The horrific behavior of the American police state has become so overt that it has garnered international attention. The United Nations is now calling for an investigation into multiple departments for the use of excessive force via tasers which they are finally referring to as “torture.”
The Free Thought Project has reported on countless incidents in which police officers in America have been captured on video torturing individuals—many of them restrained in handcuffs or chairs—with tasers. While we have long been referring to this practice as “torture,” the media at large has refused to do so which has allowed it to progress to its current horrifying state. However, it now appears that this is all changing.
Thanks to a recent report out of Reuters, which included footage of 22 incidents in four jails—Franklin County, Ohio; Franklin County, Arkansas; McCurtain County, Oklahoma; and Cheatham County, Tennessee—the U.N. special rapporteur on torture has finally acknowledged the abuse.
According to Reuters, after reviewing footage of jail incidents obtained by Reuters, Nils Melzer said the “grave abuse” from Taser use in some U.S. jails violated the United Nations’ prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and, in some cases, amounted to torture.
The videos of these incidents are so disturbing that they can no longer be swept under the rug.
“I think it’s good that we’ve got international oversight of this issue,” Attorney Ben Raybin said of the U.N. citation. “I think excessive force in our jails and prisons is a significant issue that often goes overlooked.
“Taser devices…have a great ability to be overused and misused, and I think having this oversight is an important (part) in improving how people are treated by law enforcement.”
Almost as equally disturbing as the videos is the fact that the officers in most of these cases have never faced discipline despite millions of dollars being paid out in lawsuits. In fact, one of the cops seen torturing a handcuffed, mentally ill man has been promoted to commander of the corrections center.
One of the jails in question happens to be the Cheatham County Jail in Tennessee. As TFTP reported at the time, in an extremely disturbing video, Cheatham County Sheriff’s Deputies are seen holding 18-year-old Jordan Norris down with a gag while another deputy sadistically and repeatedly deploys the taser. Naturally, Norris squirmed as 50,000 volts ran through his body. His movement seemed to provoke the deputies who responded with more taser strikes.
At one part in the video, you can hear a deputy tell Norris, “I’ll keep doing that until I run out of batteries.”
Norris said he remembered deputies asking him, “Do you want me to do it again? We got a whole bunch of batteries we can drain into you pretty much. We will do it over and over until we have no more.”
When Norris was released from prison, he was covered in burn marks from the taser. Somehow he made it through the torture without his heart stopping and went on to file a lawsuit against the deputies.
In another disturbing video, deputies in Columbus, Ohio were seen on video torturing an innocent pregnant woman with a taser for not removing her tongue ring fast enough.
“Take the tongue ring out,” Deputy Shawnda Arnold said. However, the victim, Martini Smith was struggling as her hands had been cuffed behind her for six hours and her numb fingers couldn’t grip the stud to unscrew it. She pleaded with police to get her a paper towel so she could get traction on the ring, but they refused.
“I will tase you!” barked corporal Matthew Stice.
“I just want to go to sleep,” Smith cried.
Instead of getting the helpless pregnant woman a paper towel to help her remove the tongue ring, Stice barked his warning again and then shot the taser directly into Smith’s bare chest.
The surge of debilitating electricity caused the mother to be to collapse into the concrete wall and then to the floor. Smith cried out in agony, gasping as she tried to maintain a bit of her humanity while being tortured—half-naked—by a male cop.
“Why did you Tase me?” she moaned. “I wasn’t harming nobody. I can’t just take it out.”
Just five days later, Smith would have a miscarriage. She had been wrongfully arrested for defending herself against her abusive boyfriend. She was entirely innocent.
Norris and Smith are just two people on a long list of others who’ve been inhumanely tortured by those sworn to protect and serve. The fact that the UN has had to get involved shows just how out of hand this problem has gotten.
Sadly, however, even though the UN claims it is going to investigate, their history in doing so indicates that not much will change. In 2014, as TFTP reported at the time, the UN stepped in during the protests in Ferguson, MO in which the military police state reared its ugly head. However, very little happened as a result of the UN attention.
Until the officers themselves are held accountable for their actions, we can expect to see more mentally ill men, pregnant women, and completely restrained teenagers endure torture in the land of the free.