Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Thursday, December 31, 2009

WATCH Night: Thursday, December 31, 2009

By Eddie Griffin

Watchman: What of the night? Watchman: What of the night? (Isaiah 21:11)

On the night of December 31, 1862, slaves in America gathered in churches, prayed all night, and watched for morning. For it was upon January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation would go into effect. We called it Watch Night.

The morning is coming, but also the night. (Isaiah 21:12)

As morning came and went, the Negro was only partially free. But morning cannot prevent the night, as long as the sun rises and sets. The night cometh again.

Somewhere in the Mississippi Delta, I was awaken to the fact that I was a male Negro child, and hated because of the color of my skin.

The Life and Death of Emmett Till tells our story of growing up black in America during the 1950s, and the perils of racial hatred and oppression.

If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again. (Isaiah 21:12)

I was 9 years old when they killed Emmett Till. He was only 14 when he was murdered in Mississippi, a world away from Texas. But I saw the picture of his mutilated body in Jet magazine. I could only imagine how they had tortured him all night that Sunday, August 28 1955.

What of the night and what does the autopsy show?

Did they castrate him like they did at every lynching? Did they gauge out his eyes, cut off his nose and his ears? Did they skin him and burn him with fire?

The barbwire wrapped around Emmett Till's neck did not kill him. He was already dead when they tied the barbwire to a fan weight and tossed his body over the Tallahatchie River.

At the age of 9, I began growing up with a sinking feeling in my stomach and apprehensions and phobias about certain people. There is evil in the world. It is a fact of life that I had to live with.

Friday, December 4, 2009

TASER International Crimes Against Humanity

Manipulating the Truth about Tasers


To insure Public Safety against tyranny by the exercise of excessive state powers to use force, we call into question the use of TASERs as a means of compliance control by law enforcement, in the United States. Although TASER International dispute the claim its Electronic Control Device (ECD) is lethal, we have cumulative history of 458 taser related deaths in North America (listed below), and 50 in the United States so far in 2009.

The preponderance of evidence before the court of world opinion concludes that tasers can and do cause death, and can easily be used and abused as weapons of torture. By its very nature, applied electrocution by conductive electricity is torture.

When Robert Heston (#110) died on February 20, 2005, after being tasered 20-23 times, TASER International claimed that “inherently” tasers were not deadly, but that the death of Heston was unforeseeable.

By the time Robert Dziekanski (#320) died in a Vancouver airport, on October 14, 2007, after being repeated tasered by Royal Canadian Mounted Police, TASER should have known that its non-lethal weapon could kill, and could kill easily. Thus began a year-long inquiry known as the Braidwood Inquiry.

Some of observations included that fact that Taser guns had not been properly tested for market, and TASER International should have known its lethal potential, and should have warned law enforcement agencies that over-exposure to applied electricity of 50,000 volts could kill the subject in custody.

The Heston jury also held TASER liable for 15% of the contributory to the cause of death, insofar as the company had not warned law enforcement agencies not to taser a subject 20-23 times, and especially not in the chest area above the heart. Multiple tasings go beyond incapacitation to electrocution, in merely a matter of seconds.

Michael Jacobs II (#424) was electrocuted on April 18, 2009, at the ends of the prongs of a taser held in the hands of Officer Stephanie Phillips, Fort Worth Police Department. In the inquiry, the officer admitted not knowing that she continually applied a force of 50,000 volts of electricity into the body of a mentally ill man, whose parents had only called for medical help, for a total of 54 seconds.

TASER maintains that useage was at the officer’s discretion as to when and duration. Stephanie Phillips could continually electrocute Jacobs with 50,000 volts without the feeling of empathy to the other's pain and suffering, either by a heartless heart or a headless knowledge of the power of her weapon. She did not know how deadly the weapon truly was.

She engaged the taser trigger for 49 seconds, the first time, because the young 24-year old man was “acting up” by refusing to take prescribed psychotropic (debilitating) medication for a diagnosed case of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. As a result of his refusing, his system was clean and clear of drugs, which had been the 85% contributory in the cause of Heston's death.

Phillips pulled the taser trigger a second time, for the duration of 5 seconds. Young Jacobs was dead, ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.

Here an innocent, mentally ill man gets shocked with 50,000 volts of electricity for 54 seconds. He dies, and there is not accountability.

The Tarrant County grand jury returned a NO BILL against Officer Phillips, holding her guiltless of any criminal intent.

Who then is to blame for the officer not knowing that engaging the trigger of a taser, absence-mindedly beyond its 5-second automatic shutoff, would endanger the life of the subject? Who is accountable for teaching that tasers do not kill? Not only to they kill, they torture by the very sensitivity of our skin.

Here is the Preponderance of Evidence: TASER International cannot disassociate itself from the causes of deaths, herewith, and the torture of millions of others.

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY- False advertising non-lethality claim - Complicit in the excessive use of force by encouraging the discharge of 50,000 against innocent and unarmed subjects resulting in death - Disproportionately used against the mentally ill in medical emergency circumstances - Exonerated by the courts through trickery - May the memory of these souls rest upon the consciouse of each TASER International executive, board of directors, and investors.

1. April 11 1985, Cornelius Garland Smith, 35, Los Angeles, California
2. March 9 1993, Michael Bryant, 35, Los Angeles, California
3. June 1, 1996: Scott Norberg, 32, Maricopa County, Arizona
4. September 28, 1999: David Flores, 37, Fairfield, California
5. May 14, 2000: Enrique Juarez Ochoa, 34, Bakersfield, California
6. June 17, 2001: Mark Burkett, 18, Gainesville, Florida
7. December 15, 2001: Hannah Rogers-Grippi, 6 months fetus, Chula Vista, California
8. December 17, 2001: Marvin Hendrix, 27, Hamilton, Ohio
9. December 21, 2001: Steven Vasquez, 40, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
10. January 27, 2002: Vincent Delostia, 31, Hollywood, Florida
11. February 12, 2002: Anthony Spencer, 35, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
12. March 27, 2002: Henry Canady, 46, Hilliard, Florida
13. May 17, 2002: Richard Baralla, 36, Pueblo, Colorado
14. June 10, 2002: Eddie Alvarado, 32, Los Angeles, California
15. June 15, 2002: Jason Nichols, 21, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
16. June 28, 2002: Clever Craig, 46, Mobile, Alabama
17. June 27, 2002: Fermin Rincon, 24, Fontana, California
18. June 2002: Unidentified male, 39, Phoenix, Arizona
19. July 19, 2002: Johnny Lozoya, Gardena, California
20. July 19, 2002: Gordon Jones, 37, Windermere, Florida
21. September 1, 2002: Frederick Webber, 44, Orange City, Florida
22. November 7, 2002: Stephen Edwards, 59, Shelton, Washington
23. March 16, 2003: Unidentified male, 31, Albuquerque, New Mexico
24. April 16, 2003: Corey Calvin Clark, 33, Amarillo, Texas
25. April 19, 2003: Terrence Hanna, 51, Burnaby, British Columbia
26. May 10, 2003: Joshua Hollander, 22, Normal Heights, California
27. June 9, 2003: Timothy Sleet, 44, Springfield Missouri
28. July 22, 2003: Clayton Willey, 33, Prince George, British Columbia
29. August 4, 2003: Troy Nowell, 51, Amarillo, Texas
30. August 8, 2003: John Thompson, 45, Carrollton Township, Michigan
31. August 17, 2003: Gordon Rauch, 39, Citrus Heights, California
32. September 24, 2003: Ray Austin, 25, Gwinnett, Georgia
33. September 29, 2003: Glenn Leyba, 37, Glendale, Colorado
34. September , 2003: Clark Whitehouse, 34, Whitehorse, Yukon
35. October 7, 2003: Roman Pierson, 40, Brea, California
36. October 11, 2003: Dennis Hammond, 31, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
37. October 21, 2003: Louis Morris, 50, Orlando, Florida
38. November 6, 2003: James Borden, 47, Monroe County, Indiana
39. November 10, 2003: Michael Johnson, 32, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
40. November 11, 2003: Kerry O’Brien, 31, Pembroke Pines, Florida
41. December 9, 2003: Curtis Lawson, 40, Unadilla, Georgia
42. December 9, 2003: Lewis King, 39, St. Augustine, Florida
43. February 4, 2004: David Glowczenski, 35, Southampton Village, New York
44. February 12, 2004: Raymond Siegler, 40, Minneapolis, Minnesota
45. February 21, 2004: Curt Rostengale, 44, Silverdale, Washington
46. February 21, 2004: William Lomax, 26, Las Vegas, Nevada
47. March 23, 2004: Perry Ronald, 28, Edmonton, Alberta
48. March 28, 2004: Terry Williams, 45, Madison, Illinois
49. April 1, 2004: Phillip LaBlanc, 36, Los Angeles, California
50. April 16, 2004: Melvin Samuel, 28, Savannah, Georgia
51. April 18, 2004: Alfredo Diaz, 29, Orange County, Florida
52. April 27, 2004: Eric Wolle, 45, Washington Grove, Maryland
53. May 1, 2004: Roman Andreichikov, Vancouver, British Columbia
54. May 13, 2004: Peter Lamonday, 38, London, Ontario
55. May 22, 2004: Henry Lattarulo, 40, Hillsborough, County Florida
56. May 27, 2004: Frederick Williams, 31, Lawrenceville, Georgia
57. May 30, 2004: Darryl Smith, 46, Atlanta, Georgia
58. May 31, 2004: Anthony Oliver, 42, Orlando, Florida
59. June 4, 2004: Jerry Pickens, 55, Bridge City, Louisiana
60. June 9, 2004: James Cobb, 42, St. Paul, Minnesota
61. June 9, 2004: Jacob Lair, 26, Sparks, Nevada
62. June 16, 2004: Abel Ortega Perez, 36, Austin, Texas
63. June 23, 2004: Robert Bagnell, 44, Vancouver, British Columbia
64. June 24, 2004: Kris Lieberman, 32, Bushkill Township, Pennsylvania
65. June, 2004: Bernard Christmas, 36, Dayton, Ohio
66. July 3, 2004: Demetrius Tillman Nelson, 45, Okaloosa County, Florida
67. July 11, 2004: Willie Smith, 48, Auburn, Washington
68. July 17, 2004: Jerry Knight, 29, Mississauga, Ontario
69. July 23, 2004: Milton Salazar, 29, Mesa Arizona
70. August 2, 2004: Keith Tucker, 47, Las Vegas, Nevada
71. August 8, 2004: Samuel Truscott, 43, Kingston, Ontario
72. August 11, 2004: Ernest Blackwell, 29, St. Louis, Missouri
73. August 11, 2004: David Riley, 41, Joplin, Missouri
74. August 13, 2004: Anthony Lee McDonald, 46, Harrisburg, North Carolina
75. August 16, 2004: William Teasley, 31, Anderson, South Carolina
76. August 19, 2004: Richard Karlo, 44, Denver, Colorado
77. August 20, 2004: Michael Sanders, 40, Fresno, California
78. August 24, 2004: Lawrence Davis, 27, Phoenix, Arizona
79. August 27, 2004: Jason Yeagley, 32, Winter Haven, Florida
80. August 29, 2004: Michael Rosa, 38, Del Rey Oaks, California
81. September 12, 2004: Samuel Wakefield, 22, Rio Vista, Texas
82. September 15, 2004: Andrew Washington, 21, Vallejo, California
83. September 20, 2004: Jon Merkle, 40, Miami, Florida
84. October 4, 2004: Dwayne Dunn, 33, Lafayette, Louisiana
85. November 2, 2004: Greshmond Gray, 25, LaGrange, Georgia
86. November 2, 2004: Robert Guerrero, 21, Fort Worth, Texas
87. November 7, 2004: Keith Raymond Drum, Clearlake, Califormnia
88. November 8, 2004: Ricardo Zaragoza, 40, Elk Grove, California
89. November 25, 2004: Charles Keiser, 47, Hartland Township, Michigan
90. November 27, 2004: Byron Black, 39, Lee County, Florida
91. December 4, 2004: Patrick Fleming, 35, Metairie, Louisiana
92. December 15, 2004: Kevin Downing, 36, Hollywood, Florida
93. December 17, 2004: Douglas Meldrum, 37, Wasatch County, Utah
94. December 17, 2004: Lyle Nelson, 35, Columbia, Illinois
95. December 23, 2004: Timothy Bolander, 31, Delray Beach, Florida
96. December 23, 2004: Ronnie Pino, 31, Sacramento, California
97. December 28, 2004: Christopher Hernandez, 19, Naples, Florida
98. December 29, 2004: Jeanne Hamilton, 46, Palmdale, California
99. December 30, 2004: David Cooper, 40, Marion County, Indiana
100. January 2, 2005: Gregory Saulsbury, 30, Pacifica, California
101. January 5, 2005: Dennis Hyde, 30, Akron, Ohio
102. January 7, 2006: Carlos Claros Castro, 28, Davidson City, North Carolina
103. January 8, 2005: Carl Trotter, 33, Pensacola, Florida
104. January 10, 2005, Jerry Moreno, 33, Los Angeles, California
105. January 28, 2005: James Edward Hudson, 33, Chickasha, Oklahoma
106. January 31, 2005: Jeffrey Turner, 41, Lucas County, Ohio
107. February 10, 2005: Ronald Alan Hasse, 54, Chicago, Illinois
108. February 12, 2005: Robert Camba, 45, San Diego, California
109. February 18, 2005: Joel Don Casey, 52, Houston, Texas
110. February 20, 2005: Robert Heston, 40, Salinas, California
111. March 3, 2005: Shirley Andrews, 38, Cincinnati, Ohio
112. March 6, 2005: Willie Towns, 30, Deland, Florida
113. March 12, 2005: Milton Woolfolk, 39, Lake City, Florida
114. March 17, 2005: Mark Young, 25, Indianapolis, Indiana
115. April 3, 2005: James Wathan Jr., 32, Delhi, California
116. April 3, 2005: Eric Hammock, 43, Fort Worth, Texas
117. April 8, 2005: Ricky Barber, 46, Carter County, Oklahoma
118. April 22, 2005: John Cox, 39, Bellport, New York
119. April 24 2005: Jesse Colter, 31, Phoenix, Arizona
120. May 3, 2005: Keith Graff, 24, Phoenix, Arizona
121. May 5, 2005: Kevin Geldart, 34, Moncton, New Brunswick
122. May 6, 2005: Stanley Wilson, 44, Miami, Florida
123. May 6, 2005: Lawrence Berry, 33, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
124. May 13, 2005: Vernon Young, 31, Union Township, Ohio
125. May 17, 2005: Leroy Pierson, Rancho Cucamonga, California
126. May 20, 2005: Randy Martinez, 40, Albuquerque, New Mexico
127. May 23, 2005: Lee Marvin Kimmel, 38, Reading, Pennsylvania
128. May 23, 2005: Richard Alverado, 38, Tustin, California
129. May 26, 2005: Walter Lamont Seats, 23, Nashville, Tennessee
130. May 28, 2005: Richard T. Holcomb, 18, Akron, Ohio
131. May 28, 2005: Nazario J. Solorio, 38, Escondido, California
132. June 4, 2005: Ravan Conston, 33, Sacramento, California
133. June 7, 2005: Russell Walker, 47, Las Vegas, Nevada
134. June 11, 2005: Horace Owens, 48, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
135. June 13, 2005: Michael Anthony Edwards, 32, Palatka, Florida
136. June 13, 2005: Shawn Pirolozzi, 30, Canton, Ohio
137. June 14, 2005: Robert Earl Williams, 62, Waco, Texas
138. June 24, 2005: Carolyn Daniels, 25, Fort Worth, Texas
139. June 24, 2005: Melinda Kaye Neal, 33, Whitfield County, Georgia
140. June 29, 2005: Pharoah Knight, 33, Miami, Florida
141. June 30, 2005: Gurmeet Sandhu, 41, Surrey, B.C.
142. July 1, 2005: James Foldi, 39, Beamsville, Ont.
143. July 7, 2005: Rocky Brison, 41, Birmingham, Alabama
144. July 12, 2005: Kevin Omas, 17, Euless, Texas
145. July 15, 2005: Ernesto Valdez, 37, Phoenix, Arizona
146. July 15, 2005: Paul Sheldon Saulnier, 42, Digby, Nova Scotia
147. July 15, 2005: Otis G. Thrasher, 42, Butte, Montana
148. July 17, 2005: Michael Leon Critchfield, 40, West Palm Beach, Florida
149. July 18, 2005: Carlos Casillas Fernandez, 31, Santa Rosa, California
150. July 23, 2005: Maury Cunningham, 29, Lancaster, South Carolina
151. July 27, 2005: Terrence L. Thomas, 35, Rockville Centre, New York
152. August 1, 2005: Brian Patrick O’Neal, San Jose, California
153. August 3, 2005: Eric Mahoney, 33, Fremont, California
154. August 4, 2005: Dwayne Zachary, 44, Sacramento, California
155. August 5, 2005: Olsen Ogoddide, 38, Glendale, Arizona
156. August 8, 2005: Unidentified male, 47, Phoenix, Arizona
157. August 26, 2005: Shawn Norman, 40, Laurelville, Ohio
158. August 27, 2005: Brian Lichtenstein, 31, Stuart, Florida
159. September 18, 2005: David Anthony Cross, 44, Santa Cruz, California
160. September 22, 2005: Timothy Michael Torres, 24, Sacramento, California
161. September 24, 2005: Patrick Aaron Lee, 21, Nashville, Tennessee
162. September 26, 2005: Michael Clark, 33, Austin, Texas
163. October 13, 2005: Steven Cunningham, 45, Fort Myers, Florida
164. October 20, 2005: Jose Perez, 33, San Leandro, California
165. October 25, 2005: Timothy Mathis, 35, Loveland, Colorado
166. November 1, 2005: Miguel Serrano, 35, New Britain, Connecticut
167. November 13, 2005: Josh Brown, 23, Lafayette, Louisiana
168. November 17, 2005: Jose Angel Rios, 38, San Jose, California
169. November 20, 2005: Hansel Cunningham, 30, Des Plaines, Illinois
170. November 26, 2005: Tracy Rene Shippy, 35, Fort Meyers, Florida
171. November 30, 2005: Kevin Dewayne Wright, 39, Kelso, Washington
172. December 1, 2005: Jeffrey Earnhardt, 47, Orlando, Florida
173. December 7, 2005: Michael Tolosko, 31, Sonoma, California
174. December 17, 2005: Howard Starr, 32, Florence, South Carolina
175. December 24, 2005: Alesandro Fiacco, 33, Edmonton, Alberta
176. December 29, 2005: David Moss, 26, Omaha, Nebraska
177. January 3, 2006: Roberto Gonzalez, 34, Waukegan, Illinois
178. January 5, 2006: Matthew Dunlevy, 25, Laguna Beach, California
179. January 13, 2006: Daryl Dwayne Kelley, 29, Houston, Texas
180. January 16, 2006: Shmekia Lewis (female), 24, Beaumont, Texas
181. January 22, 2006: Nick Ryan Hanson, 24, Ashland, Oregon
182. January 25, 2006: Murray Bush, Metairie, Louisiana
183. January 27, 2006: Jorge Luis Trujillo, San Jose, California
184. January 28, 2006: Karl W. Marshall, 32, Kansas City, Missouri
185. January 29, 2006 Benites Sichero, 39, Spokane County, Washington
186. January 31, 2006: Jaime Coronel, Castroville, California
187. February 6, 2006: Jessie Williams Jr., 40, Harrison County, Mississippi
188. February 13, 2006: Darval Smith, New Orleans, Louisiana
189. February 19, 2006: Gary Bartley, 36, Mandeville, Louisiana
190. February 24, 2006: Samuel Hair, 48, Fort Pierce, Florida
191. March 4, 2006: Melvin Anthony Jordan, 27, Norman, Oklahoma
192. March 8, 2006: Robert R. Hamilton, 42, St. Augustine, Florida
193. March 18, 2006: Otto Zehm, 35, Spokane, Washington
194. March 18, 2006, Cedric Davis, 26, Merced County, California
195. March 20, 2006: Timothy Grant, 46, Portland, Oregon
196. March 24, 2006: Theodore Rosenberry, 35, Hagerstown, Maryland
197. April 5, 2006: Thomas Clint Tipton, 34, Clearwater, Florida
198. April 15, 2006: Nick Mamino Jr., 41, St. Louis, Missouri
199. April 16, 2006: Billy Ray Cook, 39, Dublin, North Carolina
200. April 16, 2006: Juan Manuel Nunez III, 27, Lubbock, Texas
201. April 18, 2006: Richard McKinnon, 52, Cumberland County, North Carolina
202. April 21, 2006: Alvin Itula, 35, Salt Lake City, Utah
203. April 24, 2006: Jose Romero, 23, Dallas, Texas
204. April 24, 2006: Emily Marie Delafield, 56, Green Cove Springs, Florida
205. May 1, 2006: Jeremy Davis, 24, Bellmead, Texas
206. May 7, 2006: Kenneth Cleveland, 63, Ashtabula, Ohio
207. May 25, 2006: Brian Davis, 43, Los Angeles, California
208. June 4, 2006: Felipe Herrera, 48, Las Vegas, Nevada
209. June 13, 2006: Jerry Preyer, 43, Pensacola, Florida
210. June 18, 2006: Jason Troy Dockery, 31, Coolville, Tennessee
211. June 21, 2006: Kenneth Eagleton, 43, Crosby, Texas
212. June 21, 2006: Joseph Stockdale, 26, Indianapolis, Indiana
213. June 24, 2006: John Martinez, San Jose, California
214. July 3, 2006: Jermail Williams, 32, South Bend, Indiana
215. July 7, 2006: Michael Deon Babers, 26, Shreveport, Louisiana
216. July 8, 2006: Christopher Tull, 36, Cincinnati, Ohio
217. July 9, 2006: Nickolos Cyrus, 29, Mukwonago, Wisconsin
218. July 11, 2006: Jesus Negron, 29, New Britain, Connecticut
219. July 20, 2006: Mark McCullaugh, 28, Akron, Ohio
220. July 23, 2006: Shannon Johnson, 37, Pittsboro, North Carolina
221. August 2, 2006: Anthony Jones, 39, Merced, California
222. August 4, 2006: Ryan Michael Wilson, 22, Lafayette, Colorado
223. August 8, 2006: Curry McCrimmon, 26, Melbourne, Florida
224. August 8, 2006: James Nunez, 27, Santa Ana, California
225. August 9, 2006: Glen Thomas, 33, Wabasso, Florida
226. August 17, 2006: Raul Gallegos-Reyes, 34, Centennial, Colorado
227. August 21, 2006: Timothy Picard, 41, Woonsocket, Rhode Island
228. August 23, 2006: Noah Lopez,25, Fort Worth, Texas
229. August 30, 2006: Jason Doan, 28, Red Deer, Alberta
230. September 1, 2006: Juan Soto, Jr., 39, Liberal, Kansas
231. September 4, 2006, Jesus Mejia, 33, Los Angeles, California
232. September 5, 2006: Larry Noles, 52, Louisville, Kentucky
233. September 8, 2006: Perry Simmons, 35, Montgomery, Alabama
234. September 13, 2006: Laborian Simmons, 24, Marion County, Florida
235. September 17, 2006: Marcus Roach-Burris, 42, Menasha, Wisconsin
236. September 17, 2006: James Philip Chasse Jr., 42, Portland, Oregon
237. September 29, 2006: Joseph Kinney, 36, Madison Twp., Ohio
238. September 30, 2006: Vardan Kasilyan, 29, Las Vegas, Nevada
239. September 30, 2006: John David Johnson III, 27, Orange Park, Florida
240. October 1, 2006: Kip Darrell Black, 38, North Charleston, South Carolina
241. October 5, 2006: Michael Templeton, 50, Jonesboro, Arkansas
242. October 6, 2006: Herman Carroll, 31, Houston, Texas
243. October 9, 2006: James Simons, 35, Lincoln Park, Michigan
244. October 19, 2006: James Lewis, 37, Las Vegas, Nevada
245. October 19, 2006: Nicholas Brown, Milford, Connecticut
246. October 22, 2006: Jordan Case, 20, Tualatin, Oregon
247. October 22, 2006: Eddie Charles Ham Jr., 30, Montgomery, Alabama
248. October 23, 2006: Michael Todd Gleim, 40, Milford, Ohio
249. October 29, 2006: Roger Holyfield, 17, Jerseyville, Illinois
250. October 30, 2006: Jeremy Foos, 29, Columbus, Ohio
251. November 9, 2006: William Jobe, 40, Federal Way, Washington
252. November 14, 2006: Timothy Wayne Newton, 43, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
253. November 14, 2006: Darren Faulkner, 41, Southaven, Mississippi
254. December 3, 2006: Briant K. Parks, 39, Columbus, Ohio
255. December 17, 2006: Terrill Enard, 29, Lafayette, Louisiana
256. December 30, 2006: Daniel Walter Quick, 43, Magalia, California
???. January 2007: James Barber, 25, Ottawa, Ontario
257. January 5, 2007: Calvin Thompson, 42, Gastonia, North Carolina
258. January 6, 2007: Douglas John Ilten, 45, Fort Pierce, Florida
259. January 7, 2007: Blondel Lassegue, 38, Queen’s, New York
260. January 9, 2007: Pete Carlos Madrid, 44, Fresno, California
261. January 17, 2007: Keith Kallstrom, 56, Milan, Michigan
262. January 18, 2007: Andrew J. Athetis, 18, Gilbert, Arizona
263. January 29, 2007: Michael Keohan, 45, Huntingdon Park, California
264. January 30, 2007: Christopher L. McCargo, 43, Dayton, Ohio
265. February 11, 2007: Stephen Krohn, 44, Mesa, Arizona
266. February 21, 2007: Martin Mendoza, 43, Oceanside, California
267. March 13, 2007: Muszack Nazaire, 24, East Naples, Florida
268. March 15, 2007: Randy Buckey, 42, Marion, Ohio
269. March 16, 2007: Ryan Lee Myers, 40, Essex, Maryland
270. March 17, 2007: David Brown, 47, Park Forest, Illinois
271. March 17, 2007: Unidentified male, West Covina, CA
272. March 23, 2007: Sergio Galvan, 35, San Antonio, Texas
273. April 10, 2007: Eugene Donjuall Gilliam, 22, Prattville, Alabama
274. April 11, 2007: Roberto Perez, 25, Indio, California
275. April 14, 2007: Unidentified male, Phoenix, Arizona
276. April 22, 2007: David Mills, 26, Hamden, Connecticut
277. April 23, 2007: Unidentified male, Houston, Texas
278. April 24, 2007: Louis Jermaine Broomfield, 35, Charleston, South Carolina
279. April 24, 2007: Walter Heller, 55, Santa Rosa, California
280. April 24, 2007: Uywanda Peterson, 43, Baltimore, Maryland
281. April 30, 2007: Roy Hamner, 59, Pearl, Mississippi
282. May 5, 2007: Daniel Bradley Young, 33, Seminole, Florida
283. May 7, 2007: Robert A. Keske, 45, Seminole, Florida
284. May 12, 2007: Trent A. Yohe, 37, Spokane, Washington
285. May 12, 2007: Jeffry Young, 54, Bremerton, Washington
286. May 14, 2007: Terrill Heath, 31, Baltimore, Maryland
287. May 15, 2007: Chance W. Shrum, 20 years old, Iola, Kansas
288. May 16, 2007: Patrick D. Hagans, 42, Valleyview, Ohio
289. May 19, 2007: Milisha Thompson, 35, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
290. May 22, 2007: Kevin DeWayne Hill, 39, Knoxville, Tennessee
291. May 23, 2007: Raymundo Guerrerro Garcia, 33, Simi Valley, California
292. May 25, 2007: Steve Salinas, 47, San Jose, California
293. May 26, 2007: Marcus D. Skinner, 22, Seat Pleasant, Maryland
294. May 29, 2007: Doyle Moniki Jackson, 34, Benton Harbor, Indiana
295. May 29, 2007: Ramel Henderson, 51, San Diego, California
296. June 19, 2007: Juan Flores Lopez, 47, San Angelo, Texas
297. July 2, 2007: Richard Baisner, 36, Pasadena, California
298. July 8, 2007: Nathaniel Cobbs Jr., 25, Newburgh, New York
299. July 16, 2007: Albert Romero, 47, Denver, Colorado
300. July 20, 2007: Jermaine Thompson, 36, Kansas City, Missouri
301. July 25, 2007: Carlos Rodriguez, 27, Atlanta, Georgia
302. July 29, 2007: Ronald Marquez, 49, Phoenix, Arizona
303. August 2, 2007: Clyde Patrick, 44, Birmingham, Alabama
304. August 4, 2007: Gefery Johnston, 42, Chicago, Illinois
305. August 4, 2007: Stephen Spears, 49, Detroit, Michigan
306. August 4, 2007: James Barnes, 21, Omaha, Nebraska
307. August 11, 2007: Craig Berdine, 37, Fremont, Ohio
308. August 14, 2007: Rafael Forbes, 21, Jackson, Mississippi
309. August 15, 2007: James Wells, 43, Waterford, California (no. 275)
310. August 18, 2007: Thomas Campbell, 50, Baltimore, Maryland
311. August 23, 2007: Chad Cekas, 27, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
312. August 26, 2007: Glenn Shipman Jr., 44, Portland, Oregon
313. September 3, 2007: Earl Guerrant, 47, Golf Manor, Ohio
314. September 3, 2007: Charles Gordon, 26, Vallejo, California
315. September 9, 2007: Jorge Renteria Terrquiz, 25, Anaheim, California
316. September 20, 2007: Claudio Castagnetta, 32, Quebec City, Quebec
317. October 1, 2007: Samuel Baker, 59, Quitman, Georgia
318. October 1, 2007: Keith White, 44, Kansas City, Kansas
319. October 12, 2007: Michael Patrick Lass, 28, Orange County, California
320. October 14, 2007: Robert Dziekanski, 40, Richmond, BC
321. October 14, 2007: Donald Clark Grant, 54, Asheville, North Carolina
322. October 17, 2007: Quilem Registre, 39, Montreal, Quebec
323. November 1, 2007: Seldon Deshotels, 56, Lake Charles, Louisiana
324. November 2, 2007: Stefan McMinn, 44, Hendersonville, North Carolina
325. November 7, 2007: Roger Brown, 40, Miami, Florida
326. November 16, 2007: Paul Carlock, 57, Springfield, Illinois
327. November 18, 2007: Jesse Saenz, 20, Raton, New Mexico
328. November 18, 2007: Jarrel Gray, 20, Frederick, Maryland
329. November 18, 2007: Christian Allen, 21, Springfield, Florida
330. November 20, 2007: Conrad Lowman, Jacksonville, Florida
331. November 22, 2007: Howard Hyde, 45, Halifax, Nova Scotia
332. November 24, 2007: Robert Knipstrom, 36, Chilliwack, British Columbia
333. November 29, 2007: Ashley R. Stephens, 28, Ocala, Florida
334. November 30, 2007: Cesar Silva, 32, Los Angeles, California
335. December 10, 2007: Leroy Patterson Jr., 41, Walton County, Georgia
336. January 2, 2008: Brandon Smiley, 27, Mobile, Alabama
337. January 5, 2008: Ryan Rich, 33, Las Vegas, Nevada
338. January 9, 2008: Otis C. Anderson, 36, Fayetteville, North Carolina
339. January 11, 2008: Xavier Jones, 29, Coral Gables, Florida
340. January 15, 2008: Mark Backlund, 29, New Brighton, Minnesota
341. January 17, 2008: Baron Pikes, 21, Winnfield, Louisiana
342. January 18, 2008: Daniel Hanrahan, 44, Staten Island, New York
343. February 3, 2008: Louis Cryer, 32, Port Arthur, Texas
344. February 3, 2008: Joseph Davis, 50, Brandon, Mississippi
345. February 7, 2008: Richard Earl Abston, 53, Merced, California
346. February 19, 2008: Garrett Sean Farn, 41, Bakersfield, California
347. February 26, 2008: Barron Harvey Davis, 44, Mayes County, Oklahoma
348. March 4, 2008: Christopher Jackson, 37, Clay, New York
349. March 6, 2008: Javier Aguilar, 46, Roswell, New Mexica
350. March 18, 2008: Roberto Gonzalez, 24, Chicago, Illinois
351. March 20, 2008: Darryl Wayne Turner, 17, Charlotte, North Carolina
352. March 21, 2008: James Garland, 41, Deerfield Beach, Florida
353. March 29, 2008: Henry Bryant, 35, Indianapolis, Indiana
354. March 30, 2008: Walter Edward Haake Jr., 59, Topeka, Kansas
355. April 2, 2008: Jason Jesus Gomez, 35, Santa Ana, California
356. April 6, 2008: Yvelt Occean, 31, New Kent County, Virginia
357. April 22, 2008: Uriah Samson Dach, 26, Richmond, California
358. April 24, 2008: Kevin Piskura, 24, Cincinnati, Ohio
359. April 24, 2008: Dewayne Chatt, 39, Memphis, Tennessee
360. April 27, 2008: Paul Thompson, 24, Greensboro, North Carolina
361. April 28, 2008: Jermaine Ward, 28, Jackson, Tennessee
362. May 4, 2008: Joe Kubat, 21, St. Paul, Minnesota
363. May 6, 2008: James S. Wilson, 22, Alton, Missouri
364. May 28, 2008: Ricardo Manuel Abrahams, 44, Woodland, California
365. May 31, 2008: Robert Ingram, 27, Raceland, Louisiana
366. June 5, 2008: Willie Maye, 43, Birmingham, Alabama
367. June 6, 2008: Donovan Graham, 39, Meriden, Connecticut
368. June 8, 2008: Quintrell T. Brannon, 25, Vincennes, Indiana
369. June 9, 2008: Tony Curtis Bradway, 26, Brooklyn, New York
370. June 23, 2008: Jeffrey Marreel, 36, Norfolk, Ontario
371. June 24, 2008: Ernest Graves, 26, Rockford, Illinois
372. June 27, 2008: Nicholas Cody, 27, Dothan, Alabama
373. July 2, 2008: Isaac Bass, 34, Louisville, Kentucky
374. July 4, 2008: Othello Pierre, 23, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
375. July 8, 2008: Samuel DeBoise, 29, St. Louis, Missouri
376. July 8, 2008: Carlos Vargas, 42, San Bernardino, California
377. July 14, 2008: Marion Wilson Jr., 52, Houston, Texas
378. July 14, 2008: Deshoun Keyon Torrence, 18, Long Beach, California
379. July 22, 2008: Michael Langan, 17, Winnipeg, Manitoba
380. July 23, 2008: Richard Smith, 46, Dallas, Texas
381. July 26, 2008: Anthony Davidson, Statesville, 29, North Carolina
382. August 4, 2008: Jerry Jones, 45, Beaumont, Texas
383. August 4, 2008: Andre Thomas, 37, Swissvale, Pennsylvania
384. August 2, 2008: Lawrence Rosenthal, 54, Hemet, California
385. August 10, 2008: Kiethedric Hines, 31, Rockford, Illinois
386. August 15, 2008: Kenneth Oliver, 45, Miami, Florida
387. August 25, 2008: Ronald Adkisson, 59, Creston, Iowa
388. August 29, 2008: Stanley James Harlan, 23, Moberly, Missouri
389. September 3, 2008: Prince Swayzer, 38, San Jose, California
390. September 3, 2008: Andy Tran, 32, Garden Grove, California
391. September 11, 2008: Roney Wilson, 46, Hillsborough, Florida
392. September 17, 2008: Sean Reilly, 42, Mississauga, Ontario
393. September 19, 2008: Gabriel Bitterman, 23, Lincoln, Nebraska
394. September 25, 2008: Iman Morales, 35, New York, New York
395. September 30, 2008: Frank Frachette, 49, Langley, BC
396. October 1, 2008: Jose Anibal Amaro, 45, Orange County, Florida
397. October 18, 2008: Homer Taylor, 39, Chicago, Illinois
398. October 29, 2008: Trevor Grimolfson, 38, Edmonton, Alberta
399. October 31, 2008: Marlon Oliver Acevedo, 35, Riverside, California
400. November 2, 2008: Gordon Walker Bowe, 30, Calgary, Alberta
401. November 3, 2008: Adren Maurice Turner, 44, Mexia, Texas
402. November 10, 2008: Guy James Fernandez, 42, Santa Rosa, California
403. December 3, 2008: Leroy Hughes, 52, Covington, Kentucky
404. December 9, 2008: Quincy Smith, 24, Minneapolis, Minnesota
405. December 19, 2008: Edwin Rodriguez, 26, San Jose, California
406. December 21, 2008: Nathan Vaughn, 39, Santa Rosa, California
407. December 24, 2008: Mark Green, 46, Houston, Texas
408. January 8, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Martinsville, Virginia
409. January 11, 2009: Rodolfo Lepe, 31, Bakersfield, California
410. January 22, 2009: Roger Redden, 52, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee
411. February 2, 2009: Garrett Jones, 45, Stockton, California
412. February 11, 2009: Richard Lua, 28, San Jose, California
413. February 13, 2009: Rudolph Byrd, Age Unknown, Thomas County, Florida
414. February 13, 2009: Michael Jones, 43, Iberia, Louisiana
415. February 14, 2009: Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, Los Angeles, California
416. February 28, 2009: Robert Lee Welch, 40, Conroe, Texas
417. March 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Bay City, Michigan
418. March 26, 2009: Marcus D. Moore, 40, Freeport, Illinois
419. April 1, 2009: John J. Meier Jr., 48, Tamarac, Florida
420. April 6, 2009: Ricardo Varela, 41, Fresno, California
421. April 10, 2009: Robert Mitchell, 16, Detroit, Michigan
422. April 13, 2009: Craig Prescott, 38, Modesto, California
423. April 16, 2009: Gary A. Decker, 50, Tuscon, Arizona
424. April 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Fort Worth, Texas
425. April 30, 2009: Kevin LaDay, 35, Lumberton, Texas
426. May 4, 2009: Gilbert Tafoya, 53, Holbrook, Arizona
427. May 6, 2009: Grant William Prentice, 40, Brooks, Alberta
428. May 17, 2009: Jamaal Ray Valentine, 27, La Marque, Texas
429. May 23, 2009: Gregory Rold, 37, Salem, Oregon
430. June 9, 2009: Brian Layton Cardall, 32, Hurricane, Utah
431. June 13, 2009: Dwight Jerome Madison, 48, Baltimore, Maryland
432. June 20, 2009: Derek Kairney, 36, South Windsor, Connecticut
433. June 29, 2009: Shawn Iinuma, 37, Fontana, California
434. July 2, 2009: Rory McKenzie, 25, Bakersfield, California
435. July 30, 2009: Jonathan Michael Nelson, 27, Riverside County, California
436. August 9, 2009: Terrace Clifton Smith, 52, Moreno Valley, California
437. August 12, 2009: Ernest Owen Ridlehuber III, 53, Greenwood, South Carolina
438. August 14, 2009: Hakim Jackson, 31, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
439. August 18, 2009: Ronald Eugene Cobbs, 38, Greensboro, North Carolina
440. August 20, 2009: Francisco P. Sesate, 36, Mesa, Arizona
441. August 22, 2009: T.J. Nance, 37, Arizona City, Arizona
442. August 26, 2009: Miguel Molina, 27, Los Angeles, California
443. August 27, 2009: Manuel Dante Dent, 27, Modesto, California
444. September 7, 2009: Shane Ledbetter, 38, Aurora, Colorado
445. September 16, 2009: Alton Warren Ham, 45, Modesto, California
446. September 19, 2009: Yuceff W. Young II, Brooklyn, Ohio
447. September 21, 2009: Richard Battistata, 44, Laredo, Texas
448. September 28, 2009: Derrick Humbert, 38, Bradenton, Florida
449. October 2, 2009: Rickey R. Massey, 38, Panama City, Florida
450. October 12, 2009: Christopher John Belknap, 36, Ukiah, California
451. October 17, 2009: Frank Cleo Sutphin, 19, San Bernardino, California
452. October 27, 2009: Jeffrey C. Woodward, 33, Gallatin, Tennessee
453. November 13, 2009: Herman George Knabe, 58, Corpus Christi, Texas
454. November 14, 2009: Darryl Bain, 43, Long Island, New York
455. November 16, 2009: Matthew Bolick, 30, East Grand Rapids, Michigan
456. November 17, 2009: Edward Buckner, 53, Chattanooga, Tennessee
457. November 19, 2009: Jesus Gillard, 61, Bloomfield Township, Michigan
458. November 21, 2009: Ronald Petruney, 49, Washington County, Pennsylvania

Friday, November 20, 2009

Back-to-Back-to-Back Taser Deaths Kicks Off Crusade

TO: Media Networks
Release Date: December 4, 2009

Back-to-Back-to-Back Taser Deaths Kicks Off Crusade
By Eddie G. Griffin (BASG)

Since the maker of the 50,000-volt electronic stun gun control device (ECD), TASER International, issued a new directive and warnings in an October 12, 2009 memo, there has been six more death, three in a matter of four days this past week:

• 453. November 13, 2009: Herman George Knabe, 58, Corpus Christi, Texas
• 454. November 14, 2009: Darryl Bain, 43, Long Island, New York
• 455. November 16, 2009: Matthew Bolick, 30, East Grand Rapids, Michigan

The word about tasers is obviously not getting out. There is still a general public acceptance of tasers as an better alternative to more deadly force, and the common belief among law enforcement that the instrument saves more lives than are lost. But is it saving lives of officers in the field at the expense of the lives of innocent people and thereby endangering the general public’s safety?

Truth Not Tasers blogsite now list the names of 455 people in North America who have lost their lives by tasers.

In a continuing effort to raise public awareness about the deadliness of the weapon, and the memory of those who needlessly died, we are waging a blogging campaign on December 4, 2009. The purpose of the Stop Taser Torture Blogging for Justice Day is “to unite the world’s bloggers” in America, Canada, and throughout the world to join in on the effort to stop tasers.

[Blog Registration through]

AfroSpear Network Blogger, Eddie G. Griffin (BASG), has joined the campaign to register the grievances against TASER International on behalf of Fort Worth, Texas families who have lost love ones to the device.

• 424. April 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Fort Worth, Texas
• 228. August 23, 2006: Noah Lopez, 25, Fort Worth, Texas
• 138. June 24, 2005: Carolyn Daniels, 25, Fort Worth, Texas
• 116. April 3, 2005: Eric Hammock, 43, Fort Worth, Texas
• 86. November 2, 2004: Robert Guerrero, 21, Fort Worth, Texas

Eddie G. Griffin (BASG), an Adult Friend of World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, Mariefred, Sweden, raise the issue of tasers used against children, contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Resolution 44/25, adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1989, which states in Article 6 that “every child has the inherent right to life”, and in Article 37 (a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

These are children who died by taser.

• 7. December 15, 2001: Hannah Rogers-Grippi, 6 months fetus, Chula Vista, California
• 144. July 12, 2005: Kevin Omas, 17, Euless, Texas
• 249. October 29, 2006: Roger Holyfield, 17, Jerseyville, Illinois
• 351. March 20, 2008: Darryl Wayne Turner, 17, Charlotte, North Carolina
• 379. July 22, 2008: Michael Langan, 17, Winnipeg, Manitoba
• 408. January 8, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Martinsville, Virginia
• 417. March 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Bay City, Michigan
• 421. April 10, 2009: Robert Mitchell, 16, Detroit, Michigan

Although the United States is not a signatory party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, these voiceless children have need of an advocate to speak on their behalf.

417. March 22, 2009: Brett Elder, 15, Bay City, Michigan

Hello, my name is Bethany and I have been reading a lot about how to try and change the state laws in Michigan. I was very close to the 15-year old boy Brett Elder (Dewy). I think about him every day and there is nothing I can do to bring him back, but there is something I can do, and that is to start a Petition. As you may know there have already been two deaths of minors in the State of Michigan this year. I am currently in the process of creating a petition (Dewy’s Minor Taser Protection Act).

If you have any advice for me please feel free to e-mail me. I have also a myspace:

Bethany A. Schuster, Bay City, Michigan (

[Editor's Note: As I write, a 10-year old girl has been tasered.]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

TASER WARS: Another Chapter

TASER International Zaps Non-lethal Claim with Video
By Eddie Griffin

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Who knows what Taser International chairman and co-founder Tom Smith was trying to prove when he zapped reporter Noah Shachtman with an X3 taser. What in the world was thinking when they allowed Shachtman to volunteer for a one-second jolt of 50,000 volts of electricity?

“It was brutal,” said Shachtman, “like sticking your finger in a socket over and over and over again. I screamed in pain as he zapped me. I screamed some more after it was over. Then I cursed, and put my fingers to the bridge of my nose.”

On the video, Smith and his assistant laughs lightheartedly. “Kind of like hitting a funny bone,” the chairman remarked. “Like a good workout.”

“Not exactly,” writes the reporter. “Five hours later, I was still tingling.”

It may have started out as a stunt to offset the rising negative image of tasers. But clearly in the end, the public relations repair backfired, as Shachtman became angry at the effects and after-effects of being tasered. That's when he began asking Taser International executives some hard questions.

“What I keep wondering is", Shachtman writes, "Who would inflict that kind of pain?”

So when we hear stories about grandmothers and kids and handcuffed prisoners and even runaway sheep getting tased, I asked Smith, what does that say about the stun gun’s impact?

He and his colleagues gently ducked the question, saying it was up to individual police forces and military units to teach their troops how and when to use the electroshock weapons. “All we can do is build in as many features as we can think of,” said Brian Beckwith, vice president of product development.

“Any new tool has to have good policy and good training,” Smith said. His VP of public relations, Peter Holran, added, “You’re not just going to give someone a BlackBerry and expect them to use it.”

My colleague Steven Levy then asked about that 72-year-old Texas woman who was tased during a traffic stop. “I felt it was justified,” Smith replied. “Just because she was 72 doesn’t mean she wasn’t strong,” one his associates answered.

Levy then tried to determine how old a lady has to be before she’s considered ineligible for zapping. Holran took it as an accusation. He said angrily that “we can’t change the U.S. Constitution.” After another minute or two, the question was repeated. Smith said there was no upper age — or a lower one, for that matter. The only guidance the company gives cops and soldiers is not to use the stun guns on pregnant women, or people with heart conditions or epileptics.”

By what notion does Peter Holran invoke the U.S. Constitution? The Eighth Amendment prohibits Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From Tasers to Homicide: The Dividing Line on Torture

U.S. Department of Justice
Community Relations Service
Harwood Center
1999 Bryan Street, Ste. 2050
Dallas, TX 75201
Tele. 214-655-8190
Fax: 214-655-8184

Attn.: Synthia Demons,
Senior Conciliation Specialist, SW Region

RE: From Tasers to Homicide: The Dividing Line on Torture

Dear Synthia Demons:

We are grateful to have the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice given in this matter of grievance against Tasers, and appreciate your appointment as Conciliation Specialist to help us reach a resolution with the City of Fort Worth and the law enforcement community.

As an advocate of peace, I published “Towards Closure and Resolution in Taser Death of Michael Jacobs Jr.”, August 29, 2009. But there is still a disconnection in communications with government, and an irreconcilable breach with TASER International, manufacturer of the taser device.

The company’s statement aired Saturday on 33 NEWS concedes that tasers are not “risk free”, but nevertheless claim that the devices provide a safer alternative to deadly force. (See Saturday demonstration and read TASER International’s statement at,0,5385639.story).

We contend that the taser is deadly force insofar as 50,000-volts of electrical output have the capacity to literally cook a person’s internal organs. If we can show that Jacobs was electrocuted, charred inside like fried chicken, the public would be horrified, and city leaders should be ashamed. This is why we are asking for public disclosure of the autopsy report.

For those who contend that tasers save more lives than lives lost, we do not see this as a trade-off. An innocent law-abiding citizen should not be subjected to the risk.

In May 2006, the Lake Como Church of Christ convened an education panel to discuss plans police officers had for using tasers in the schools. Panelist included FW Chief of Police Ralph Mendoza, school board members T.A. Sims and Juan Rangel, Judges L. Clifford Davis and Sharon Newman, FWISD representatives Loester Posey and Cecile Standfield, and Civil Rights lawyer Bobbie Edmonds.

It was then we publicly opposed using tasers on middle school age children.

In July 2008, Amnesty International USA announced that the U.S. Department of Justice was looking into 30 taser related deaths, and could possibly investigate up to 180 cases. Since then, there has been no progress report from USDOJ.

We are hopeful with a new administration and a new Congress that the issue will again merit attention.

On April 19, 2009, I delivered a Resolution to the Family of Michael Jacobs Jr. at the funeral on behalf the international blogging community.


Another Day of Blogging for Justice against Tasers is scheduled for December 4th. (See announcement:

In the meantime, we continue to circulate a petition to Congress. (See

Ms. Demons, it would be of great help if you would describe the function of your office and an update on your findings and how you would hope to reconcile city leaders with the families and friends who have been touched by tasers. As you know, whenever government no longer listens to the grievance of the people, we are forced to raise our voice to the next higher level, from national to international. Ultimately, our last appeal will be before the throne of grace, because TASER International will not heed our plea.

How does the USDOJ offer to reconcile this military contractor with those maimed, injured, and killed by its weapons?

An answer to these questions will go a long way in our understanding the role of federal authorities to redress the grievances of citizens whose right to life have been extinguished by the summary judgment of a law enforcement officer, acting as judge, jury, and executioner.

Eddie Griffin (BASG)
AfroSpear in the News

A copy of this correspondence is forwarded to the addresses below:

Committee against Torture
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone Number (41-22) 917-9000
Fax Number (41-22) 917-9006
E-mail to

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mantel of Peace upon President’s Shoulders

By Eddie Griffin (BASG)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Today has been declared the day to Blog Blast for Peace. For us, it is a day to meditate the meaning of Peace within the context of a complex world at war.

President Barack Obama is between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, he contemplates sending more troops into Afghanistan. On the other, the world community has placed the mantel of peace upon his shoulders by awarding him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

It is an agonizing dilemma, a paradox in a box, a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t situation.

I remember the face of President Lyndon B. Johnson as he agonized over the war in Vietnam. It is a hard situation to be in, because there were forces on both sides: some for war and some for peace, the same as we have today.

The problem has always been our nationalistic pride versus the cost of war, not the mention the damn-it-hell at all cost dogmatic attitude. We have been groomed and conditioned to think that just because we are Americans, we are always right and we must always win. We are intolerant of our enemies. We will not even listen to what they have to say. We have no respect for their being.

If they have a grievance against us, we will not hear it, because we are Americans, and we are always right. Whatever grievance they have against us is unrighteous and false.

We have no respect for the world community. We hate the United Nations that we created, because most of the member nations do not agree with us, like the puppet governments of the past. We no longer dominate the world. We no longer control global thinking.

But our hearts are hardened like Pharaoh. We declared a war, when there was no war, only rogues who committed a horrendous act of terrorism on September 11, 2001. But our anger and thirst for hasty revenge led us into the quagmire that we are now in.

Before a leader goes off to war, he should first sit down and count up the cost. So says the bible, a copy of which should be at the right hand of any president.

But, in the current situation, we did not sit down and count up the cost. Some in the previous administration believed that we could dispatch with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, along with Saddam Hussein, in a matter of months. All we needed was a convenient believable excuse to start, and what could be more terrifying after 9/11 than to declare that the enemy had WMDs (weapons of mass destruction).

Off to war we go. Mistakes were made, we all admit. We were not as right or righteous as we originally thought in our collective nationalistic hearts. President Barack Obama inherited these messy wars. They are now his to conquer, or his to resign his forces. It is an impossible situation to be in. It will be impossible to please everyone.

No, this is not a decision to be made by consensus. The country is divided almost 50-50. This is a decision for the President and the President alone.

Those who will criticize him for not sending more troops are the very ones who will criticize him if he does. This is strictly partisans, after the vintage of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and FOX commentators, along with politicians who capitalize on this type of partisan divide.

That there is division is a fact of life in American. Some of us are sick of war and still have the bitter taste of the WMD fiasco in our craw. It is impossible to start an unrighteous war and win it in the name of God. There is something else at work here.

To date, I have allowed some of my children to pursue military careers without uttering a word of dissent, knowing that they would be sent to Afghanistan and Iraq. To serve one’s country is the highest honor a soldier can achieve. And, there is no more noble sacrifice than a man lay down his life for his friends, family, and nation.

But I question the nobility of the war itself. I feel as though the American people are left in the blind, as to what this war is all about. For those who believe that radical Muslims hate democracy are brainwashed. Everybody loves freedom. But the Taliban wants freedom on their term, in their own country, under their own sovereignty, whether America likes it or not. These are tribal people with tribal government. A central government means nothing to them, but a loss of autonomy.
This is an unconditional line in the sand.

It is rather late in the game to go back and sit down and count up the cost of these wars. We have already paid a heavy toll in the initial investment. But the cost of war must coincide with what we mean by the concept of “War”.

War, to me, is one thing. War, to the Taliban, is another. I cannot superimpose my meaning of war upon my foe, for he fights a “holy war” in his mind, a Jihad, something Americans cannot even phantom.

Only an insurgent understands the meaning of Jihad. It means fighting down to the last man, woman, and child. It is a generational fight, bred into the minds of the children of our enemy from birth.

Have we lost a page from history? The Crusade lasted 505 years. Did we factor this into the cost of our wars? Are we prepared even for a 100-year war? Only arrogant eyes are too short to see.

Now the Mantel of Peace is upon the shoulders of President Barack Obama. People of the world believe that he has opened up a new chapter in global relations. He is a thoughtful man and well spoken. He is considerate of his neighbors. Instead of talking at neighbors and talking down to our allies, he confers with them in earnest, and listens to and respects their views. He has extended an olive branch to our foes.

Though many hate him for this conciliatory attitude, insofar as he is not brash and abrasive as his predecessors, he nevertheless is wise enough to ponder rather than be pressured.

I am reminded of a prophet who was forewarned of God not to be troubled by the hard faces of his foes, whether they hated him, whether they were angry at him, or whether they were simply hard hearted against his word. The word is this:

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)

The President should listen to his enemies and weigh their words, in the light of day. If, for no cause, they fight us, and if it is war, down to the last man, woman, and child, then so be. And, God help us all.

Annihilation for the sake of peace is a valid option.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

March Against Tasers Targets City

FROM: Eddie G. Griffin 817-721-7439

March Against Tasers Targets City

FORT WORTH, Texas – On Saturday, November 7, people will march from downtown City Hall to the uptown County Courthouse, starting at noon, to highlight the increasing number of deaths related to tasing. The march dubbed as a March for Dignity is part of a growing movement around the country and the world to end the use of tasers deployed by law enforcement.

The Fort Worth demonstration is aimed to make a statement to city leaders and law enforcement.

The controversy arises at the same time the number of taser related fatalities approaches 500. At the same time, however, Taser International, the maker of the electronic control device (ECD), continually insists the weapon is non-lethal.

In Fort Worth, when Carolyn Daniels (#138) was died on the floor in the county jail after being tasered on June 24, 2005, hardly anyone paid notice. They said she had crack cocaine in her system. Had she not, we were led to believe, she would have survived the shocking.

But Michael Jacobs Jr. (#424) had no such foreign substance in his system when he was tasered and died on April 18, 2009.

As an emissary who stood over the coffin of the 24-year old young man, I delivered a Resolution to the family on behalf of the international community, and a network of supporters. From Amnesty International to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and bloggers around the world, we raised our voices against this form of torture and death.

I shed a tear for Michael. I shed a tear for Carolyn. I shed a tear for Deacon Fredrick William (#56) whose video electrocution was shown all over the internet, shocked repeatedly in the neck until dead. The remaining 22 minutes of the video was devoted to trying to bring him back to life, and the egg-look on the face of the officers.

But I shed more tears for the living and the unborn. When Valreca Redden was tasered by Trotwood police, she was pregnant. No one can imagine the trauma to the unborn fetus as his mother was being electrocuted with 50,000 volts of electricity. She was guilty of nothing except being distraught. The baby was completely innocent.

We are just now realizing some the lingering after-effects of tasing. Some who have been tasered in the past are now beginning to show signs of involuntary neuromuscular convulsions, what we otherwise would call the “twitches”.

Imagine, if you will, the last minute of Michael Junior’s life, for that is just about how long it took Officer Stephanie Phillips to summarily electrocute him and terminate his life.

For one minute, hold your breath, and close your eyes, and imagine sticking your finger into a light socket. Hold it there for one minute, while 240 volts of electricity race through your body. Are you still holding your breath?

That is what happened to Michael Jacobs Jr. But instead of 240 volts, it is 50,000 volts, blazing inside his body, for one whole minute. At the first jolt, the muscles contract and hold, and hold, and hold, until there is a release. If there is no release, the organ muscles shut down and organs began to pop.

Michael could not breathe, even if he wanted to. The lung muscles shut down. The heart muscle shut down. The bile burst, and the organs fried like chicken, for one eternity of a minute. Thus, what the coroner saw was ruled a homicide.

Consider the Poem by Willie Jolley:

I have only just a minute, only sixty seconds in it
Forced upon me, can't refuse it
Didn't seek it, didn't choose it,
But it's up to me to use it
I must suffer if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute
But Eternity is in it.

In memory of Michael Jacobs Jr. by Eddie G. Griffin (BASG)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Larger than Life Limbaugh: REJECTED

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bite the bullet, Rush. It’s not personal, it’s only business. Where you seek to plow and profit is a ground cursed to you. You will profit, but only at the expense of the league, the players, and the integrity of the game. As your revenues go up, America’s image goes down the tube.

Sorry, Rush, the NFL is looking for tunas that taste good, not tunas with bad taste.

Whatever distractions you bring to the game would cost your business partners dearly. I assure you, even I would hate to watch my favorite pasttime sport, knowing you were part owner of a team.

And even if you represent as much as 49% of the American listening audience, 51% owners say NO, NO, NO… HELL, NO!

Have a good day, Rush, and give your ego a break and your tonsils some rest. You are beginning to sound like a spoiled brat.

And, don’t even think about suing.

Eddie Griffin, BASG

Seek Peace

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (1 Peter 3:8-12 KJV)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize Committee Honors President Barack Obama

What it means

By Eddie Griffin

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The key word here is not Barack Obama, but “Peace”, something people seems to have a lost a sense of, here, recently.

Rush Limbaugh called the Peace Prize “a joke”. He obviously mistakes the message with the messenger. Hence, he announces that he and the Taliban are “on the same side”, as if an irony. Barack Obama, says Limbaugh, should not receive the honor.

Ross Douthat, New York Times News Service, writes this article for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Barack should have turned down the Nobel Peace Prize” (excerpted):

Obama gains nothing from the prize… He’s the Nobel laureate who’ll probably fail… the prize leaves Obama more open to ridicule. It confirms, as a defining narrative of his presidency, the gap between his supporters’ cloud-cuckoo-land expectations and the inevitable disappointments of reality... "the world’s biggest celebrity," famous more for being famous than for any accomplishment… Great achievements may still await our Nobel president. If Obama goes from strength to strength, then this travesty will be remembered as a footnote to his administration, rather than a defining moment.

But by accepting the prize, he’s made failure, if and when it comes, that much more embarrassing and difficult to bear.

Eddie Griffin from Cloud-Cuckoo-Land to Ross Douthat @ New York Times News Service

Notwithstanding, according to the bible, there will be wars and rumors of wars, Ross Douthat now elevates Rush Limbaugh’s hope of President Barack Obama’s failure to a prophecy of inevitability. Note that he says “the Nobel laureate who’ll probably fail”, followed by “failure, if and when it comes”.

Notice in history: Failure and black men go together like white on rice… bleached, processed, and conditioned.

Otherwise, those of us who voted for Obama and support him have been relegated by the writer to Cloud-Cuckoo-land, with our idealistic Utopian expectations. Far enough, except when I hear Rush Limbaugh says that he is “ironically” on the same side as the Taliban, I wonder who is on Cloud-Cuckoo-land. It seems to me, birds of a feather flock together.

The Taliban hates peace, because the conditions of peace favor the Americans more than the Taliban. That, I can understand. But when an American talk show radio host identifies with and agrees with the Taliban, he spurns the message of peace because he hates the messenger. He insults the very people who voted for Obama. He assails our hope.

Says Limbaugh, Barack Obama should not receive the Nobel Peace Prize honor. But then, what does Limbaugh know about “honor” and giving honor to who honor is due? Instead, he slanders the award in order to demean the man.

Critics say Obama has only been in office 10 months, and the award is premature, that he has not earned it yet. And then, there is that “thin narrow minority” (which Jimmy Carter described) who hate to see a black man honored at anything. They hate the fact that he is President to begin with, let alone winning the Peace Prize.

I’m not surprised. I’ve heard it all before. Martin Luther Coon should not get the Nobel Peace Prize because he is a Communist, and the most dangerous man in America. The advocate of Peace won. The Prince of Peace was crucified on the cross. Martin was martyred, not as a saint, but a man they hated because of the color of his skin.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

In Martin’s day, they were enemies of peace, because keeping Negroes in their place was the only type of peace they wanted. Now, they extol MLK as some kind of saint, posthumously, of course, with all the other so-called saints and prophets.

When Christmas time comes, they will do like the typical hypocrite. They'll send out a card that proclaims: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will towards men. (Luke 2:14) Needless to say, good will is needed before we can ever hope for peace.

That was the message.

The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3:18) The hateful cannot make peace nor can they find peace within.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask. (James 4:1-2)

BlogBlast For Peace: November 5, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Just Saw the Doctor:

Sobbering words from Michael Burgess, M.D.

I just came from seeing the doctor. I’m fine. But the doc is kinda sick, at least by my diagnosis. That would be my congressman, Dr. Michael C. Burgess, U.S. Representative for the 26th District.

One on one, we talked at each other, some hits, some misses, and how much really stuck, I don’t know. I am sick and tired of hearing about healthcare. All I want for my people is that they get medical treatment, when they need it, at an affordable cost. That’s the bottom line.

It was not my job, as a constituent, to read a 1,000-page healthcare proposal, and follow and track every major and minor change. That’s why we sent him to Congress.

Had I ever wavered in my confidence in him? No. I even publicly recommended that he and President Barack Obama meet and go through the bill, line by line. [Obviously, the President had said some idiocy like he would meet with any member of Congress and go through the bill, line by line, and Burgess called his bluff and got snubbed.]

I liked Burgess' healthcare co-opt financing plan, as a compromise, and a few other good ideas. And, as for healthcare cost reduction through tort reform, there was room for negotiations (less legal fees and support from the legal and labor industries). We understood the bill was being shaped by competing interests.

But cost reduction by efficiency never came into the discussion. Instead, the congressman only wanted to do was explain his NO vote against the healthcare proposal, and why he would probably vote NO at the end, and why he did not conduct a town hall meeting in the minority community.

He was concerned also about how the economic downturn was impacting this, the poorest community in his district. One of the reasons he opposed the healthcare bill, he claims, was because all the new healthcare clinics was going to Democratic districts. And, it was appearing that all the stimulus money was going up North.

How were we fairing in Southeast Fort Worth?

"To the victor go the spoils", I reminded him. He had had his heydays, during the last Republican administration, when our community was most neglected. To the victor went the spoils, then. To the victor should go the spoils, we agreed... end of that discussion.

Poverty was being mitigated, but infant mortality was still high.

The congressman described some of the town hall meetings he had conducted on the healthcare issue. Some forums were vocal and volatile. He could not see inviting such volatility into our minority community, which was mainly pro-Democratic, and contrary to his party line vote. To do so would be like inviting the Tea Party to The Hood. At the very thought, I could see the terror in his eyes, as we sat nose to nose at a table over a cup of coffee. "Security," he muttered.

The African-Americans in our community would act civilly, I assured him. That wasn't the problem. He wasn’t too sure about his people.

“Teach them how to be more civil,” I said, alluding to Rep. Joe Wilson's recent gaff remark, and how he, Burgess, had been caught flatfooted on MSNBC TV. The reported had asked him pointedly, if he thought Joe Wilson's remarks were civil. Burgess replayed about how Bush was booed, and evaded answering the question, altogether.

“You," he He laughed, "a former Black Panther, are going to tell me about being civil?”

I replied, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” And that was that.

We have our work cut out for us ahead. He concedes that healthcare reform, in some form or another, will pass, without his approval. The insurance companies want mandatory coverage, with a punishment clause for those who do not purchase insurance. There will be no public option. Although he supports co-opts, in lieu of the public option, he will probably not support any bill.

He assured me of his precarious political position as a Republican representative of our district. Just talking to me, he would be branded as a traitor. On the other hand, I know Democrats who depises my talking to a Republican.

"That’s why we put you in the hot seat," I reminded him, "in order for you can take the flack. It’s not my job to take heat."

In the next election, he may be opposed by a member of his own party, and he assured me that if he had a successor, his opponent would be East of Eden in conservatism.

I must acknowledge the forces that would make Barack Obama, a disappointed one-term president like Jimmy Carter, who, in my opinion, the best man ever to hold the office before now. Burgess, on the other hand, still calls George W. Bush “his president”, and refuses to recognize the presidency of Barack Obama.

There is a page in obscurity reserved for the presidency of Barack Obama, if the revisionists ever have their way. Other one-term presidents have been rendered into obscurity. Therefore, all I can say is:

Let us work, while it is day. For the night cometh when no man can work (John 9:4).

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We are a Hopeless Society

By Eddie Griffin

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I know it is not a nice thing to say, but our society is Hopeless. To that end, I am glad that I have not put much hope in the people that make up this society. That many people are hopeless comes as no surprise. Just pick up the newspaper: “Man abducts 11-year old and holds her captive for 28 years.” This is insane. How could such a person live among us for 28 years without notice? The answer is: He looked and acted “normal”.

The Bell Curve of Normalcy is totally out of whack.

What would make it acceptable to a group of juveniles to bash another kid in the head and kill him? Isn’t this insane?

No, it is too much like sane acceptable behavior, because everybody thinks they have a right to do their own thing. There is no forethought of consequence. Who ever does consider the consequences, anyway? Society is so hopelessly self-satisfied and perfect in its own eyes.

Consider this contradiction: President Barack Obama ran on a campaign of Hope… hope for the future, hope for the nation, hope for the children, and hope for the downtrodden. Another man, Rush Limbaugh has hope also. He hopes the President fails. Too many people agree with the latter hope.

But hope for failure is self-destructive, but it own motive. Hope for success is plowed in high expectations. It takes collective work and responsibility to succeed. It takes nothing to fail.

That our society is hopeless does not kill my joy, because my hope is not in this world, neither is my hope in fallible man. My hope is in the life after.

And so, I rejoice in a hope that the world does not have, nor can receive. The house is on fire. Nero played the fiddle because it was hopeless. I rejoice in hope of a rescue from Christ Jesus out of the flames.

I voted for Barack Obama because he espoused and inspired hope. That there are hope killers goes without saying.

Former President, Jimmy Carter, was right, including his assertion that the majority of the white people in the South oppose the President because of the color of his skin. People will admit to the abstract existence of racism, but they will never put the tail on the donkey. It is always: “I know racism exists, but not me.” It is the wolf in sheep’s clothes to deny, deny, deny.

Like Carter, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck in Texas.

It is prudent for President Barack Obama not to acknowledge it publicly, less he gives it more life, credence, and legitimacy. For all intent and purpose, however, the wolf has lost its teeth. It can only espouse hatred and violence.

I am propounded daily by select colleagues professing: The wolf is over here. Come and help us before we are eaten.

The Republicans are coming. The Republicans are coming. They are going to try to take back the Whitehouse in 2012.

What is that to me when society is hopeless? Should I care if the next president is black or white, Democrat or Republican? Who holds the future, anyway?

This does not say that I do not care. No, I just do not care for the path our society is following. I care for those who are being led into self-destruction, particularly the innocent children.

A speech by the President aimed at school children was dubbed as “propaganda” and an attempt at “brainwashing”. This being said long before the words of the speech were published.

It’s the same old same old. I teach your kids and we call it education. You teach my kids and we call it brainwashing. What is brainwashing except the selective exclusion of facts, and inclusions of myths, distortions, and lies?

I often asked myself, while growing up in Texas, why there were no Negroes in the history books. I discovered a deliberate attempt many years ago to exclude Colors out of the newspapers, except for negative image stories. Where can I learn of my forefathers contributions to society? It was never intended that I should.

The talk about propaganda and brainwashing is a pure hoax, in the context of advocating hope, because hope is without substance, something yet unmade. Hope is not seen. It is only envisioned. And, without a vision, the people perish.

Which brings us back to today, and why we are a hopeless society.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What’s so good about this morning? I have good news. The doctors say that my 9-year old grandson, Little Ed, is cancer free. After 13 weeks of radiation treatments, he will not require surgery for cancer in the colon and lower intestine. The bleeding ulcers are gone also.

I am still guardedly hopefully and prayerful that his recovery will be complete. His stomach and intestines are still raw from the treatments. He must drink Ensure three times a day until his insides heal.

Through it all, he never lost a beat. Maybe a few days out of school, otherwise his illness never took one iota of joy from his being a nine-year old kid. He has been vibrant, energetic, and no one could tell that he was so sick. In fact, everybody thought he was faking, at first- his school, his parents, and even his little sisters.

One day, he got sick while eating some cheese at school. [He is allergic to cheese]. It was a mistake, only to be repeated. However, I fault no one for the mistake. But his daily visits to the nurse’s office caused grandpa some concerns, because no conceived how seriously he was ill. I intervened and insisted on a full diagnosis, and that is when they discovered the cancer after extensive examination.

The X-ray pictures and scopes looked good at first. This reinforced the suspicion that he was faking. But the biopsy came back positive.

I was devastated, and made some vows that I must now keep. I vowed to shave my head, cut off my beard, and shave my mustache, so that Little Ed and Big Ed could be hairless together. It was an expression of the depth of my pain. Afterwards, I felt as weak as Sampson with no hair. I looked and felt like the 63-year old grandpa that I am. In fact, hairless, nobody recognized me, not even my own 84-year old mother.

I would tell Little Ed that he would be fine by the time our hair grew. Today, he is cancer free and back at school, with special doctor’s orders and permits.

The treatment took its toll, of course. At church, we had put him on our continuous prayer list. Then he was stricken with pneumonia and had to miss a few early school days. We updated our prayer list. Then, he fell off a trampoline and required seven stitches in his bottom lip.

He claims that some kids pick on him at school because they know he is sick, and he is also biracial. He was suspended for punching a girl who pushed him into another boy. [Needless to say, grandpa will be fighting for to expunge the disciplinary record.] He tells me that it is painful whenever a kid hits him in the stomach. And now, his stomach will get a chance to heal. He is on an Ensure diet.

He and I have been hanging out together more and more, since shaving our heads. We talk, grandpa to grandson, and visa versa. Never once, in all of our conversations, did he express fear, dismay, or hurt about his illness. There was not a hint of self-pity. In fact, he has been chipper all the while and even a bit mischievous at time. So, we talked about his punching the little girl and using poor judgment. [He is grounded for a month].

So, we talked extensively about behavior at school, church, home and everywhere, about being good and doing the right thing. I put a question to him. While driving along, we passed a neighborhood store where winos and drug addicts hang out. I told him that I did not want him to waste his life like this.

He is a kid who speaks so matter-of-factly. That was the way he spoke of his illness, and that was the way he replied. “I know I’m not going to wound up like that,” he replied, confidently.

He has a reputation in the family as being Mr. Know-It-All, so I asked, “How do you know?”

“I’m going to be a Christian,” he matter-of-factly answered.

For once, grandpa was dumbfounded and proud. His reply put a ton of lead in my belly. This was the same 9-year old who told me that he wanted to be like Barack Obama. He wanted to be President of the United States. How will he overcome the obstacles of poverty, deprivation, and degradation? He wants to be a Christian.

To show his sincerity and seriousness, he picked up the church bulletin in the car seat, looked at the church calendar, and said: “And I want to go to this, this, and this.”

Woe is grandpa on the spot. Now, I must pick him up for church, every Sunday, every Wednesday night, and every time the church doors open. Grandpa must now go to the nursing homes with the church on our given Saturdays, and preach when it is his time to preach.

Didn’t he know that grandpa was exhausted?

I wish and pray that I can make all the events at church and at school. Everybody and everything else in my life has been re-prioritized.

Eddie Griffin

[This is the story of just one of my 10 grandchildren. They each have a different and unique story with grandpa]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Texas Tea Party Deluge

Dear Bill O’Reilly,

I am writing to clear my conscious of any ill will I may have had against the Tea Party rally in Fort Worth on Saturday. I admit that I was dismayed to learn of the Glenn Beck inspired rally, when I wrote: “It is a somber gray rainy day in Fort Worth. To everything, there is a season.” (See email, Sept. 12, 2009, 1:11 pm). I had watched the rally broadcasted by FOX, and I received an email invitation to attend.

I was sad for America, because in the midst of it all, some of our children were being taught to hate… hate the President… hate his race… hate the poor and uninsured… hate whatever else is “hateable”, because there is not love within them.

I saw the rally in Fort Worth on FOX, and my own Congressman Michael C. Burgess in attendance. I thought he was my friend.

Then I wrote another email (See email, Sept. 12, 2009, 4:19 pm) with this P.S.: I'm disappointed that the rain in Fort Worth was so light. But then, God knows best.

I am ashamed that I wished more rain upon the heads of those who attended the rally for hateful purposes. I wished no ill-will upon the good-hearted people. After all, our church children had a picnic on the same day, at the same time, and it was forced inside.

No, I did not pray for more rain. Instead, I tried to find comfort in the scriptures which said: God causes it to rain upon the just and the unjust. I found it in Matthew 5:45. But I found, also, more than what I was looking for. It reads:

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Accordingly, I have adopted a different attitude.

Nevertheless, it has rained and rained and rained in North Texas, from the time that the first drizzle dropped on the head of the Tea Party attendees. Surely, the Lord causes it to rain on the just and the unjust. And, if you listen to the unjust, they will blame the rain on the just.

I am reminded to be careful not to pray for ill-will upon those who hate me.

Yet the rain fell... and the floods came... Who considers God in these matters.

Eddie Griffin (BASG)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Towards Closure and Resolution in Taser Death of Michael Jacobs Jr

By Eddie Griffin (BASG)

Saturday, August 29, 2009


We now have closure in the Fort Worth Police Department’s taser death case of a 24-year old man, who had been diagnosed with mental illnesses. We have closure insofar as the Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled the death of Michael Jacobs Jr. as a “homicide caused by the officer’s use of the Taser”. We have closure insofar as the officer admits administering two jolts of 50,000 volts to Jacobs’ body longer than the 5-second limitation. A 49-second jolt, followed by a 5-second jolt, caused a “sudden death during neuromuscular incapacitation due to application of a conducted energy device”, i.e. Taser.

Tarrant County ME Dr. Nizam Peerwani also ruled: “Repeat postmortem toxicology studies were negative for all drugs including psychomotor stimulant drugs and ethanol.” In other words, here was an innocent 24-year old African-American man with no drugs in his system at all. He was clean as a baby and healthy. And yet, in less than a minute, he is dead after being shocked with a taser.

A healthy man shocked to death in less than a minute says something of the lethality of the weapon used, i.e. Taser.

We now have closure in the cause of death: Homicide. But was it negligent homicide, by not taking the preliminary and necessary precautions as required?

Cpl. Stephanie A. Phillips claims that she “unknowingly kept the Taser trigger engaged for an unknown amount of time when she first applied the Taser, thus increasing the pre-programmed shock duration cycle of five seconds.” In other words, she over-road the pre-programmed limit for shock duration.

The objective of the Taser X26 is to incapacitate. A five second during may not be lethal. Beyond that, the Taser is obviously lethal, as proven by over 500 deaths since 2001. To override the non-lethal level of deployment, an officer runs the risk of summary punishment by electrical execution. An officer should not override the product safety guidelines. To “unknowingly” override the product safety limit, Officer Phillips went beyond the purpose of incapacitating the subject Michael Jacobs.

The officer was negligent in the deployment of lethal force. Tasers can kill.

I believe that Cpl. Phillips and the entire Fort Worth Police Department are not convinced of the lethality of Tasers. They are too quick and easy to use, and officers have a willy-nilly attitude about using them. It makes their job easier. But, by the same token, it endangers the public.

If there had been a single trace of drugs in Michael Jacobs’ body, the Medical Examiner would have ruled like other medical examiners. It has been easy to attribute the cause of taser deaths to drugs inside the subject’s system, but not in this case. It is not the victim’s fault that he died in less than a minute after being tased. It was the Taser that killed him, albeit the officer may have thought it less lethal.


I attended the funeral of Michael Jacobs Jr. and delivered a Resolution on behalf the thousands of the church and Internet community of readers and supporters. In the Resolution or Michael Jacobs Jr., I wrote:

We also know that Michael did not have to die like this because we have been warning police departments all across the United States for years that Tasers Kill. These devices send out a 50,000-volt charge. If one of us shocked ourselves on an electrical outlet at home, we would get jolted with only 120 volts, and all of us know how that feels. This was 50,000 volts, not 120 or 240. Even when the state of Texas executed men on death row by electric chair, “Old Sparky” could only generate 20,000 volts.

TASER International, Inc. insists that it is not the voltage but the amperage, yet we know so little about the body’s own neurological electrical system. Dr. Peerwani was specific in determining the cause of death: “neuromuscular incapacitation”. In other words, the electrical signals from the brain to the muscles in the body completely shut down, including the heart muscle.

It is a fact that people in highly agitated states should not be tasered. Maybe it is because the neurological activities in the brain are more susceptible to increasing the amperage of the electrical shock. Some survive. Some die. Everybody’s neurological system is different.

Friday, August 28, 2009

World Renowned Medical Examiner Ruled Taser Death: Homicide

UPDATE: The Michael Jacobs Case

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports reads: “Fort Worth Taser Death Ruled Homicide”.

FORT WORTH — The Tarrant County medical examiner ruled Thursday that the death of a mentally ill man in April who was shocked twice by a Taser stun gun wielded by a Fort Worth police officer was a homicide.

It was the fourth time that a person shocked by a Taser has died in Fort Worth police custody since the department started using the devices in 2001, according to the Police Department.

But the death of Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr., 24, is the first that Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani has ruled to be a homicide.

From Eddie Griffin (BASG)

In an interview with Fort Worth Weekly writer Peter Gorman, Tarrant County Medical Examiner Dr. Nizam Peerwani says, “It's still very difficult to determine the role a Taser charge may play in a death, but what we can learn from history is that there are people in certain excited states who perhaps should not be shocked.”

When asked if he about the maker of the taser device, the doctor noted the actions of TASER International had "a policy of suing medical examiners who find Tasers as having contributed to or caused a death".

“That can be very intimidating, of course,” he said. But, he added, it doesn't affect his decisions. “We are working on a case right now where the Taser was used, and we are looking at it very closely. And if we determine that the Taser was a contributing factor, we will be clear on that.”

Who is Nizam Peerwani?

Dr. Nizam Peerwani is probably the highest-profile medical examiner in the United States. His territory covers four counties, but he's been called upon often to lend his expertise as far away as Afghanistan and Bosnia.

Peerwani has traveled a great deal for organizations such as Physicians for Human Rights, the United Nations, and Human Rights Watch, investigating claims of genocide and other abuses in far-flung corners of the globe - all pro bono.

Asked about his international work, Peerwani launched into a story about going to Rwanda in 1996, where his group had to be protected by Nigerian special forces under the banner of the U.N. while they searched for mass graves. "We found one that had 550 bodies in it. Our group only did one grave, but there were many more from that time."

Such work has taken him to killing fields in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Indonesia, El Salvador, Iraq, and Peru. He was called to Afghanistan in 2002, shortly after the United States sent in troops, to investigate what had happened to about 2,000 suspected Taliban and al Qaeda members who allegedly had surrendered to a local warlord and U.S. ally and then been killed. Their bodies had not been located, but human rights officials believed they'd been buried in mass graves in the desert. Peerwani and others with Physicians for Human Rights questioned local shepherds, found the bodies, and identified them as those of the men who had surrendered to the warlord.

There's another area of human rights work where Peerwani is a player in a much different way. Amnesty International and other groups around the world for years have complained about the abuses of Taser electric-shock weapons by police agencies - especially in the United States and in Texas in particular.

Questions have been raised about several cases in which people died after having been tasered - in most cases, repeatedly - by Fort Worth police. Those deaths, in part, led the police department to change some of its policies on Taser use a few years ago.

Some local attorneys question Peerwani's willingness to go along with Fort Worth police on cases involving deaths by Taser. And there's some controversy about Peerwani's work for the federal women's prison hospital at Carswell. Judges, attorneys, former inmates, and families of inmates who died at Carswell or at local hospitals are outraged about the poor quality of the prison's medical care, which evidence suggests has led to many deaths. And yet, because Peerwani's private company holds the contract to do Carswell autopsies, families of inmates can't get copies of his findings on the deaths of their loved ones.

Columnist Bob Ray Sanders writes:

Speaking of the April 18th tasing death of Jacobs, who was also diagnosed as bipolar and schizoid, Columnist Bob Ray Sanders writes: “While that seems like a long time, we do want the medical examiner’s office to get it right.” Sanders recommends that the Fort Worth Police Department issue a moratorium “on the use of Tasers until there is another thorough review of the department’s policies on the stun guns and until there can be more independent analyses of their effectiveness versus their danger. For the most part we’ve depended on the manufacturer’s analysis.”


The taser death ruling as “a homicide”, coming from a world renowned Medical Examiner needs our attention. The Taser Death Case of Michael Jacobs Jr. will go before a Grand Jury.

Who will present the case?

District Attorney Joe Shannon said his office will review reports from police and Peerwani and present a case to a grand jury to determine what, if any, charge the officer might face. The grand jury likely will also hear testimony from witnesses.

Shannon emphasized that the homicide ruling does not necessarily mean that anyone will be charged with a crime.

“The word homicide does not mean crime,” he said. “It just means that the death involved another person.”

Charges involving death typically range from criminally negligent homicide to murder, but there are many other possibilities, Shannon said.

"There are probably 20 possibilities that could come out of this," Shannon said. "I don’t know if it will be any."


Answer: When it is done with impunity and without consequences.

Someone must be held responsible for the death of an innocent man by lethal application of an officer’s weapon. Who is responsible for the death of the innocent, mentally ill Michael Jacobs?

Previously, Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead supported the officer’s use of force, as being consistent with department policies.

If policies for taser deployment were followed, as claimed, and it resulted in “homicide”, have we legalized “homicide” in the hands of the police?

And, what of these “20 possibilities” of homicide, are they saying there is an invention called “accidental homicide” defense?

Clearly, the district attorney has no heart for this… as does no one else in the community. But the facts must be laid bare, and the chips fall where they may. Let Justice reign instead.

If the Fort Worth Police Department still supports the policy and officer in question, then their only defense would be that they were “duped” by TASER International’s sales pitch of non-lethality.


“Taser International is always concerned when a death tragically occurs in police custody. While we have not been provided a copy of the medical examiner’s report, we continue to stand by the safety of our Taser technology,” said Steve Tuttle, Taser International’s vice president of communications.

Someone Must Take Responsibility for an Innocent Man’s Death

The Jacobs Family has endured emotional trauma and financial hardship since the death of their son. Four months of waiting for a ruling is too long for settling an insurance death claim, out of which comes funeral expenses and debt. And, only lately, as an after thought, the family gets condolences from the Chief of Police.

Who will pay the death damages? How much is Michael Jacobs’s life worth to the City of Fort Worth? Is the police department liable for wrongful death?