Dr. Dawg

Tasers: a weapon of the oppressor

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Dziekanski killing.jpg

A just-released study has demonstrated what many of us already knew to be true: a Taser is the police cattle-prod of the twenty-first century, serving exactly the same function as it once did in the Deep South—to keep the oppressed in line.

Those most likely to get “tased” include the poor, mentally ill and chronic drug users, according to the study, led by Temitope Oriola, who received a Governor General’s Gold Medal for academic excellence upon the completion of his doctoral studies at the University of Alberta last year.

…”Taser use on the downtrodden has led to a very unhealthy mistrust, dread and fear of the police akin to the way members of the public are terrified by terrorist attacks,” the authors wrote.

Oriola is going to be somebody to watch in the years ahead. This is encouraging, to say the least:

The days when academics sit on the sidelines and do “objective analysis” are becoming a “thing of the past,” Oriola said. Scholars need to take a stance on issues, especially those that involve society’s most vulnerable, he said.

This will no doubt appall those whose access to “objective reality” is a privileged and cherished endowment—a secular Elect. But those of us with an academic background who are prepared to argue against the notion, still advanced in some quarters, that advocacy and scholarship are incompatible, will recognize in Oriola an energetic and effective ally.

Bravo. High time for a moratorium on Tasers. By the way, whatever happened to those four officers who killed Robert Dziekanski?

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on January 20, 2012 11:50 AM.

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