Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mediation could be your best option.

GOOD MORNING FLINT!
3/29/09 By Flint Divorce Attorney Terry Bankert ,
contact at http://FlintDivorce.com/
or http://DivorceLawGuy.com/
Posted first to Blogging for Michigan
http://bloggingformichigan.com/


This issue will be discussed by Flint Divorce Lawyer Terry Bankert, on WFLT 1420 AM out of Flint, 9 AM to 9:30. Saturday 3/29/09. The Program "Know the Law" presents family law issues and is a call in program for your question 239-5733 area code 810. You are invited.

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

Here is how one mediator describes the process."Mediation Process: We will start in joint session with everyone present. Each side will provide an overview of the case from their perspective, and I encourage both counsel and their clients to speak at this time, if they so desire. It is generally helpful for the parties to communicate their views and feelings in joint session. Many times participants hear things they had not heard or considered before, and many issues can be resolved with everyone at the table. At some point we will probably break into separate meetings, in which we will further explore settlement possibilities privately. Then we will most likely re-convene to negotiate the final settlement terms, and reduce the agreement to writing."[1]

Another describes it as follows."Mediation is a voluntary non-binding information process in which disputing parties come together in good faith and sit with a mediator to discuss ways of resolving their problems. The participants explore options and share information. When an agreement is reached, it is put in writing and signed by both parties only after they have had the opportunity to review the document with their attorneys. Mediation is confidential and all parties will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement along with an agreement to mediate."[1]
MEDIATION, WHEN DOES IT BECOME BINDING?

Flint Divorce Attorney Terry Bankert is also a mediator in decisions concerning child support, parenting time and divorce. Mediation is a voluntary process where you control the decision making process. But once you present your mediated decision to a court it will become binding.
In this "hot off the presses" case , Flint Divorce Lawyer Terry Bankert, the Issues are :

1.Denial of the plaintiff-wife's motion to set aside the settlement agreement obtained through mediation; Reno v. Gale; Woodard v. Custer; MCR 2.507(G); Plamondon v. Plamondon; Howard v. Howard; Windham v. Morris;

2.Whether the plaintiff was "tricked into signing the agreement" by her attorney; Whether plaintiff signed the agreement based on her "mistaken" belief she had to accept it to get spousal support; Ford Motor Co. v. Woodhaven; Meyer v. Rosenbaum;

3.Whether the terms of the agreement gave the defendant-husband an "unconscionable advantage"; Jackson v. Wayne Circuit Judge; Brown v. Siang; Clark v. DaimlerChrysler Corp.; MCR 3.216(A) and (H)(7)

The Source is :
S T A T E O F M I C H I G A N C O U R T O F A P P E A L S
SANDRA MILLER, Plaintiff-Appellant,UNPUBLISHED,March 24, 2009
v No. 282997,Oakland Circuit Court,JOHN MILLER, LC No. 2007-729752-DM
Defendant-Appellee. Before: Cavanagh, P.J., and Fort Hood and Davis, JJ.
PER CURIAM.e-Journal Number: 42246
[Disclaimer: This document has been alterd for media presentation. Consult with an attorney before you rely on its content.]

A quick Summary:

Since mediation is not binding unless it results in a mediation settlement agreement accepted by both parties, the plaintiff-wife was free to reject the agreement and proceed to trial, and admitted as much under oath on the record, and because she failed to show the settlement agreement was procedurally unconscionable, she did not establish a right to relief on this ground.
The case was referred to nonbinding mediation, following which both parties and their attorneys executed a settlement agreement.
The next day, plaintiff appeared in court and admitted on the record in open court she had read and voluntarily signed the agreement.

Although she claimed on appeal she was "tricked" into signing the agreement by her attorney, she executed the agreement based on her mistaken belief she had to accept it to obtain spousal support, and the terms of the agreement gave the defendant-husband an unconscionable advantage, the court disagreed where she was free to reject the agreement and proceed to trial and did not establish the settlement agreement was procedurally unconscionable. Affirmed.

