes by ventricular fibrillation, which leads to cardiac arrest and—if not treated immediately—to sudden death. People susceptible to this outcome are sometimes healthy and unaware of their susceptibility.[citation needed]

Although the medical conditions or use of illegal drugs among some of the casualties may have been the proximate cause of death, the electric shock of the Taser can significantly heighten such risk for subjects in an at-risk category. In some cases however, death occurred after Taser use coupled with the use of force alone, with no evidence of underlying medical condition and no use of drugs.

 

The taser is an  awful weapon.  The British police allow only highly trained officers to use firearms, but cops have to do little training before being issued with so-called “stun guns”.  Can you imagine what it would be like if the British police were armed with guns?
Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


We need pirates in the European Parliament!

April 25, 2014

Voting for the European Elections is on 22 May.  And what we need in Europe is a fresh approach to politics that is not beholden to big business like the Tories and Labour; not haphazard and hypocritical like the LibDems; and not isolationalist and narrow-mindedly nationalist like Ukip.  We need Pirates!

The Pirate Party UK are the only party in the UK that want to give serious attention to the serious issues of mass surveillance, information rights, online privacy, and the lack of transparency that can lead to treaties like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that effectively allows corporations to set national law, threatens human rights, criminalises generic medicine to the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry, all agreed and signed up to in secret instead of being debated and scrutinized in public by our elected representatives.

Some people consider the Pirate Party UK to be a single-issue organisation concerned only with online intellectual rights ownership.  But that isn’t what  the Pirates are all about.  Watch the video, and check out their website – www.pirateparty.org.uk.  Of course, they want money.  All parties are on the beg on the run up to an election.  But the Pirates aren’t asking for nearly as much as the other parties.  They just want to be able to contest a reasonable number of seats, which will give them a power-base with real negotiating power within the European Parliament.

Watch the video, visit their site.  Give them some money if you can.  And if there’s a Pirate candidate in your area, vote for them in the election.  Give them  go.  Let’s try and refresh politics.

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Ain’t no time to wonder why; whoopee! we’re all gonna die!

April 24, 2014

So the world’s going nuts. Maybe I should write “more nuts”, as I can’t think of any time when the world hasn’t been nuts. But now serious nuttiness is seriously kicking off in Ukraine, which isn’t that far away. Right-wing extremists claim that Russian-backed forces are abducting, torturing and killing Ukrainian politicians. Moscow says that’s bollocks, but they’ve been saying that everything they’ve been accused of is bollocks, including shit we know they did in Crimea. They seem to deny everything automatically, then carry on regardless. Ukraine isn’t in NATO, but there are NATO members in the region. And if one NATO member state is attacked, the rest of NATO jumps to its defence, like if you hit a Hells Angel you end up fighting the entire club. Only these outlaw bikers have tanks and planes and missiles and nuclear bombs. Maybe I’m just being paranoid. Maybe I’m right to be paranoid.

I thought the internet would help usher in an age where truth and propaganda would be more easily differentiated, where it might be easier to see what is actually happening. Instead, news sources everywhere just trumpet their propaganda lines louder, and the only way to find out what’s been going on is to either go there and witness events with one’s own eyes, or to wait for the dust to settle when the “truth” will be whatever the winner says it is.

I can’t go to Ukraine just now, but I really would like to know what’s going on. Not that the knowledge would make any difference: if I went and reported what I saw I would be dismissed as a Nazi or Neo-Soviet puppet, and whatever’s going to happen would happen anyway. No one who really matters cares what international opinion is. So sad: the world has become smaller, in that events a continent away will have more rapid and severe influence on my life; yet in this smaller world my opinion doesn’t matter. I can’t do anything, except post my irrelevant shit here.. In the 1930s I could have gone to fight for the International brigades or Franco, or at least deliver morphine to field hospitals and write home truthfully what I saw. If I tried to do anything like that now I’d probably end up in some Gitmo or other, or shot in the back of the head for being an interfering Europhile. Please, someone tell me no crazy NATO/Russian Federation crap is going to happen. That’s another problem with our modern smaller world: gunfire in Ukraine can blow back big time here.

I don’t actually believe anyone’s going to nuke anyone over this; not right now anyway. Bt there is plenty that could happen that would make life pretty crappy. You know how much natural gas we get from Russia? You know how long our emergency reserves would last if Putin and/or Gazprom decided to turn off the supply? I don’t know: I’m too lazy and fucked to bother asking Google. But I do know that we do not want that to happen. And that’s not even thinking about what effects a shooting war in Eastern Europe could have.

I wish I was one of those survivalist nuts with a fully-stocked nuclear bunker to hide in. Honestly, I do not think anyone’s going to nuke anyone any time soon. But it would be nice to have somewhere to sit and hide. You know, just in case… 😦

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


“Historic” or “Historical”… which is it, Mr Guardian?

