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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Death raises questions about taser safety AKA Rick Jones you're an ASSHOLE

Since the beginning of November, THREE American citizens have DROPPED DEAD after they were tasered. But US State Representative Rick Jones INSISTS tasers are SAFE. This guy definitely qualifies for a TASER BADGE OF IGNORANCE.

November 17, 2009 5:20 PM
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Just how safe are tasers, in the hands of police or anyone else? It's a question that has gained new ground after the death of a man in police custody Monday night.

State Representative Rick Jones has been a passionate advocate for tasers, in particular, making them available for ordinary citizens to carry. Rep. Jones went as far as to allow himself to be tasered in the State House in 2008.

The East Grand Rapids neighborhood where Matthew Bolick was tasered by police on Monday night was calming down Tuesday after a night many will remember. Newschannel 3 spoke with members of Bolick's family who told us that there is another side to the story and are horrified by what happened.

While Bolick's death has raised question on the issue of tasers, one lawmaker says what officers did on Monday night was the right thing.

Rep. Rick Jones allowed himself to be tasered in the State House in 2008, and now the former Eaton County Sheriff is speaking out again in the wake of Bolick's death.

"Certainly I think the taser is a good instrument for a police officer to use," said Rep. Jones. "I wouldn't call it a non-lethal weapon, I would call it a less than lethal weapon."

While the investigation continues into whether the three or four taser shots he took had anything to do with Bolick's death, there's long been a push to not only put tasers into the hands of police officers, but to put a single-shot taser into the hands of just about anybody.

So far, a pair of deaths involving tasers in Michigan have put a temporary halt to the legislation.

"I believe using a taser is much safer than striking somebody with a baton and that's what was used many, many years ago," said Jones.

In the case of Matthew Bolick, he was tasered multiple times, and an investigation has begun to see if those actions were warranted.

A citizen taser has been approved in nearly all 50 states, but in the big picture, the human rights group Amnesty International says it has documented more than 350 cases in which people have died after being shocked with tasers. Leaders at that organization believe more research needs to be done to see how effective the less than lethal weapon is for law enforcement.

Rep. Jones is standing steadfast in his belief that tasers work, and when they do kill, there are usually other factors contributing to the death.

"It's normally when they have a heart full of cocaine and some illicit drugs," said Jones, "they have damaged their body and they don't react like a normal human being."

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