A more complete version of the case with additions follows:

WHEN YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH A JUDGEMENT FIRST MOTION TO SET IT ASIDE THEN TAKE IT UP ON APPEAL

Plaintiff appeals by right the judgment of divorce entered by the circuit court following
the denial of her motion to set aside a settlement agreement. We affirm. This appeal has been
decided without oral argument pursuant to MCR 7.214(E).

DID THE LOCAL COURT ABUSE ITS DECISION MAKING OR DISCRETION

We review the trial court’s decision whether to set aside a party’s acceptance of a
mediation evaluation for an abuse of discretion. Reno v Gale, 165 Mich App 86, 92; 418 NW2d
434 (1987). "An abuse of discretion occurs when the decision results in an outcome falling
outside the principled range of outcomes." Woodard v Custer, 476 Mich 545, 557; 719 NW2d
842 (2006).

COURTS ARE A DECISION MAKING PROCESS

An agreement between parties to an action or their attorneys, if subsequently denied by
either party, "is not binding unless it was made in open court, or unless evidence of the
agreement is in writing, subscribed by the party against whom the agreement is offered or by that
party’s attorney." MCR 2.507(G).

SOMETHING HAS TO BE WRONG

Generally, a party may obtain relief from a settlement agreement for mutual mistake, fraud, unconscionable advantage, or ignorance of a material term of the settlement agreement. Plamondon v Plamondon, 230 Mich App 54, 56; 583 NW2d 245 (1998); Howard v Howard, 134 Mich App 391, 394, 399-400; 352 NW2d 280 (1984).

Other grounds for relief include unilateral mistake induced by fraud, Windham v Morris, 370 Mich 188, 193; 121 NW2d 479 (1963); innocent misrepresentation, Alibri v Detroit Wayne Co
Stadium Auth, 470 Mich 895; 683 NW2d 147 (2004); lack of capacity to contract, Star Realty,
Inc v Bower, 17 Mich App 248, 250; 169 NW2d 194 (1969); and duress or coercion, Lafayette
Dramatic Productions, Inc v Ferentz, 305 Mich 193, 216-217; 9 NW2d 57 (1943).

NON BINDING MEDIATION MEANS VOLUNTARY

The instant case was referred to nonbinding mediation, following which both parties and
their attorneys executed a settlement agreement. The following day, plaintiff appeared in court
and admitted on the record in open court that she had read and voluntarily signed the agreement.

SHE SAID I WAS TRICKED, BY HER ATTORNEY?

Plaintiff first argues that she was tricked into signing the agreement by her attorney. However,
coercion by one’s own attorney is not a valid basis for setting aside a settlement agreement
"absent a showing that the other party participated in the coercion." Howard, supra at 397.
Plaintiff has neither alleged nor shown that defendant colluded with her attorney to secure her
consent to the settlement agreement.

SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO GET SPOUSAL SUPPORT, HE DID NOT.

Plaintiff also contends that she executed the settlement agreement based on her mistaken
belief that she had to accept it to obtain spousal support. A mistake of fact warranting rescission
must be mutual, i.e., shared and relied on by both parties. Ford Motor Co v Woodhaven, 475
Mich 425, 442; 716 NW2d 247 (2006). Plaintiff has neither alleged nor shown that defendant
shared her mistaken belief and a unilateral mistake of fact is not grounds for voiding a contract.
Meyer v Rosenbaum, 71 Mich App 388, 394; 248 NW2d 558 (1976).

SHE SAYS HE HAD TOO GREAT OF AN ADVANTAGE

Plaintiff lastly contends that the agreement should be set aside because the terms gave
defendant an unconscionable advantage. The unconscionable advantage that warrants relief from
a contract is "unconscionable advantage taken by one party over the other." Jackson v Wayne
Circuit Judge, 341 Mich 55, 60; 67 NW2d 471 (1954).

MUTUAL LAWYERS SHOULD HAVE LEVELED THE PLAYING FIELD

Given that plaintiff was represented by counsel at mediation and has not alleged that defendant took advantage of her during settlement negotiations, unconscionable advantage is not a basis for relief.

Rather, plaintiff appears to contend that various terms of the settlement were unconscionable. A contract can be found to be invalid if it is one of adhesion, as where its terms are oppressive or unconscionable. Brown v Siang, 107 Mich App 91, 106-107; 309 NW2d 575 (1981).
In order for a contract or contract provision to be considered
unconscionable, both procedural and substantive unconscionability must be
present.

