Nov 17, 2015 Linwood Lambert of Virginia died after twenty tasings
Our nation is overpoliced, with the drug war heavily contributing to that situation. A critical step to reclaiming our civil liberties in our police state is to shrink the criminal justice system, which can be done by legalizing marijuana, prostitution and gambling; heavily decriminalizing all other drugs; eliminating mandatory minimum criminal sentencing and the death penalty; and eliminating per se guilty rules in drinking and driving cases.
We are bombarded with so many examples of police abuse that if I covered them all, my blog would be transformed to a police abuse blog.
Recently, video footage was released of South Boston, Virginia, police in 2013 repeatedly tasing handcuffed Linwood Lambert, who died soon thereafter. News reports say that police initially detained Mr. Lambert not for a crime, but to take him to the hospital for a mental evaluation. The reports and video footage portray the police tasing the handcuffed Lambert twenty times in thirty minutes, against the South Boston police department’s own policy against tasing restrained people.
The three police involved in the tasing of Mr. Lambert were promoted. (min. 4:00), after not even getting Mr. Lambert the medical help that was the very reason for the police first detaining him.
The most disturbing video footage is at minute 2:25 in this video where Mr. Lambert is dead not long after the police arrived with him at the hospital.
Here is more footage of police tasing Linwood Lambert twenty times (the number of times the tasers were fired, whether or not each shooting hit Mr. Lambert). The officers’ police department directs that restrained people not be tased (minute 3:30).
Did Mr. Lambert die from the tasing, from his claimed cocaine use, from a combination of the two, or from other contributing factors? Tasing can send very high electrical shocks to the body. Repeated tasing should be expected to challenge the ability of one’s heart not to fail. A 2011 joint government-private report says “Officers must be trained to understand that repeated applications and continuous cycling of ECWs [tasers] may increase the risk of death or serious injury and should be avoided.”
As a footnote, Mr. Lambert’s case hits all the more vividly to me, with my son and I repeatedly driving in this region of Virginia to go hiking on various trails in the Shenandoah mountains. This region seems to be generally rural and quiet. Sadly, Mr. Lambert suffered a fate much different than the bucolic nearby mountain setting.