Hyper Local News Pages

Web Stats Provided By Google Analytics

Monday, May 19, 2008

05/19/08 - Greenwich Police Department Breaks Out The Ticket Books. Call Guinness Book Of Records: Cops Write Almost 1 Ticket A Munute For Three Hours



"Click It" Or "Ticket"
Also Known As
The Great Ticket Blitz Of May 2008


139 Tickets Issued In 180 Minutes
Wow !!!!
That's A Ticket Every 77 Seconds !!!!


Stamford, Greenwich and State police issued 58 seat belt tickets today between the hours of 7 and 10 on Route 1 at the Stamford/Greenwich town line. Two vehicles were towed (one operator was arrested for operating with a suspended license and the other vehicle was unregistered). One ticket was issued for using a hand-held cell phone. Another 77 tickets were issued for a range of miscellaneous safety-related violations, such as illegally tinted windows, unsecured loads (for trucks) and excessive passengers.

Note To The Sheeple Who Hold One Of
The 77 Non - Seat Belt Tickets:


By law, the Greenwich Police Department has to advertise the road blocks, because it is a legal infringement on the rights of a driver to stop them without provocation.

The Greenwich Police Department Followed The Law

And Advertised The Road Block.

Please See:

05/17/08 - Greenwich Post News Update - Police Check Point To Be Set Up Route 1

Also by law the Greenwich Police Department has to make sure that a driver must have a road they can turn onto, to avoid the checkpoint.

The police have to give people the option to turn away from the road block and avoid a search.

However, If you decide to be an obediant sheeple and go into the checkpoint you are voluntarily surrendering your fourth amendment rights.

=======================================

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

""The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Fourth Amendment To
The United States Constitution

05/19/08 - The Fix Is In - Figures Lie And Liars Refigure - Sternberg Gets A New School Survey (Updated)


What Ever Happened To The Bi-Annual Harris Survey Of Parent, Student And Teacher Satisfaction?

03/07/08 - Delayed - The Harris Survey, a bi-annual satisfaction survey of parents, teachers and students, which was to be sent out this month.


03/30/08 - School Parents Are Excited That The Delayed School Satisfaction Survey Is Comming Out Next Week


The Board Of Education Is Afraid Of What Parents, Teachers and Students Think Of School Betty Sternbergs Job Performance, So There Is Going To Be A Brand News Survey That Excludes Them.

FORGET ABOUT POWER TO THE PEOPLE - IT'S GOING TO BE POWER TO THE POLITICAL INSIDERS

The Parents, Teachers And Student
Survey Will Be Replaced With A Survey Of Board Of Education Members, Board Of Selectmen Members And Board Of Estimate And Taxation Members.

Sternberg report card: Questionaires to help assess performance for new contract

By Neil "I Forgot To Ask About The Harris Survey" Vigdor
Greenwich Time - Staff Writer

Betty Sternberg, the sometimes controversial school superintendent will receive a report card of her own in the coming weeks from her colleagues, school board members and PTA leaders.

For the first time in Sternberg's 2-year tenure, members of the Board of Selectmen and Board of Estimate and Taxation also are being asked to rate the superintendent anonymously in a questionnaire sent out this month by the schools' administration. The results of the 7-page survey are expected to factor into whether Sternberg, who is entering the final year of her contract, is offered an extension.

The Fix Is In - Parents And Students Are Replaced By Politicians

  • BOARD OF EDUCATION - "We would anticipate as a board looking at the prospects for renewal come fall," said Nancy Weissler, the Board of Education chairwoman.
  • BOARD OF SELECTMEN - Selectman Lin Lavery gave Sternberg a strong vote of confidence."Betty has had incredible challenges. She is doing an excellent job with a strong board backing her. She would be very difficult to replace."Sad Lavery
  • BOARD OF ESTIMATE AND TAXATION - Edward Krumeich Jr., the longest-tenured member of the BET, complimented Sternberg's handling of the contaminated modular classrooms. "I think she's working hard," Krumeich said. "I think the reaction to the mold in the modulars was the right one and they acted quickly."

Sternberg said she is looking forward to a "rigged" survey.

"I'm certainly always open to hearing different points of view from the (political) community at-large," Sternberg said.

The Fix Is In Parents, Students And Teachers Are Getting Another Three Years Of Betty "You Can Trust Me" Sternberg.

Or as Sternberg might say...

Today we are going to learn about "DECEPTION"

One key lesson that politicians learn early on.

===============================================

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/19/08 - Residents have long been concerned about the fire department response time in the remote corner of town


The Town Needs To Get Proper Fire Coverage
For Northwest Greenwich


Headline:

The perception in Northwest Greenwich is that the King Street Fire House is pushed back so the town could pay for other projects like a new $25 million high school auditorium and a new senior center.

Quote:

"Ideally I would like to see the architectural and engineering money pushed up," First Selectman Peter Tesei said. "But there has to be a carefully coordinated approach."

Story:

Town First Selectman Peter Tesei is assuring Northwest Greenwich residents that building a fire house on King Street remains a priority for his administration. "A fire house deserves precedence," he said, "It's a matter of public safety."...

...The public works department is currently assessing the property to get the water line in place, according to Tesei.

There are other considerations as well, including staffing the new facility with 16 firefighters, which will cost more than $1 million annually and require budget approval and, Tesei said....

==========================================
Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/19/08 - Even More Comments About Greenwich High School Taser Incident (updated #3)


Was The Police Use Of The Taser In
Greenwich High School Justified?



DiSgUiStEd says:

Okay. So what did Londono do? Was it just water balloons or was he being suspended for some injustice, some unsafe criminal activity? Tasers at GHS, oh, my God!!!!!!!!!! Do I send my kids, really, get a grip Dr. Sternberg, the Board and all you Greenwich Parents. Do you want this to happen to your son or daughter? Google a Taser, its a fricken gun that electrocutes you, hello?

As a lifetime Greenwich Citizen raising two small children in this fabulous town alway in the news do I as a taxpayer really want to deal with this crap!

NO, NO, NO MAYBE YOU ALL WANT TO PAY FOR MY CHILDREN TO GO TO PRIVATE SCHOOL TOO!

Why couldn't the parents just come to the student center and get there son?

They were there anyway, did any bumble head "cynical" cop think to do the right thing before having to "WIN" Win What?

It crazy that by throwing water balloons and then the punishment is being TASERED!!!!!!!!!! Not once, but three wonderful, exceptional ever memorable times

eagle says:

You just don't get it.

He was asked to go with security and refused. Sounds like a spoiled brat to me. Bet he'll listen next time (and most likely will be a next time). His parents will probally sue the school, security, and police

CT Cop says:

First, the OFFENDER was drive-stunned, not shot with the darts and wires.(Hint: Read the article.) Accordingly, the OFFENDER was not immobilized by the taser.

Second, a weight of "only" 140 pounds does not magically render the OFFENDER harmless.(True fact: At the height of his career in 1972, Bruce Lee - a thoroughly dangerous person - weighed 146 pounds.)

Third, a REALLY GOOD way for the police to improve their relationship with any group is to do their job and arrest violators. One would think that the law-abiding 98% of the student body would be grateful that the disruptive and dangerous other 2% are being dealt with like the maniacal, chair-throwing criminals they are.

Fourth, the very reason Greenwich High School (like all of Greenwich) is "one of the safest" places is BECAUSE the police aggressively enforce laws and maintain order. Maybe you would prefer they be more lax. Maybe you would rather have your child in a less "authoritarian" environment like any one of Bridgeport's public high schools. Are you actually suggesting that would be a better alternative?

Fifth, the OFFENDER's demonstrated violence and beligerent attitude are the reasons he was subdued by the police - not because he had thrown a water balloon.(Again ... Hint: Read the article.)

Stop being an enabler. Strict adherence to moral principles and a tradition of holding people accountable for their conduct are the very reasons Connecticut became known as the "Land of Steady Habits." (Hint: Stop being oxymoronic with your references.)

Violent criminal behavior by a student and the public high school environment are the two things that didn't blend properly.

GHS says:

This is a case of excessive force pure and simple. Give the authorities a little juice and they can't help themselves. Be men and when it's 3-on-1, declare victory and escort the brat out without resorting to such tactics. Go home and stun your dog a few times instead if you want your kicks.

Cops and tasers in GHS just don't mix.

stamford resident says:

The punishment over exceeds the (crime).First of all we don`t know if this kid was always in trouble or if this was just a prank that seniors do all over this country. I`ve been to graduation exercizes, and kids through beach balls around and stuff like that. It`s a way of saying "I made it". No one gets hurt , it`s no big thing.

Put a uniform and a badge on someone , and now a gun or a taser and stand back folks , you are now witnessing a control freak at work.I wonder what these school gaurds and police officers would do if they were facing a real dangerous criminal,especially Greenwich.

Stamford Talk says:

Yeah giving a Taser to people in charge of school kids might NOT be the best plan.

indefensible says:

The "violent criminal behavior" that the student is supposed to have perpetrated consisted of throwing a water balloon, then throwing a chair. And for that he is shot with a taser?! And for that he is suspended a week? Is that what you consider "violent criminal behavior"?

These are young people. These are adolescents. This kid did not rob a bank, did not rape anyone, did not stab or shoot anyone. He threw a water balloon, for which his school over-reacted by suspending him for a week, which precipitated an angry response that precipitated an cruel over-reaction by the police officer stationed at the school.

When you put armed police officers into that environment, they will act as they've been trained, and students will begin to look like nails for police hammers. That high school was one of the safest schools in the state and the nation before police officers were stationed there. Putting police is just asking for this sort of rough, completely unnecessary treatment of young people.

It's time to get the cops out of our schools and back on the streets.

Anonymous says:

This kid threw a water balloon and is treated like a dangerous criminal.

The police administered three electric shocks directly to his neck.

Is that the only way you can think to deal with a kid who's upset?

Wrestling him to the ground, administering painful electric shocks?

How 'bout just letting him go home.

He wasn't a criminal, and he didn't break the law.

But the police officer at GHS, who is trained to deal with "criminals", treated him like a criminal, and the criminal justice system is treating him like a dangerous criminal by holding levying $50,000 bail.

Tell us with what sort of offence is a $50k bail usually attached?

Give us a few examples of the sort of criminal who is held on $50k?

Do they include kids who throw a water balloon as part of a senior prank on senior prank day? I didn't think so.

The young people in this town have been angry about rough treatment from the police for a long time. The police acknowledged it, and their reaction was to assign an school resource officer (SRO) to the school.

Making scores of arrests at the school and administering electric shocks to a kid's neck is not the way to win friends and influence people.

MR. SRO officer, if you think that the police in this town will be better regarded because they nailed this kid, your superiors should have a serious talk with you.

mother of freshmen says:

This is overkill, pure and simple.

As the mother of 2 incoming freshmen, I am appalled at what happened last week. From what I know, no one was in danger. My nephew was in the student center and witnessed the whole thing. He says the police were not justified in tasering this student, who was being stupid and stubborn but not a menace.

Suspension over a water balloon is ridiculous. Tasering because a kid won't go to the principal's office is completely UNACCEPTABLE.

And now the district will be sued and up go our taxes!

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!



Please see previous posts:

More Comments About Greenwich Student Getting Tased Three Times In The Greenwich Cafeteria (Update #6)


Reader Submited Comments About Weapon Being Fired At Greenwich High School - What Was the Crime? (Enhanced With Video) Updated

AND:

3 Greenwich Cops Give 140 Pound Boy 50,000 Volts And A $50,000 Bail For not Going To A School Office Over Water Ballon Incident: (Updated)

===============================================
Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

Many people think the Idea of the Taser as a magic bullet conflict-ender may have convinced
police forces to overlook the possibility the devices are not as safe.(I use a lot of strong words but I don't use "brainwashed" but others have)

A San Francisco Cardiologist Zian Tseng recently stated Studies on tasers are flawed. Dr. Tseng pointed out, Most commonly cited studies that show the devices are safe were financed by Taser International.

The Taser dilemma is also indicative of the continuing transformation of US police forces into a more Paramilitary mindset.

05/19/08 - The Greenwich Cup At Indian Harbor Yacht Club

Greenwich Blog Post:

J/122 Class at Greenwich Cup
By J Boats, Inc.

The J/122 class sailed as Division 1 at the Greenwich Cup, a 4-race, two day series last weekend at Indian Harbor Yacht Club, in Greenwich, CT. Mike Bruno of WINGS emailed in the following report: "We had 3 races the first day in shifty ...
J122 - http://www.jboats.com/blog/j122/j122news.html


Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/19/08 - Greenwich Hospital News


Greenwich Hospital RSS Feed: Via Viva Pop

Let the Games Begin: May 31


Families for Greenwich Hospital, a volunteer group of parents working to enhance pediatric and adolescent services in the community, sponsers an athletic event joined by renowned athletes, 2 to 5, Saturday, May 31; $100 for adults, ...
Greenwich Hospital RSS Feed - http://www.vivapop.com/feeds244/rss20.xml


Please send your comments and upcoming events to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/19/08 - The Raw Greenwich News Feed For Monday


THE RAW FEED

  1. William J. Baird III Joins Brown Advisory

    Business Wire

    ... Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown. After working in the municipal bond business for several years, he managed the firm ' s Greenwich, Connecticut, and San Francisco brokerage offices. He returned to Baltimore in 2005 to manage the flagship office, where his ...

  2. Addition to make Ohio State's comic art collection really super

    Marion Star

    ... Crazy,' Walker said Friday from his studio in Stamford, Conn. The museum was originally located in a mansion in Greenwich, Conn., then moved to nearby Rye Brook, N.Y., and then on to a facility built in Boca Raton, Fla. That shut down in 2002 when ...

  3. Bidders Load Up on Leona

    New York Post

    ... shoes, which netted $1,000. Many of the items were made by Helmsley's full-time dressmaker, who worked out of her Greenwich, Conn., mansion. Helmsley was jailed for a year and a half on a tax-evasion conviction.

  4. Gemm Learning Opens New Centers: Westchester-based learning...

    PRWeb

    Gemm Learning, a Westchester-based learning intervention center and the largest provider of Fast ForWord in the U.S., has recently expanded, opening centers in Scarsdale, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut.

  5. Ipos Planned

    Lexington Herald-Leader

    The following is a list of initial public offerings planned for this week. Sources include Renaissance Capital, Greenwich, Conn.

  6. Ex-Amaranth Trader Hunter Helps Deliver 17% Gain for Peak Ridge Hedge Fund

    Bloomberg.com

    ... billion of losses at Amaranth, the most by a hedge fund. In 2005, his trades generated $1 billion in gains for the Greenwich, Connecticut- based firm. ``To have lost that amount of money and get back into the market with a similar-type trade takes a ...

  7. Taser used 3 times on student in Greenwich

    Flying Hamster

    "A Greenwich High School senior is free on $50,000 bond after his arrest on disorderly conduct charges after being subdued with a Taser during a confrontation with officers on campus, police said." link: Taser ...

  8. Billionaire Helmsley's prison suit sells for $850

    Reuters

    ... by Helmsley's full-time dressmaker who worked in a space that occupied the third floor of one wing of Helmsley's Greenwich, Connecticut estate. The Helmsley holdings once included The Empire State Building and several lavish hotels, which were ...

  9. UN Interpreter Jailed for Smuggling Uzbeks

    The Moscow Times

    ... people into the United States from Uzbekistan. Vyacheslav Manokhin, a Russian national who had been living in Greenwich, Connecticut, pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiring to obtain visas by means of false statements. The visas were ...

===============================================
Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/19/08 - Greenwich Library News


Greenwich Community Event Alert:

Databases @ your library S&P Netadvantage

Our Greenwich Library staff will provide a weekly half hour hands on introduction and practice on one database per session. S & P Netadvantage is a comprehensive source of business, industry, and investment information.
Greenwich Library | Today's Events - http://www.greenwichlibrary.org


Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/19/08 - Beat The Press - The Greenwich Citizen, The Greenwich Post And Cablevision News 12 Have Their Heads In The Sand


On Tuesday May 13th A Greenwich High School Student Gets 50,000 volts and a $50,000 bail and by Friday May 16th The Greenwich Citizen, The Greenwich Post and the Greenwich Time have all sat on the story.


There were photo opportunities - On Wednesday May 14th Greenwich students came to school wearing "Don't Tase Me" t-shirts on the school campus and parents are asking the school and press for answers.

The Greenwich Time eventually decides to release the story at 1 am Saturday morning on its website.

But many school parents wonder why it took the Greenwich Time
five days to report the story.

Eventually, The Greenwich Public School
spokeswoman Kim Eves released a statement that said Greenwich High School student Victor Londono was shocked three times by the officer using the taser in the "drive stun" mode.

"The SRO repeatedly requested cooperation and warned the student that he would have to be 'tasered' if he did not cooperate," the statement said. "Ultimately, and as a last resort, the SRO used the taser on the 'drive stun mode,' a low current, 'touch' lasting less than one second."

Of coarse, the ever so compliant Greenwich Time accepted this "one second" school statement with out asking one independent student witness in the school cafeteria.

And as usual, Greenwich High School Headmaster Alan Capasso and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Betty Sternberg did not return calls for comment. And that's the of story as far as the Greenwich Time is considered.

However, Greenwich Public School spokeswoman Kim Eves once again forgot to see that this information about police using a weapon at the High School was put up on the school website.

Did Greenwich High School Headmaster Alan Capasso send a letter home informing parents that a student was tased three times in the school cafeteria over water balloons?

Does the Greenwich Public Schools have a policy requiring that parents be immediately informed if a weapon in used on school grounds?

It is clear that Greenwich Public Schools are trying to keep parents in the dark over the use of a weapon on school grounds.

Worse yet, the weekly papers are in hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil mode. As far as the Greenwich Citizen and the Greenwich Post are concerned the Greenwich High School Taser never occurred last Tuesday.

Perhaps that the Greenwich Citizen and the Greenwich Post have chosen to sell out it's readers out of fear of upsetting the local police department.

Maybe, the Greenwich Citizen and the Greenwich Post are both afraid that if they cover the fact that 3 Greenwich Police Officers Tased a 140 pound student over being suspended over a senior prank involving water ballons, because they depend on the Greenwich Police Department as a major source of information for their publications.

It is easy to look the other way in order to keep a major news source a happy camper.

Even Cablevision News 12 looked the other way.

As usual, it has been up to local bloggers and citizen journalists to highlight and cover the story. More and more Greenwich readers are having to go to the blogs to get local news and commentary.

Here is another report about the high school taser incident from the blogoshere:


Greenwich High School Student Tased

By Chris at Station Stops

I am not one of those people who gets all up in arms when someone gets tasered (my opinion: you had to be there to know if it was appropriate), but this one sounds pretty lame. I have seen kids get off the hook in school before, the best approach is usually to let them go and deal with them when they are calmed down later.

But in 2008, High Schools have their own police force, so, if a student gets out of line, they can just nip it in the bud by tasering them. Oh and then they get arrested. That would have never happened back in the day - schools dealt with stuff internally - their goal was to *prevent* kids from getting arrested....

Via The Advocate

Please see:

05/19/08 - Even More Comments About Greenwich High School Taser Incident (updated #3)


Comments About Greenwich Student Getting Tased Three Times In The Greenwich Cafeteria (Update #6)


3 Greenwich Cops Give 140 Pound Boy 50,000 Volts And A $50,000 Bail For not Going To A School Office Over Water Ballon Incident: (Updated)


=============================================
Please send your blog links and comments to GreenwichRoundup

05/19/08 - Moday's News Links From The Greenwich Post


Art Society of Old Greenwich offers pastel demo

The Pastel Process will be shown by John B. Conroy of Rye Brook, N.Y., on Wednesday, June 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The public is invited to the meeting room on the 2nd floor of the Greenwich Library, 101 West Putnam Ave.
Greenwich Symphony Orchestra announces new season

The Greenwich Symphony Orchestra's 51st season will begin Oct. 11 and will include five double concerts and five soloists. Maestro David Gilbert returns for his 34th season, leading the 85-member fully professional orchestra.

==============================================
Please send your comments and news tips to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/19/08 - Monday's News Links From The Greenwich Time

Greenwich Time RSS Feed



On April 24, Western Middle School sixth-grade art classes and Hamilton Avenue School fifth-grade classes visited the Greenwich Arts Council.
Full Story

Group proposes new charter school

Former First Selectman Jim Lash and others are trying to resurrect the idea of adding a charter school to Greenwich, though the prospect has been dubiously received by some top local school officials.
Full Story

Larry Leverett's mother had to fight for him to get a chance to take Latin in school and even after he got into the class, the teacher refused to call on him for the entire year.
Full Story

GA student wins high school chemistry award

Greenwich Academy 10th grader Hillary Singer placed first place in the Excellence in First Year High School Chemistry Award Competition.
Full Story

Determined to gauge the presence of tick-borne diseases in town, the health department has partnered with a private research firm to study of the local tick population.
Full Story

School calendar

May 19 Greenwich High School Math and Sciences Awards ceremony: 7 p.m., Greenwich High School. May 20 Greenwich High School Social Studies Awards ceremony
Full Story

Even as a couple hopes their plans to construct a new mansion in backcountry Greenwich are given the green light, opponents hope zoning commissioners put a brake on the project.
Full Story

Drive sends mitts to Dominican Republic

Three hundred and fifty new and used gloves from Greenwich are on their way to the Dominican Republic where they will be distributed to needy children.
Full Story

=======================================
Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/19/08 - Reader Submited Comments About Weapon Being Fired At Greenwich High School - What Was the Crime? (Enhanced With Video) Updated





Flash Back September 17, 2007 - University Of Florida Student Tasered - Whole Story - The Truth

Now Comments About Greenwich High School Taser Incident On Tuseday May 13, 2008

Reader Submitted Comments:

"This entire incident was precipitated by the student\'s willful violation(s) of law."

What law did this student break that required the use of lethal force? Can all violators of the law in Greenwich expect to be handled with lethal force?

Which law? Or was it a school rule?

Signed,
"Don't Tase Me, Bro"

This anonymous email was sent using Send Anonymous Email - http://www.sendanonymousemail.net

=============================================

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

Don't Tase Me Bro!
Britney Spears Version


05/18/08 - Comments About Greenwich Student Getting Tased Three Times In The Greenwich Cafeteria (Update #6)



Taser Demonstration

Comments About The Greenwich High School Boy Getting Juiced Three Times

Please See The Original Post:

05/17/08 - Three Greenwich Policemen Give 140 Pound Boy 50,000 Volts And A $50,000 Bail For not Going To A School Office Over Water Ballon Incident

GHS Grad says:

All I could think while reading the article was, well the kid must have been big, and therefore the officers probably needed a little help to subdue him.(I also assume there were at least three officers, since the article stated that "additional officers arrived".)
The end of the article stunned me: the kid is 140 pounds. Three officers can't arrest a 140-pound kid without using a weapon that was designed to replace firearms?

concerned citizen says:

Kicked a chair? Verbally abusive? 140 pounds? This boy had to be tased? Three grown men couldn't subdue him? Why didn't they just let him leave the building..?$50,000 bond? Did I miss something?

Rabbe Ekholm says:

Seems rather immature and irresponsible on the part of the school to allow a silly balloon-throwing incident to escalate out of control like this: What do tasers, arrests, and court appearances have to do with educating our children?

Dan says:

Tased for throwing water balloons? Suspended for throwing water balloons was ridiculous enough... When I went to GHS they had no tasers, no security cameras and the senior pranks involved letting chickens and crickets into the student center. Nobody was suspended then. This is disgusting and disgraceful and I am ashamed at this moment to call GHS my alma mater.

GHS Parent says:

Um, has anyone else noticed there appears to be a police state developing in these united states? This is a continuing abomination. We get lied into wars, send in Bubba with tanks and machine guns to remove 416 children from their mothers based on unsubstantied anonymous phone calls, and now we have Greenwich cops tasing a 140 pound kid for failure to obey. Will brainless parents and school administrators continue to allow these weapons in school or will they continue their jobs of producing passive, obedient slaves to the state? We the people better wake up soon.

Matthew Diamond says:

Lets face the fact here that fact that tazing a kid at the high school is a weenie move to do. From what your article mentioned the boy originally threw water balloons and then resisted the school security and eventually the shooter(police). At that point in a 18 year olds body the testosterone fired up and he resented all authority. It happens, people. Just like kids drinking, smoking the herb and listening to Rock and Roll. All of which I bet some of you readers enjoyed.

I don't know if the shooter(police) is small, but it seems that the choice to draw down on a high school student is cowardly. What happened to police being fit and trained to take anyone into custody? I watched an officer with one leg on the show cops chase and take down a large suspect. Now that is what you do when you have balls like grapefruits and one leg.

Maybe all police do not need to have nuts the size of fruits that come from some warm climate. But I think the shooter(police) should have done some sort of karate or Spock(Star Trek) kind of move.

These weapons (Tazers) are perfect for controlling those on meth or catching someone all freaked out on the angel dust. Heck in those situations, I am in favor of police putting a bullet in the right place...maybe not at the high school though. I would be in favor of nets. What is the big deal about a headline "Water Balloon Chucker Netted at High School."

Let's get real. I don't want the police to be mad at me for writing. I think they do a tremendous job and we are safe here in this great town. Not everybody can say that across Connecticut, the US and the Earth. We are lucky here. When I see these tazer things on TV it seems sometimes they do not fit the situation. In my town's high school it's downright embarrassing.

I think the 50K Bond is a little steep too. I hear electricity, even at the low voltage setting, reduces testosterone. The student at this point now, wearing his orange suit in bridgeport, with some other balloon throwing resisters has calmed down and is now submitting to authority and hopefully nothing else.

This one is going to cost the town. Some Attorney is going to step up and go probono on this. Roy Black or Mickey Sherman are you busy?

My last comment would be directed at how the other brave boys in blue on the force might feel. I believe there probably are a few that would have done a leg sweep and before another word came out of this punk's mouth, the cuffs would be on. Go directly to jail, do not pass the principals office. No story, no lawsuit, no drama. Bottom line this kid was a punk looking for trouble after he got caught throwing water balloons. The other water balloon scofflaws got away with their prank. He was an idiot and bad at it.
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. He who feels it knows it. Kids and people learn a lesson. If the police tell you to do something, just do it. Otherwise prepare to face defeat.

Concerned Student says:

I feel the officer was in his rights to do what he did.

Obviously, the statement(s) that were in the paper came out to that he was resisting. And after the officer the other day had to go to the ICU, officers are now more concerned about their safety, now knowing what can happen if they do not use force back.

It was definitely justified for the officer to tase, because the officer did that for his safety and the other students' safety.

Naturalized Texan says:

Looks like y'all cowboyed up to control an unruly student. This is so disappointing.

I was born and raised in Greenwich and have always assumed that Greenwich schools take the high road when it comes to student discipline. I've lived in Texas for quite some time where corporal punishment in school is still allowed. I had hope Texas would change their minds and be more like Connecticut. Now, I am not so sure.

Hope more staff training and increased parental involvement is on the agenda.

GHS Alum says:

Sad state of affairs when we need to put such unnecessary weapons in the hands of the school "police." Give these people the power and sure enough it will get abused. The force was excessive and the school and town end up lookng like in inner-city nightmare. I read the article in california, so don't think this incident is a limited, local affair. The school should apologize and the weapons taken away.

Walter says:

These police are taser crazy. Tasing the kid three times at close range, really? Why are there police in the school and why on earth are they tasing kids that kick chairs and throw water baloons? This officer should be put on desk duty or possibly thrown off the force. How soon before a cop shoots a kid at school with a real gun? Greenwich Police should bow their heads in shame. This is a dark day for public schools when a student is assaulted by a cop for a minor offense.

Cynical Cop says:

Sure. Blame the police you idiot. The officers would not have to have become involved at all if the kid was doing as he was told. The only mistake this cop made was trying to deescalate the situation by drive-stunning the imbecile for a second or two instead of shooting him with the taser darts and letting him "ride the lightning" for the full five second deployment.

What would all of you preferred the officer have done, not deploy the taser and manhandle the kid? Beat him into submission? Break one of his arms or bust open his head in a knock-down, drag-out fight? With who knows how many other kids present in the lunch area to get hurt in a melee? If that had occurred, you all would have angrily demanded to know why this criminal wasn't safely subdued with a taser.

You are an ungrateful buffoon blithely living your live under the blanket of protection the police provide yet are always so quick to judge the manner in which it is provided. Wake up. Stop blame-shifting. This entire incident was precipitated by the student's willful violation(s) of law. This young criminal, when he failed to obey the officer's lawful orders, made his bed and then had to lie in it. Boo Hoo.

PS - Cops aren't paid to fight fair. They are paid to win.

Jack says:

If you don't go to the office, you get tased.

There needs to be a line. This boy posed no threat to anyone and was not willfully violating any law. The rules of the school perhaps but what crime was he committing? Students of GHS beware, forget your hall pass and you may get tased.

NO RESPECT says:

I definitely agree that this kid needed to be tased! Years ago, students were impressed or should I say the word "afraid" to get into trouble and had respect for the teachers and other students. Nothing bothers these kids now and it takes something like this to maybe make the next "wiseguy" listen when he's told to stop!

It's these kids who think they can get away with anything and it's the stupid parents who defend their actions and say "my child wouldn't do that" when in fact they DO! Parenst today don't care what thekids are doing as long as they aren't bothering them. There's no interest at all.

The ONLY time the parents get involved is when they pick up the phone, call the attorney and start a lawsuit - which you know will be next. Wise up everybody - there needs to be action taken against all this disrespect for school policy, rules and infractions and if it takes a taser, then so be it! If he had stopped in his tracks and listened to the authorities, this would not have happened - so it's his fault! Nuff said!

Mark says:

Are we living in Russia?

insane says:

Let's be clear here: a police officer decided to shoot a kid in the neck with a wire from a taser, then administer three electric shocks that immobilized him. And this dangerous kid was 140 pounds? He was skinny as a rail, and he was leaving the school anyway. Yet the police officer followed him out and tasered him. That is brutal, cruel, and insane.

Let's be clear why there is a police officer stationed at GHS in the first place: to improve the relationship between the youth of Greenwich and the police. No joke: that was the justification. Yet in the first full school year in which police were stationed there, police officers arrested fully 54 students, or 2% of the student body. In the first two months of this school year, they arrested another half dozen on campus. And that doesn't count several more who were arrested for drinking at parties in private houses. How exactly does this serve to improve the relationship between police and youth?

The school is being turned into a correctional facility: hundreds of thousands of dollars have already been spent to put surveillance cameras in every nook and cranny of the school, both inside and outside. Let's keep in mind here that Greenwich High School is the public school for one of the safest and wealthiest communities in the United States. And the high school has a suspension rate that is one of the lowest in the state of Connecticut. So a rational person has got to ask why so many kids are being arrested in this school in such a prosperous and low-crime community.

Let's see: the kid throws a water balloon and gets suspended..for a week? That right there is excessive. Then he has a bad day and throws a chair, gets three electric shocks administered to his neck, then is held on- get this-$50,000 bail. Now I'm not a lawyer, but it would seem that a hardened criminal who is arrested for knocking over a liquor store is in line for bail of $50k, not a high school student who threw a water balloon.

Clearly, GHS is being administered by an increasingly out of control administration that cannot understand that kids who get unruly are, well, still kids, and not hardened criminals. And if the BOE and headmaster think that tasering a kid is perfectly acceptable, I'd like to see them volunteer to be tasered like the student was. I'm guessing that they would demure.

Let's all remember that this is Connecticut, not Alabama. We're supposed to be more enlightened and rational in this land of steady habits. This tasering incident should serve as a wake-up call for rational parents and the board of education.

We're better than this, and our kids should not be put in danger of being shot by a taser-wielding police officer in connection with an offense as puny as throwing a water balloon.

Excited-Delirium Dotcom says:

Pain compliance is one thing, but pain compliance using severe pain is probably illegal. This incident, being less than a second, appears to be in the controversial middle-ground. The student should probably hire a lawyer on contingency and seek a settlement.

Unbelievable says:

It sounds like they used the force necessary to effect the arrest.

Maybe he should have complied with the instructions of the school staff and then with the officer.

Good job officer.

Tru Foto says:

this is crazy. no one's life was in danger and no one did anything to provoke a tasering. verbal abuse wouldn't be uncommon if you were getting arrested for something as stupid as a suspension for throwing a water baloon. I think that this was an act out of pure boredom from the GPD and they should look up the definition of morals before they go putting 18 year olds to the ground and then tasering them. this is absolutely outrageous and the GPD should be sued for hurting an innocent kid in high school.

The GPD lies on a daily basis to cover the true story so that they seem successful. If you want to get a story from them, ask them how many kids they arrest on a monthly basis because they have nothing to do.

On a side not they also ruined this kids future because now any college he may have applied to can automatically turn him down just because he threw a water balloon. Imagine this happening to your son or daughter and then you think about the life you'd have to live just because of a stupid prank.

NONSENSE says:

Maybe they could have shot this kid in the head, and somehow justified it. 140 lb HS student needing to be "tased" is absolutely f---ing crazy. Internal Affairs should investigate this. I hope someone sues the pants off of that cop.

=============================================

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

For Your Listening Pleasure:

Don't taze me bro - The Rap remix




05/19/08 - 3 Greenwich Cops Give 140 Pound Boy 50,000 Volts And A $50,000 Bail For not Going To A School Office Over Water Ballon Incident: (Updated)


A Shocking Incident At Greenwich High School

Greenwich High School Boy Is
Juiced Three Times By Cops

Headline:

One Greenwich High School Stubent's Taser Tale:

Were Greenwich Police Officers Too Quick On The Draw. High School Student Charged With Single Counts Of Breach Of Peace And Interfering With An Officer


Quote:

"I was walking toward the exit and they stopped me," Greenwich High School Student Victor Londono said. "He said he was going to arrest me and I said, 'What does it matter, I'm leaving anyway.' "

Story:

GHS student tased

By Martin B. Cassidy
Greenwich Time - Staff Writer

...Victor Hugo Londono was tasered three times Tuesday afternoon in the Student Center, the first use of the weapon to subdue a teen on school grounds, according to police. At 12:25 p.m., Londono was shocked by School Resource Officer Carlos Francousing an M-26 Taser stun gun when Londono resisted arrest after repeatedly refusing to report to the assistant headmaster's office....

...The gun's dart cartridge can be removed to shock a person at close range, as police said was done in Londono's case...

...Additional officers arrived, and Londono resisted being handcuffed and arrested for breach of peace, which prompted Franco to use the Taser in "drive stun" mode, applying the prongs directly against Londono's neck, Greenwich Police Chief David Ridberg said.

During the tasing, Londono allegedly tried to punch Franco, but eventually complied and was arrested, according to police.

Londono said he did not try to strike Franco. He said his original suspension was for one week for throwing water balloons as part of a senior prank....

...Removing the gun's dart cartridge to shock Londono at close range was a decision meant to limit the potential harm to Londono, discharging a lesser shock than if the officer had fired the weapon's darts at him from a distance....

...Londono questioned police shocking him with the weapon, saying the three officers could have restrained him easily.

"Tasing me was probably uncalled for," said Londono, who weighs 140 pounds and is 5 foot 10 inches tall. "I was going to leave the school before they stopped me."

Police said it is school policy that suspended students be picked up at the school by a parent or guardian. School spokeswoman Kim Eves said she had no information on the policy. Greenwich High School Headmaster Alan Capasso and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Betty Sternberg did not return calls for comment...

COMMENTS:

As Usual The Greenwich Time Is Afraid To Question Authority In The Town Of Greenwich

If a reporter learns that three hulking guys with police powers comes into a high school and grabs a 140 pound kid and puts 50,000 volts of electricity through his body over a Senior prank involving water balloons, then this reporter should start asking authorities some hard and direct questions.

Many times I have heard Greenwich High School students complain of school security officers of being arrogant and condescending. Usually this ends up in a situation being unnecessarily escalated at Greenwich High School.

While the police claim that there was a school policy that Victor Londono had to go and wait for his parents in the assistant school administrators office, no school administrators seems to know about this policy. Nor does the school superintendent or headmaster want to talk about this supposed policy.

In fact, if this policy does exist, Conneticut State Statutes says that it would not apply to Mr. Londono who had recently turned 18.

Technically, under Connecticut laws Mr. Londono could drop out of Greenwich High School and truant officers or his parents legally could not do a darn thing about it.

Being 18, Mr. Londono could even legally sign a military contract up to go to Iraq without any parental involvement what so ever.

Mr. Londono, could in fact under Federal and Connecticut State privacy laws prevent the school from sharing any of his educational information with his parents.

Could you imagine the lawsuits that would result if an 18 year old college freshman wanted to leave a college campus, but school security personnel physically detain and manhandled in a deans office until his parents came to get him.

Legally Greenwich security personnel only had the right to tell Mr. Londono that he had to leave the campus, because he had been suspended over the Senior prank involving water balloons.

Mr. Londono, had a legal right to refuse to be physically detained by Greenwich security personnel in the assistant superintendents office. In fact, it appears that Greenwich security personnel unnecessarily escalated the situation by refusing to allow Mr. Londono to leave the Greenwich High School campus.

The whole disturbance was caused by poorly trained Greenwich High School Security Officers refusing to let an 18 year old leave the campus on his own after being suspended for a water balloon prank.

The Greenwich High School security officers clearly violated Mr. Londono's rights by illegally attempting to detain him, thus causing a disturbance in the school cafeteria.

The Greenwich Police officer should have informed the school security officers that they did not have a legal right restrict Mr. Londono's or detain him over. The Greenwich Police Officer then should have advised Mr. Londono to do what he wanted to do all along - Leave The High School Grounds.

Instead, Mr. Londono was zapped by the Greenwich Police Department with 50,000 volts while trying to exercise his legal right to leave the Greenwich High School grounds.

Mr. Londono was only electrified and arrested when he refused to be illegally detained by Greenwich security personnel and attempted to leave the school grounds.

If Mr. Londono had submitted to being illegally detained in the assistant headmaster office by Greenwich High School security personnel, then he would not have gotten 50,000 volts and a $50,000 bail.

No wonder, Greenwich High School Headmaster Alan Capasso and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Betty Sternberg did not return calls for comment.

Right now, Capasso, Sternberg and their security officers are probably praying that Londono doesn't go out and hire an out of Town civil rights attorney.

===========================================

Here Are A Few Facts The Greenwich Time Should Have Reported To The Parents Of Greenwich High School Over The Brutal Taser Incident

Voltage delivered by a Taser — up to 50,000 volts.

By comparison, electrical outlets in Greenwich Homes delivers 120 volts of electricity.

It's possible to suffer a fatal shock from a household electrical socket, at just 120 volts, if enough current passes through the body.


Some Taser models, particularly those used by the Greenwich Police Department , also have a "Drive Stun" capability, where the Taser is held against the target without firing the projectiles, and is intended to cause pain without incapacitating the target.

"Drive Stun" was used on Victor Londono As Two Other Officers Held Him Down

Taser defines "Drive Stun" as "the process of using the Taser as a pain compliance technique. This is done by activating the Taser and placing it against an individual’s body. This can be done without an air cartridge in place or after an air cartridge has been deployed."

Like other forms of non-lethal non-lethal force, such pain compliance strategies are not perfect and may be abused as a form of torture, with plausible deniability. For this reason the use of pain compliance is often subject to explicit rules of engagement designed to prevent abuse and avoid conflict escalation.

More generally, "plausible deniability" can also apply to any act that leaves little or no evidence of wrongdoing or abuse. Examples of this are the use of electricity or pain compliance holds as a means of torture or punishment, leaving little or no tangible signs that the abuse ever took place.

According to the analysis of the first 900 police Taser incidents by the Houston Chronicle Special Report Entitled "The Taser Effect" (See The Videos), no crime was being committed and no person was charged in 350 of those cases. In addition, it has been reported that the Houston Police Department has "shot, wounded, and killed as many people as before the widespread use of the stun guns" and has used Tasers in situations that would not warrant lethal or violent force, such as "traffic stops, disturbance and nuisance complaints, and reports of suspicious people."

Taser International claims that Tasers are safe, but critics disagree, citing the number of deaths occurring after Taser use.

For years, Tasers have been criticized by many who say the devices are more deadly than alternatives such as beanbag guns and pepper spray, and should be avoided until definitive research has been completed.


As of now, no independent, national study has been done on the deadly risks of Tasers.

The head of the U.S. southern regional office of Amnesty International, Jared Feuer, reported that 277 people have died after being shocked by a Taser between June 2001 and October 2007. He also noted that about 80% of those, on whom a Taser was used by U.S. police, were unarmed.

"Tasers interfere with a basic equation, which is that force must always be proportional to the threat," Feuer said. "They are being used in a situation where a firearm or even a baton would never be justified."

The Taser International says there are none. Critics argue that there hasn't been enough research into the safety of stun guns. They point to the deaths since 2001 of more than 50 people in North America after Taser shocks

The organization refers to them as "Taser-related," meaning a Taser had been used in the course of a person dying - but was not necessarily the cause of death.

Amnesty International is not "anti-Taser," but the group does have concerns.


There's just not enough information out there for Greenwich Police Officers to be using these weapons on a 140 pound boy in trouble over water balloons at Greenwich High School.

The research that has been done is not independent or impartial enough to warrant the use on minor children in the Greenwich High School Cafeteria.


There is not yet enough information about how Tasers affect certain people, such as
juveniles, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with pre-existing heart conditions. An officer does not know a person's medical history before they decide to use a Taser on them, and often have to make a split decision whether to use the device.

Although tests on police and military volunteers have shown tasers to function appropriately on a healthy, calm individual in a relaxed and controlled environment, the real-life target of a taser is, if not mentally or physically unsound, in a state of high stress and in the midst of a confrontation

In 1989, a Canadian study found that stun guns induced heart attacks in pigs with pacemakers. Ten years later, an American study concluded that weapons delivering a jolt weaker than Tasers increased the risk of cardiac arrest in people with heart conditions.

Police officers in at least five US states have filed lawsuits against TASER International claiming they suffered serious injuries after being shocked with the device during training classes.

Obviously the Greenwich Police Department should be using non-lethal alternatives, but those non-lethal alternatives should be fully investigated before being used on students involved with water balloons at Greenwich High School.

Recent University Stun Gun Incidents

On , November 14, 2006 Mostafa Tabatabainejad, an Iranian-American UCLAstunned multiple times with a Taser by campus police, for allegedly refusing to be escorted out of the College Library Instructional Computing Commons (CLICC Lab) at Powell Library. The police had been called after Tabatabainejad had refused to provide his BruinCard (student ID) to a UCLA CSO during a routine check. Part of the incident was recorded on video by a camera phone. student, was

Tabatabainejad has said through his lawyers that he refused to identify himself because he believed himself a victim of racial profiling, and that the Tasing was an instance of police brutality.

Tabatabainejad has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the officers used excessive force and that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. His attorney has said that a February 2008 court date has been set. As of May 2008, the court date is still pending.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. on, Community Service Officers were conducting routine checks of students' BruinCard IDs in Powell Library. UCPD Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Young said the checks are a standard procedure in the 24-hour library after 11:00 p.m., when use of the library is restricted to staff, faculty and students

And:

On September 17, 2007, at 12:00 p.m. U.S. Senator John Kerry addressed a Constitution Day forum at the University of Florida in Gainesville, which was organized by the ACCENT Speaker's Bureau, an agency of the university's student government. Toward the end of the question and answer period, University police forcibly removed Andrew Meyer, a 21-year-old fourth-year undergraduate telecommunications student, from the forum, restraining him through direct force and drive stunning him with a Taser.

Several videos of the episode were then posted on the Internet. The video shot with Meyer's camera had 2.6 million views by October 19, 2007 and was considered a viral video. The New Oxford American Dictionary listed "tase/taze" as one of the words of the year for 2007, popularized by the widespread use of "Don't tase me, bro!" The Yale Book of Quotations designated the same quote as the most memorable quote of 2007. Mick Jones, former guitarist for The Clash, wrote and published a song inspired from the event, "Don't Tase Me, Bro."

According to eyewitness and police reports, the widely circulated video of the confrontation captured on Meyer's camera was not the first interaction between police and Meyer at the event that day. According to reports, Meyer was in line for access to the microphone, when it was announced by former Ambassador Dennis Jett, a University of Florida political science instructor and the forum's moderator, that one more question would be taken from the microphone on the right as seen from the stage.

Meyer then grabbed the second microphone, on the left, which had been shut off, and loudly demanded he be allowed to ask a question. Meyer reportedly yelled, "Why don't you answer my questions, I have been waiting and listening to you speak in circles for the last two hours." "These officers are going to arrest me", "You will take my question because I have been listening to your crap for two hours".

When an officer intervened, attempted to cut Meyer off, and attempted to escort Meyer out of the hall, Meyer then broke away and continued to shout. Kerry then intervened and requested that Meyer be allowed to ask a question. Meyer was then brought back to the microphone with police officers on either side of him.

======================================

Greenwich Parents had better pray that the Greenwich Police Department Doesn't Deploy Tasers Into The Three Greenwich Middle Schools.

Middle School Resource Officers
Gone Wild !!!!

Watch The Video: Maplewood Middle School student tasered by school resource ...

Apr 14, 2008

St. Louis, MO (KMOV) - A middle school resource officer is being reassigned after he tasered a 7th grade girl.

It happened at Maplewood Middle School earlier this month

Watch The Video - Sixth Grader Tasered At Middle School - News Story - WSB Atlanta

Officials at Jonesboro Middle School say police tasered an 11-year-old student Wednesday as a last resort. The incident immediately prompted an internal police investigation.

Channel 2 was told the incident began after something happened at lunch to spark a verbal argument between two 6th graders...

Watch The Video - Teen with autism tassered at Carmel Middle School - Indianapolis

Parents say police officers tasered their 14-year-old autistic son at a Carmel Middle School. Fox 59's Kara Brooks has the exclusive details. ...

========================================

Now check out this videotape

Just released by the Denver police. Three cops are walking a handcuffed suspect, Kenneth Rodriguez, into a cell. They tell him to sit down. When he hesitates, Officer Randall Krouse whips out the stun gun.

"Understando Taser?" he says. "'Cause this is gonna hurt you like a son of a bitch."

That's no life-saving maneuver. It's abuse, plain and simple.





Why Tasers Should Be Banned
A Middle School Presentation




Kansas Students Speak Out Against Tasers in Schools - The NewStandard

Where grade-school hallways are patrolled by cops, some officers tote controversial electro-shock weapons that have left kids terrified and, in one town, saying enough is enough.

Apr. 6, 2006 – Even before a police officer shocked a 15-year-old special-education student with a Taser in the assistant principal?s office last month, youth at Witchita high schools were organizing against the controversial weapons.

The police officers who act as security guards in Wichita?s middle and high schools began carrying Tasers ? gun-shaped electro-shock weapons ? at the beginning of this school year.

Student activists from across the district say they are angry the weapons were introduced without their input and scared because of news reports about people dying after police shocked them with Tasers.

"We didn?t know about it until we started seeing them on officers? hips," 18-year-old Wichita West High School student Louis Goseland told The NewStandard.

This February, local student groups Hope Street Youth Development and Students United decided to address their concerns. In early March, students at Wichita West High School hand-delivered letters to the school safety director, their principal and the police department outlining questions and demands about Taser use in the school district. They got no response.

Just a few days later, on March 16, a police officer shocked 15-year-old Jarrett McConnell after the special-ed. student refused to go to in-school detention. Students and the media didn?t find out about it for more than a week.

Student activists from across the district say they are angry the weapons were introduced without their input.

Tasers can fire darts attached to wires that penetrate clothing and skin and deliver sustained electric shocks at up to 50,000 volts, causing muscle spasms, temporarily immobilizing the target and usually triggering musculoskeletal collapse. Police can also use them at close range without the darts as stun guns. This is how the Taser used on McConnell was deployed.

"There was a lot of secrecy around it," said Goseland. "They tried to cover it up."

The two student activist groups continued their campaign. They have collected more than 250 signatures on petitions demanding the police and school district provide students with information about Taser usage. The students want to know how long Tasers have been present in the schools, what range and voltage they?re set for, under what circumstances they have already been used, and what if any safety protocols are in place. They are demanding the school district either remove Tasers completely from their schools, or develop a clear usage policy and reclassify them as "potentially lethal weapons."

"The fact that they haven?t been able to answer these questions in two weeks is suspect," said 27-year-old Hope Street organizer Jake Lowen.

In late March an administrator confiscated petitions from Goseland and other students, and was reported for it on the local television news by a journalist who had come to cover the Taser issue. An editorial in the local paper, the Wichita Eagle, reprimanded the school district and the police department for their lack of disclosure.

The Wichita students? campaign comes amidst national controversy over the use of Tasers as a law enforcement tool.

The students held a press conference on Tasers the same afternoon McConnell was scheduled to face an expulsion hearing, but the district quietly withdrew its attempt to discharge him at that time. Goseland said that should give the public even more reason to question whether shocking McConnell was justified.

"This student was obviously not considered a grave enough threat to be kicked out for the rest of the year, but he was considered a grave enough threat to use a potentially lethal weapon on," he said.

McConnell?s family retained an attorney, who said a lawsuit against the school is possible.

"I think it?s a big problem that they don?t have any policy on this," attorney Lawrence Williamson told TNS. "If you have something that can cause harm to someone, you need to have a policy in place to guide individuals in when and how that type of force should be used."

Susan Arensman, spokesperson for the Wichita school district, said the police "are the ones who set the policy" on Taser use, and she said they did inform community members in several meetings before officers began carrying Tasers in the schools, though she could not say which meetings.

"We don?t tell [the police] how to discipline, and they don?t tell us how to teach," she said.

Arensman said students were threatened with Tasers, but not actually shocked, in two other incidences in the district. In one of them, she said three middle school girls "were beating the crap out of a police officer."

"Lo and behold," she said, "when he turned the Taser on they stopped."

The Wichita Police Department did not return a call for this story and TNS could not confirm Arensman?s allegations.

The Wichita students? campaign comes amidst national controversy over the use of Tasers as a law enforcement tool. Currently they are not classified as a potentially lethal weapon, meaning the threshold of reason for officers to use them is low. Activists have called for the weapons to be re-classified as potentially lethal, which would force officers to prove a much more serious situation exists before using them.

According to a recently released Amnesty International report, about 39 percent of law enforcement agencies in the US use Tasers as a regular part of their arsenal. Police officers patrolling schools in other states, including Minnesota and Florida, are also armed with the weapons. In Miami-Dade County, parents of a 6-year-old who was shocked by a Taser wielding police officer have sued the police department in federal court.

Amnesty International also found that more than 150 people in the US have died after being shocked by police officers since June 2001. The official causes of death following Taser shock were usually cardiac or respiratory arrest, according to the report.

People who are under the influence of drugs or certain medications and people who have heart conditions, mental illness or other health problems are especially susceptible to death or other complications if shocked with the weapons. The latest person to die after Taser shock was 46-year-old Timothy Grant in Portland, who police shocked in March for causing a traffic disturbance. He had cocaine in his system.

Wichita students said there is no way for police officers to know whether their victim has a health condition or is taking medication that could put them at risk.

"It?s not like they?re going to ask if you have a heart condition before they Taser you," said Wichita West high school student Ashley Currant, 15.

"Being teenagers, we probably have no idea whether we have heart problems or issues that could be affected by Tasers," added Wichita West student Jackie Thompson, 18. "I don?t want to die that way!"

=========================================

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com


Greenwich Roundup's Total Pageviews

The Raw Greenwich Blog And RSS Feed - Bloggers Who Are From, Work In Or Used To Live In Greenwich