PROCEDURAL UNCONSCIONABILITY

Procedural unconscionability exists where the weaker party had no
realistic alternative to acceptance of the term. If, under a fair appraisal of the
circumstances, the weaker party was free to accept or reject the term, there was no
procedural unconscionability.

SUBSTANTIVE UNCONSCIONABILITY

Substantive unconscionability exists where the challenged term is not substantively reasonable.
However, a contract or contract provision is not invariably substantively unconscionable simply because it is foolish for one party and very advantageous to the other.

IT MUST SHOCK THE CONSCIENCE

Instead, a term is substantively unreasonable where the inequity of the term is so extreme as to
shock the conscience. [Clark v DaimlerChrysler Corp, 268 Mich App 138, 143-
144; 706 NW2d 471 (2005) (citations omitted).]
The case was referred to mediation, but mediation is not binding unless it results in a
settlement agreement accepted by both parties. MCR 3.216(A)(2) and (H)(7).

WHAT DO OTHERS SAY ABOUT UNCONSCIONABILITY?

The term unconscionability is not defined in the UCC. Comment 1 to UCC 2-302 provides the following insight:
The basic test is whether, in the light of the general commercial background and the commercial needs of the particular trade or case, the clauses involved are so one-sided as to be unconscionable under the circumstances existing at the time of the making of the contract … . The principle is one of the prevention of oppression and unfair surprise … and not of disturbance of allocation of risks because of superior bargaining power.[2]
Courts have attempted to identify factors and otherwise give meaning to the term unconscionability. For example, in John Deere Leasing Co v Blubaugh, 636 F Supp 1569 (D Kan 1986), the court offered a definition of unconscionability that involved ten elements. [2]
"(1) The use of printed form or boilerplate contracts drawn skillfully by the party in the strongest economic position, which establish industry-wide standards offered on a take it or leave it basis to the party in a weaker economic position … (2) a significant cost-price disparity or excessive price; (3) a denial of basic rights and remedies to the buyer of consumer goods … (4) the inclusion of penalty clauses; (5) the circumstances surrounding the execution of the contract, including its commercial setting, its purpose and actual effect … (6) the hiding of clauses which are disadvantageous to one party in a mass of fine print trivia or in places which are inconspicuous to the party signing the contract … (7) phrasing clauses in language that is incomprehensible to a layman or that divert his attention from the problems raised by them or the rights given up through them; (8) an overall imbalance in the obligations and rights imposed by the bargain; (9) exploitation of the underprivileged, unsophisticated, uneducated and the illiterate … and (10) inequality of bargaining or economic power."[2]
Id. at 1572–1573 (quoting Wille v Southwestern Bell Tel Co, 219 Kan 755, 758–759, 549 P2d 903 (1976)) (cites and emphasis omitted); see also Pride v Ford Motor Co, 341 F Supp 2d 617, 622 (ND Miss 2004) (" ‘an unconscionable contract is one such as no man in his senses and not under a delusion would make on the one hand, and no honest and fair man would accept on the other’ "; quoting Entergy Mississippi, Inc v Burdette Gin Co, 726 So 2d 1202, 1207 (Miss 1998));[2]
b. Procedural Unconscionability

