Another stupid Taser death. What can we do? Obama or Clinton?

Tasers kill.  They kill needlessly.  We are told they are non-lethal, but they often kill.  And worse, cops often resort to them in situations when any sort of force is inappropriate, much less lethal force.

What can citizens do to get rid of tasers?  And which candidate seems most responsive to actually protecting citizens civil liberties? Here's a story of a man tased three times, and killed.  And his crime?  Too incapacitated by an illness to leave his car.

Goodyear worker in Kansas dies after tasering by police

By Kate Randall -- 4 April 2008

Friends and co-workers of an employee at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant in Topeka, Kansas, were horrified when the man died after being tasered three times by police last Saturday night.

Shawnee County Sheriff's deputies received a medical emergency call at 11:17 p.m. March 29 from the Goodyear plant. Workers and management were concerned for the safety of Walter E. Haake Jr., 59, who had reportedly taken a fall earlier at home and might have sustained a head injury. Haake, who went by the name "Ed," had arrived at the plant for work at 11 a.m.

When the deputies arrived on the scene, they found Haake behind the wheel of a white Jeep in the parking lot. A number of Goodyear employees, as well as company fire and rescue personnel, were also on the scene. American Medical Response (AMR) personnel were also summoned. Eyewitnesses reported that Haake was acting disoriented, and they were worried that he might endanger himself or others if he drove home.

At a press conference Wednesday, Shawnee County Sheriff Dick Barta reported that one of the AMR personnel said Haake had been in need of medical attention and asked the deputies to remove him from the vehicle. Barta said that the deputies tried to communicate with Haake, who "continued to be uncooperative."

At this point, the officers ordered Haake to leave his vehicle, and threatened the use of the Taser if he refused. When he did not comply, one of the deputies used the Taser in "drive stun" mode for two seconds on Haake's left thigh. When he still did not exit the vehicle, a second two-second Taser was delivered, followed by a third for an additional four seconds.

(In the "drive stun" capacity, the Taser is held against a person without firing a cartridge, and is intended to inflict pain and incapacitate the individual.)

Haake was removed from the vehicle. It should be pointed out that the deputies at this point were in possession of Haake's keys. Goodyear worker Marc Luetje, who was present, commented later to the Topeka Capital-Journal, "They had his keys, where was he going to go?"

It took the police about 45 seconds to handcuff Haake, who was by this point lying on the ground. Luetje said that when the officers tried to get him to stand up, he was unresponsive. Medical personnel administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation to Haake, with his hands still cuffed behind his back. After about 20 minutes of CPR, the handcuffs were removed and the emergency personnel began an IV.

The rest of the story at:

Goodyear worker in Kansas dies after tasering by police

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    I do have to wonder (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Jen M on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:33:28 AM EST
    as a commenter on the original article asked(paraphrased):

    What train of thought leads someone to believe it is appropriate to taser a victim with of a medical problem?

    I mean really. It was called in as a medical emergency call. Isn't that, you know, a clue?