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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tasering in London a wakeup call for our generation

September 28, 2011
High School Perspective
By Cole Froude, Tillsonburg News

September 22, was a shocking and disturbing day for all teenagers across our region.

A 17-year old adolescent male was involved in a fight that started at approximately 12 p.m., in downtown London. The 17-year-old - whose name has yet to be released - picked up a lawn chair to defend himself against a brutal attack against him.

A nearby police officer saw the event unfold and rushed to the scene, pulled out his taser and open fired on the 17-year-old.

The youth took a direct hit to the head and chest. All the action was caught on a cell phone recording device and immediately uploaded to the popular video sharing site YouTube.

This caused a heated debate over the past few days, arguments over excessive use of force and responsible policing blew up the comment sections of the video, causing the most talked about event of the day.

The 17-year-old's mother has launched a lawsuit against the London Police Department. "He was only sent to the hospital because of the tasering," she said in a public statement.

The police officer who fired the taser did not use any means of communication to calm down the situation.

Is that morally right? A police officer can't arrest you for no reason but tasering you without any notice is okay?

London police Chief Duncan said that, "We are not required to issue a warning before tasering."

Really? Are you kidding me? What if this person was blind, or was developmentally challenged? Would that change things?

At the time the kid was tasered, the fight had already calmed down.

Is this police brutality?

Not only does it disgust me to know that a kid my age was tasered but to even think that the provincial guidelines state tasers should not be used in sensitive areas such as the head just outrages me.

London police say they are doing an internal investigation.

But its not all doom and gloom.

Monday, students from Beal Secondary School took to the streets and exercised their civil right to protest. About 150 protesters turned up to support the cause of police brutality.

A 19-year-old named Kyle, who helped organize this protest, told London's AM 980 News, "We are starting to stand up for ourselves... right now we are just trying to spread the word that cops need to be more accountable for their actions."

I applaud these kids who risked suspension and maybe a grounding or two by their parents to come out and protest.

Thames Valley District School Board issued a statement after the protest concerning the disciplinary action of the students who walked out of class.

"Any issues concerning this is being dealt with on a case by case basis. No suspensions have been issued at this time."

We all have a say in this world. Let this be a wakeup call for all of us young adolescents of this generation.

Change starts with us don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.

Cole Froude is a Glendale High School co-op student doing his placement at the Tillsonburg NewsNews

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