§3.22 What's New in this Section Procedural unconscionability has been equated with unfair surprise as that term is used in comment 1 to UCC 2-302. Unfair surprise typically involves one of the following: (1) assent obtained by one party’s ignorance or carelessness, which is known to the other party; (2) assent obtained by the signing of forms that are difficult to read or deceptively arranged; or (3) an attempt to contract out of the contract’s dominant purpose. William B. Davenport, Unconscionability and the Uniform Commercial Code, 22 U Miami L Rev 121, 138 (1967). A lack of meaningful choice has become synonymous with procedural unconscionability. 2 William D. Hawkland, Uniform Commercial Code Series §2-302:03 (1992 & Supps).
The indicators of procedural unconscionability generally involve either a lack of knowledge or a lack of voluntariness. A lack of knowledge is demonstrated by a party’s relative unsophistication or an absence of an opportunity to study a contract term so that the term is not understood. An absence of voluntariness is illustrated by typical adhesion contracts, in which a substantial imbalance of bargaining power and an absence of meaningful choice exists. 3 Bender’s Uniform Commercial Code Service: Sales and Bulk Transfers under the Uniform Commercial Code §4.08
[2] (Richard W. Duesenberg & Lawrence P. King 1997). .[2]
Procedural unconscionability is evidenced by factors bearing on what may be called "the ‘real and voluntary meeting of the minds’ of the contracting parties: age, education, intelligence, business acumen and experience, relative bargaining power, who drafted the contract, whether the terms were explained to the weaker party, whether alterations to the printed terms were possible, whether there were alternative sources of supply for the goods." Johnson v Mobil Oil Corp, 415 F Supp 264, 268 (ED Mich 1976); see also Andersons, Inc v Horton Farms, Inc, 166 F3d 308 (6th Cir 1998); Jenkins v First American Cash Advance of Georgia, LLC, 400 F3d 868 (11th Cir 2005). In Pichey v Ameritech Interactive Media Servs, 421 F Supp 2d 1038 (WD Mich 2006), the court ruled that plaintiffs did not show that defendants had the sort of monopolistic power associated with procedural unconscionability.[2]
In Ozormoor v T-Mobile USA, Inc, No 08-11717, 2008 US Dist LEXIS 58725 (ED Mich June 19, 2008), the court found that cost-splitting requirements relating to arbitration were procedurally unreasonable because there was no reasonable alternative, but ultimately ruled that the suspect provisions could be severed from the rest of the arbitration provisions.[2]

c. Substantive Unconscionability

What's New in this Section Substantive unconscionability applies to transactions referenced in UCC 2-302 comment 1 as "one-sided" or "oppressive." Substantive unconscionability therefore focuses on the one-sided nature of a contract or a contract term. It may be present when one party is deprived of most of the agreement’s benefits or is left without a remedy for the other party’s breach. Procedural unconscionability concerns the contract formation process, while substantive unconscionability looks to the agreement’s content. 3 Bender’s Uniform Commercial Code Service: Sales and Bulk Transfers under the Uniform Commercial Code §4.08[2] (Richard W. Duesenberg & Lawrence P. King 1997).[2]

The majority of substantive unconscionability cases fall into two categories. The first category is excessive price cases. A number of courts have held contracts to be unconscionable solely on account of excessively high prices. See Shurgard Storage Ctrs v Lipton–U City, LLC, 394 F3d 1041 (2004) (price term in lease agreement’s purchase option was unconscionable as written because it would allow lessee to purchase property for less than half of its value), later proceeding, 454 F3d 934 (8th Cir 2006); Sitogum Holdings v Ropes, 352 NJ Super 555, 800 A2d 915 (2002) (great disparity between $800,000 at which plaintiff had gained right to purchase property and later appraisal and ultimate sale of property to others for nearly twice that amount demonstrated substantive unconscionability of option contract).[2]
The second category of substantive unconscionability cases involves specific clauses in contracts.

The more common examples include: [2]

