Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Petition to Outlaw Tasers In Randoph County Mo.

First this story started with this incident here:

Man Dies After Police Taser

MOBERLY - Stanley Harlan died after an early morning altercation with Moberly Police.

Moberly Police tasered the 23-year-old twice.

Police said Harlan was resisting arrest for suspicion of drunk driving when an officer tased him.

Police also said Harlan soon became unresponsive and died at Moberly Regional Medical Center around 2 a.m.

Today, family members gathered at the victim's home to express their grief, sorrow, and outrage at an incident they said was police brutality at its worst.

Harlan's mother cried, "I just want him home, I just want him to go home."

Harlan's family and friends said Moberly Police are to blame for their tears.

"I lost my youngest son, Stanley James William Harlan, who was twenty-three years old, because of the horrible excessive force the Moberly Police Department used to murder my son," said Athena Harlan.

Family members and witnesses said Harlan was tased twice, the second time while handcuffed, by police during a traffic stop. But Moberly Police said they tased Harlan once to stop his resisting arrest, and a second time briefly to finish handcuffing him.

Witnesses said after Harlan was tased twice by police officers, he was dragged to this curb where he lay awaiting help.

Harlan's mother, who said she witnessed the whole incident from her lawn, said her son was not resisting arrest.

"They said he was resisting arrest. Stan said no I'm not no I'm not. He was just standing there. The other officer yelled get the taser, get the taser," she said.

After the tasering, Harlan's mother said police saw there was something wrong.

"They pulled him up and said, 'Stanley, stand up, you're all right," said Athena Harlan.

Police said they called an ambulance, but witnesses said they paid more attention to Harlan's car than his condition.

Harlan's mother said police wouldn't allow her to perform CPR on her son at the scene, and another witness said they let him die in the gutter.

Police also adamantly defended the actions of their officers.

Moberly Commander Kevin Palmatory said he believes the officers acted properly because they had not gotten a chance to search Harlan before he was tazed.

The Columbia Police Department has had its own controversy over taser use.

This summer police used tasers on two men, but neither case was fatal.

Interim Columbia Police Chief Tom Dresner said what happened in Moberly this morning was very tragic and the hearts of Columbia police officers go out to Harlan's family and the Moberly police officer involved.

But as of now the Columbia Police Department's use of tasers will not change.

"Taser are a safe device to use so we are going to watch the situation until we have factual medical and scientific evidence as cause of death and at that point we will possibly reconsider, but at this point everything is going as it is," Dresner said.

Mary Hussmann, a representative of Grass Roots Organization, said the events that happened in Moberly this morning are an example of why the Columbia Police Department should take a second look at how and when they should use tasers.

GRO says it will be filing a resolution opposing police use of tasers with the columbia city council next week. GRO has gathered 500 signatures in the last five days.


And now it is into this process here:

Petition to Outlaw Tasers In Randolph County Mo.

MOBERLY - The family and friends of a Moberly man who was killed by a police Taser are on a mission to get Randolph County to outlaw the weapons.

Friends of the victim, Stanley Harlan, are asking Moberly voters to sign a petition that would put the issue on the ballot for the February municipal election. They say they wish the Moberly City Council would do more to help.

"The city hasn't even offered any condolences or offered any grief support for the family," petition volunteer Donna Fainter said. "This family's been going through quite a tragic thing and you know grief support would be really nice for the family."

The petition will need roughly 2,000 signatures to get on the ballot. A special prosecutor is currently investigating the officers who Tasered Harlan back in August.


If you want to view past petitions by citizen groups against the use of Tasers you can go to any search engine and type in this: No Taser Petitions

Play around with the wording in the search window to see if you can pull up more results.

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