No To Tasers for BPD!
Yes to De-Escalation and Police De-Militarization!
On Tuesday, October 6th, at 5:30pm, the Berkeley City Council will hold a special meeting to consider a report on the acquisition of Tasers by the Berkeley Police Department. Currently BPD (along with SFPD) do not have tasers. This report was commissioned a year and a half ago by the Berkeley City Council, and was writeen by Stanford Criminal Justice Center. The report can be found on our site here.
As amnesty International puts it:
“Tasers have become tools of the lazy cop who wants a suspect down in an instant, a tool that police have been told so often is “nonlethal” that they have come to use it without much regard for why they’re firing it or where they’re aiming.”
Tuesday, October 6th 5:30pm
Old City Hall, Allston and MLK, Berkeley CA
Come speak out against this madness. Tell the City Council NO to police Tasers!
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send a letter to your city councilmember!
District 1 Linda Maio (510) 981-7110 P lmaio@CityofBerkeley.info
District 2 Darryl Moore (510) 981-7120 P dmoore@CityofBerkeley.info
Dear Berkeley City Councilmember,
As a member of the Berkeley Community, I would like to register my support for a ban on the use of tasers by Berkeley Police. I believe that Berkeley needs to use its resources and money to assist the people in our city who are suffering from homelessness, mental illness, poverty and lack of education. As a community, we must come together to demand that the city and police find humane alternatives for dealing with mentally ill people and those who don’t immediately respond to police orders.
The Berkeley police have suggested that they believe Tasers are an alternative to lethal force. At a press conference in May 2013, Berkeley Police Sgt. Emily Murphy suggested that, “If we can save even one person’s life by deploying a Taser instead of a firearm, then city leaders have a responsibility to at least look into Tasers for our police officers.” This is wildly misleading. In reality, Tasers are not used as an alternative to a firearm in a life threatening situation. An article in April 2014 issue of “The Police Chief” (a professional magazine), describes a continuum of force that officers are expected to follow. The continuum says that officers are expected to use the least amount of force necessary to effect an arrest. That makes sense, but in this continuum, Tasers are NOT an alternative to a firearm. In fact, Tasers are relatively low on the continuum of force right next to batons and kicks/punches. By classifying Tasers as synonymous with a kick or a punch however, policy makers are inviting more frequent use of Tasers. Tasers are not used as a substitute for firearms; they are clearly being used as weapons of compliance.
I’d urge you to go to coalitionforataserfreeberkeley.org/news to see countless cases of people dying at the hands of police with tasers. There’s an overwhelming body of evidence suggesting that Tasers do, in fact, kill. Amnesty International has registered over 500 deaths at the hands of police tasers.
Berkeley Community Member