disclaimers of remedies and warranties, Martin v Joseph Harris Co, 767 F2d 296 (6th Cir 1985) (disclaimer of warranty and limitation of remedy clause held unconscionable); Mallory v Conida Warehouses, Inc, 134 Mich App 28, 350 NW2d 825 (1984) (limiting remedy to seed’s purchase price found unconscionable);[2]
exclusion of consequential damages, World Enters, Inc v Midcoast Aviation Servs, Inc, 713 SW2d 606 (Mo App 1986) (where both parties to repair contract were commercial entities that had previously contracted with each other, limitation of liability for incidental and consequential damages was not hidden in fine print, and its terms were neither unusual nor harsh, neither procedural nor substantive unconscionability resulted); In re Feder Lithographic Servs, Inc, 40 BR 486 (Bankr ED Mich 1984) (absent factors that make exclusion of consequential damages unconscionable when contract was made or in its performance, buyer’s recovery for breach of warranty is limited to damages flowing from that breach);[2]
termination clauses, Gianni Sport, Ltd v Gantos, Inc, 151 Mich App 598, 391 NW2d 760 (1986) (clause allowing retailer to terminate clothing orders at any time where clothing was made especially for retailer was unconscionable); Walton v Hoover, Bax & Slovacek, LLP, 149 SW3d 834 (Tex App 2004) (termination clause in attorney fee agreement was unconscionable where it provided that fee: (1) was paid to law firm that was discharged over year and a half before settlement of case, (2) equaled 63 percent–100 percent of former client’s recovery, (3) was not tied to work performed or risk incurred by firm, (4) arose from agreement that did not clearly and accurately explain how fee was to be calculated, (5) allowed discharged attorneys unfettered discretion in determining value of their fee, and (6) was derived in part from settlement offer rejected by client), aff’d in part and rev’d in part on other grounds, 206 SW3d 557 (2006);[2]
default provisions, John Deere Leasing Co v Blubaugh, 636 F Supp 1569 (D Kan 1986) (where default provision was written on back of equipment lease in fine, light print and constituted unduly harsh remedy, provision was unconscionable);[2]
indemnification provisions, Maxon Corp v Tyler Pipe Indus, Inc, 497 NE2d 570 (Ind App 1986) (imposition of broad indemnification clause, placed in relative obscurity on back of invoice at end of long passage, without express consent of proposed indemnitor, was found unconscionable);[2]
contractual statutes of limitations, Clark v DaimlerChrysler Corp, 268 Mich App 138, 706 NW2d 471 (2005); Thurman v DaimlerChrysler, Inc, 397 F3d 352 (6th Cir 2004) (limitation of six months for bringing employment action upheld in both cases);[2]
arbitration clauses, Al-Safin v Circuit City Stores, Inc, 394 F3d 1254 (9th Cir 2005) (arbitration clauses regarding coverage of claims, remedies, arbitration fees, cost-splitting, statute of limitations, class actions, and modifications rendered arbitration agreement excessively one-sided and unconscionable); and [2]
limitation of liability, Pichey v Ameritech Interactive Media Servs, 421 F Supp 2d 1038 (WD Mich 2006) (liquidated damage provision did not shock conscience).[2]

SHE COULD HAVE REJECTED IT

Plaintiff was free to reject the settlement and proceed to trial on the scheduled trial date and admitted as much under oath on the record.

SHE LOSES

Because she has not shown that the settlement agreement was
procedurally unconscionable, she has not established a right to relief on this ground.

Posted Here by Flint Divorce Lawyer Terry Bankert 3/29/09

You are invited to continue this discussion on my Face Book Page. http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Bankert/645845362
other sources
[1]
Marketing Track: Educating Lawyers and Clients About the Mediation Process - What Every Litigant and Advocate Needs to Know About YOUR Process By Robert E. Lee Wright, Presented at
7th Annual Advanced Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Institute
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flint School Closing 3/27/09

GOOD MORNING FLINT!
3/27/09 By Terry Bankert ,
Posted first to Blogging for Michigan
http://bloggingformichigan.com/

Flint School closing, a process.

Pictures and video of several meeting , show and interviews on Flint School Closing. The most recent 3/27/09.
Thumb Nail Photos/videos http://www.flickr.com/photos/30366181@N05/sets/72157615966982474/
Slideshow http://www.flickr.com/photos/30366181@N05/sets/72157615966982474/show/

Flint is rebuilding itself by institutions, private sector and the action of the Flint Board of Education and the City of Flint. Recent Flint Journal coverage of Flint School closing.
http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/03/possible_flint_school_closings.html

TV 12 http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/local&id=6730376
TV5 http://www.wnem.com/news/19008096/detail.html Proposed Flint school closings

• 2009-10: Central High School and Anderson, Civic Park, Garfield, Merrill and Stewart elementaries. The Classical Academy will move from Central to Southwestern Academy.
• 2010-11: Coolidge and Wilkins elementaries

Posted Here by Terry Bankert 3/27/09
You are invited to continue this discussion on my Face Book Page. http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Bankert/645845362

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ROCK memorial for Brett Elder

GOOD MORNING FLINT!
3/27/09
By Terry Bankert , early editionPosted first to Blogging for Michigan
http://bloggingformichigan.com/


"Tasered to death by Bay City PD," the Rock read.[1]

The ROCK. The ultimate Flint MI Community Bulletin Board.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30366181@N05/sets/72157615850325741/show/

Bay City Police policy calls for officers to assess subject's size before firing Taser [1]

BAY CITY POLICE TODAY SAY THEY HAVE A SPECIFIC

The Bay City Police Department policy on Taser use urges officers to consider a suspect's size - among other factors - when deciding whether to fire the weapon.[1]

Flint friends, attorney protest death of Brett 'Dewey' Elder after police used Taser[3]

Bethany Schuster had planned to celebrate her 24th birthday with her friend Brett this weekend. Instead, the Flint woman will spend it mourning his death.[3]

Schuster, her boyfriend and two friends painted The Rock at 12th Street and Hammerberg Road in Flint this week to protest 15-year-old Brett "Dewey" Elder's death in Bay City after police shot him with a stun gun inside an apartment early Sunday.[3]

Amnesty International has questioned the death, and a Flint attorney is laying the groundwork to file a lawsuit against the officers involved in the incident.[3]

"This was absolutely horrific," said Flint attorney David Nickola.[3]

Friends of Brett Elder - a 15-year-old described by relatives as about 5-foot-6 and 140 pounds - have criticized police for firing the Taser at Elder, who died after an officer subdued him with the stun gun Sunday morning. Witnesses said the unarmed teen moved toward three male police officers after Brett Elder physically attacked a female at an apartment on Catherine Street.[1]

A suspect's "relative size/stature" is the second of 12 circumstances listed for an officer to consider when controlling a situation.[1]

"He's not some hulking kid, he didn't have a weapon and any one of them - let alone three - could have taken him down," said Flint lawyer David J. Nickola, one of several lawyers representing the estate of Brett Elder.[1]

Nickola on Wednesday taped a segment with NBC's "Today" show that was expected to air this morning.[1]

The show was delayed becausue of weather stories from other parts of the country.
Brett Elder's funeral takes place today at 4 p.m. at Ambrose Funeral Home, 1200 Garfield Ave.[1]

The police department's policy on "Use of Force" - obtained by The Times - also urges officers to consider circumstances such as "type of crime committed or attempted" before deciding whether to use a Taser. [1]

An Amnesty International official this week said Brett is the second teen to die after being shot with a Taser this year and that 351 people have died in Taser-related incidents since 2001.[3]

An officer also should consider "conditions such as the number of officers involved, number of subjects involved and availability of back-up (officers)" before Taser use, according to the police policy.[1]

Bay City Deputy Police Chief Thomas Pletzke declined comment Wednesday when asked if officers followed department policy in dealing with Brett Elder. The Michigan State Police are investigating the circumstances leading to Brett Elder's death.[1]

The policy on "Use of Force" prohibits Bay City officers from using a Taser on a handcuffed subject. [1]

Wendy Elder, 34, the late teenager's sister-in-law who said she witnessed the police confrontation with Brett Elder, maintains the teen had been handcuffed when an officer fired the stun gun.

Police deny that claim, and also dispute Wendy Elder's allegation that an officer fired the Taser twice in subduing Brett Elder.[1]

The police policy also instructs an officer to consider whether a subject is under influence of alcohol or other drugs. Relatives said Brett Elder had consumed alcohol.[1]

Brett Elder was one of about seven adults or teenagers inside the apartment when police officers tried to calm him down, witnesses said. [1]

Bay City Police Chief Michael Cecchini said Brett Elder "became unruly and took a fighting stance against the officers" inside the apartment. At that point, an officer deployed the Taser, Cecchini said.[1]

The weapon shoots two probes into a targeted subject's body, with the probes attached to the power source by insulated wires, according to police. A discharge of electricity disrupts the body's ability to send messages from the brain to the muscles, causing motor-skill dysfunction, according to police.[1]

Dr. Kanu Virani conducted an autopsy on Brett Elder's body on Monday but hasn't announced preliminary results of the procedure. [1]