April 11, 2014
Tory MP Nigel Evans.  Not a rapist, historic or historical...

Tory MP Nigel Evans. Not a rapist, historic or historical…

I’m a tad confused by the way the media is using the terms “historic” and “historical”. If we turn to wise Google and ask it to define:historic, it tells us:

famous or important in history, or potentially so.
“the area’s numerous historic sites”
synonyms: famous, famed, important, significant, notable, celebrated, renowned, momentous, consequential, outstanding, extraordinary, memorable, unforgettable, remarkable, landmark, groundbreaking, epoch-making, red-letter, of importance, of significance, of consequence, earth-shaking, earth-shattering

whereas define:historical produces:

a. Of or relating to the character of history. b. Based on or concerned with events in history. c. Used in the past: historical costumes

So something like the Potsdam conference, for instance, would be called historic, whereas the false rape allegations against Tory MP Nigel Evans would be historical. Right?

Well, I thought it was pretty simple. But then we see in the Guardian that the Evans rape allegations are called “historic allegations”. WTF? Google just told me…

So, what is it? Historic or historical? Some folk might think me mad using the Grauniad to argue such a point. But it ain’t just them: historic and historical seem to have become interchangeable terms so far as the papers are concerned. At least, that’s how it appoears to me…

Please, if anyone can explain wtf is going on, tell us in Comments. Serious and ridiculous explanations are equally welcome. Someone must know what’s going on in the editors’ heads, right? Right?

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Racial profiling is alive and well, goddammit… and that’s with the public, never mind the police!

April 10, 2014

Do you think police profiling works?  You think racial profiling works?  You think racism is a good way to spot criminals?  Check this out, then tell me in Comments what you think.

 
Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Parliament still stinks of corruption and probably will forever

April 5, 2014

The way culture minister Maria Miller has been let off charges of fiddling her expenses and threatening the parliamentary standards commissioner in an attempt to stop her investigation shows that the British Parliament is as corrupt as ever.  And the corruption goes right to the top: the prime minister is supporting Miller despite the evidence of her foulness.

When Kathryn Hudson, the standards commissioner, was investigating the complaint against Miller, the culture minister told her that her investigation was illegal, saying she was acting in a way that was “unwarranted, unfair and contrary to all standards of due process and legality”, and Miller threatened to report Hudson to a House of Commons committee that would punish her.  Miller’s threats didn’t stop Hudson from doing her job, and the commissioner reported that Miller had fraudulently claimed £45,000 expenses as well as threatening the commissioner and doing everything she could to pervert the course of the investigation.  But the House of Commons standards committee ruled that Miller should repay just £5,800 – the committee was going to order an even lower amount of money, and it was Miller herself who suggested the sum of £5,800! ; It also said Miller should apologize to the parliamentary standards commissioner for her conduct – an “apology” that Miller made in a Commons statement that took 30 seconds to read and which she clearly didn’t mean.

Labour MP John Mann, whose complaint caused the inquiry into Miller, said on Friday night that politicians should no longer act in judgement over themselves.  But that’s not going to happen, is it?  The prime minister David Cameron has repeatedly supported Miller, and it has emerged that he lied during the investigation, stating that independent members of the Commons standards committee had the “casting vote” in deciding whether to censure Miller.  The committee consists of three lay members and 10 MPs.  The prime minister’s office is now saying that Cameron “made a mistake”; they’re hardly going to admit that he lied  to parliament!

Thomas Docherty, the Dunfermline and West Fife MP, has written to the Metropolitan police calling for an investigation into Miller’s expenses. Docherty wrote: “Given the widely differing conclusions of the commission and the committee regarding the serious allegations made about Mrs Miller and the fact that both the commission and committee feel that Mrs Miller did not co-operate with the inquiry, I believe this matter warrants further investigation and I believe the Metropolitan police are the appropriate body to carry out such an investigation.”  So will the police investigate Miller?  Hah!  Of course they won’t.  The Metropolitan Police Commissioner wants the government to give him water cannons, and he won’t get them if he investigates Cameron’s new girlfriend will he?

Even if the growing pressure does force Cameron to sack her, Miller won’t face any more disciplinary action.  It’s disgusting how these politicians are able to set themselves above the law.  And just as disgusting how they feel entitled to claim such large amounts of expenses while simultaneously cutting benefits, forcing disabled people to work when their doctors say they shouldn’t, and imposing a bedroom tax that has driven people to suicide.  Governments are often greedy and cruel, Conservative governments especially: but the current government is openly evil.  And the system that allows it to be evil will never change as it is the evil ones who run the system!  Unless, of course, we change the system for them.  Not that I would ever advocate violent revolution!  😉

 
Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


%d bloggers like this: