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Indybay Feature

Speak Out Against Tasers for SF Police

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
Michael Lyon
Location Details:
SF Police Commission
SF City Hall, Room 400
Polk, betw Grove & McAllister

Speak Out Against Tasers
Police Commission Meeting
Wednesday, February 10, 5:30 PM
City Hall, Room 400

According to a Feb 3rd SF Chronicle,, Police Chief Greg Suhr plans to reintroduce equipping officers with stun guns at next week’s Police Commission meeting (Wed, Feb 10). In the article Suhr says he believes that if the five officers who shot Woods had a Taser, Woods would not be dead.

Mayor Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr are cynically trying to use our outrage over the SF Police Department’s execution-style murder of Mario Woods to push for arming SF police with tasers. They claim that if the police had tasers, it would not have been “necessary” to kill Mario. It’s outrageous enough for Suhr to suggest it was necessary to gun Mario down like a mad dog. But he’s also lying again. He's saying that in a life-endangering police confrontation, when it’s now “necessary” to kill us, that using a taser would make it "unnecessary" to kill us.

This is a deliberate lie, because police training procedures explicitly say that in a life-threatening situation, officers are *NOT* to use tasers; they are to use guns instead. So this same racist routine of police killing people of color they say are endangering them will continue, whether cops have tasers or not. In fact, a UCSF study showed fatal police shootings increase after police have tasers.

Instead, tasers will just be another weapon police have to terrorize us unto submission. 80% of taser use is against unarmed victims, frequently in handcuffs or hog-tied. Tasers are used against people who disturb the orderly flow of public meetings, as we did to stop the new jail. Or women who don't put out their cigarette, as with Sandra Bland. Police use tasers disproportionately against Blacks, Latins, people with disabilities, homeless, and the mentally ill. In San Diego Blacks and Latins are twice as likely to be tased as whites

Anybody who's been downtown during Superbowl week or seen videos of it, guards with submachine guns all over the place has gotten a visceral idea of what increased police presence means. After the Superbowl, when things "calm down," things will not be as they were. San Francisco is hiring up to 400 new police at the same time that people's anger and outrage is growing over evictions, displacement, luxury condos, and gentrification. We need justice, not tasers. Please come to the Police Commission next Wednesday, February 10, 5:30 PM in City Hall, Room 400.
Added to the calendar on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 4:10PM
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