Nickola, who is working with Southfield attorney Geoffrey Fieger on the case, said they have hired renowned forensic pathologist Werner Spitz to do a second autopsy on the teen today.[1]

Fieger claims autopsy results "are expected to show (Brett Elder) died from being electrocuted by Taser causing his heart to defibrillate."[1]

The Times could not reach Virani for comment about Fieger's contention.[1]

One of the late teen's friends, 23-year-old Bethany Schuster of Flint, joined with several other to paint "The Rock" on 12th Street and Hammerberg Road in Flint this week to protest Brett's death.[1]

Video/pictures of the Rock
Thumbnail
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30366181@N05/sets/72157615850325741/


Slideshow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30366181@N05/sets/72157615850325741/show/



Schuster and her boyfriend, Brandon Look, painted the Rock on Tuesday with birthday wishes for Brett, who would have turned 16 that day.[1]

Using paint, they also added a message.

"Tasered to death by Bay City PD," the Rock read.[1]

Posted Here by Terry Bankert
3/26/09
You are invited to continue this discussion on my Face Book Page. http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Bankert/645845362

[1]
http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2009/03/bay_city_police_policy_calls_f.html

[2]
http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2009/03/bay_city_police_witnesses_disa_1.html

[3]
http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/03/flint_friends_attorney_protest.html

Sphere: Related Content

A child died. SHould there be a policy review?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_XGvV_bOF8

Ask your elected officals what their policies are if they have Taser.

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is your departments taser policy

GOOD MORNING FLINT!
3/25/09 By Terry Bankert
Posted first to Blogging for Michigan
http://bloggingformichigan.com/

British headlines today read "Tasers: Death of 15-year-old in USA reinforces need for caution in wider rollout of weapon."[4]

Some call Tasers a deadly weapon, this is why.

My point is to cause public policy discussions on the use of Tasers. The policy the guided the police actions in Bay City. The police actions that resulted in the death of a child.

WHY DID A CHILD DIE IN BAY CITY.
A video Commentary.
http://www.stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=183296973
or
http://www.flinttalkradio.com/

Tasers are inherently open to abuse and are not as safe as the industry would suggest, said Amnesty International today as it reiterated its call to the UK government to limit deployment of the weapon to life-threatening situations and to a small number of specialist officers who receive rigorous training.[5]

Key Facts:
Over 7,000 law enforcement
• agencies employ more than 140,000 Tasers in
the United States
• In a 6-year period, Amnesty International
reports over 290 deaths from police
Taser usage in the USA and Canada
• Use-of-force policies provide guidance
for police officers to follow during specific
scenarios
• Two Department of Homeland Security
divisions rejected its use altogether[6]

WHAT IS A TASER

A Taser is an electroshock weapon that uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles. Its manufacturer, Taser International, calls the effects "neuromuscular incapacitation"and device's mechanism "Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) technology"
Someone struck by a Taser experiences stimulation of his or her sensory nerves and motor nerves resulting in strong involuntary muscle contractions. Tasers do not rely on pain compliance, and are thus preferred by some law enforcement over non-Taser stun guns and other electronic control weapons.

Currently there are two main police models, the M26 and X26. Both come with various accessories, including a laser sight and mounted digital video camera that can record in low-light situations. Taser International is also marketing a civilian model called the C2.

Tasers were introduced as less-lethal weapons to be used by police to subdue fleeing, belligerent, or potentially dangerous subjects, often when what they consider to be a more lethal weapon would have otherwise been used. The use of Tasers has become controversial following instances of Taser use which have resulted in serious injury and death.[7]

The Taser fires two small dart-like electrodes, which stay connected to the main unit by conductive wire as they are propelled by small compressed nitrogen charges similar to some air gun or paintball marker propellants. The air cartridge contains a pair of electrodes and propellant for a single shot and is replaced after each use. There are a number of cartridges designated by range, with the maximum at 35 feet (10.6 m)[7].

Cartridges available to non-law enforcement consumers are limited to 15 feet (4.5 m).The electrodes are pointed to penetrate clothing and barbed to prevent removal once in place. Earlier Taser models required the electrodes' barbs to penetrate the skin, but newer versions (X26, C2) use a "shaped pulse" that increases effectiveness in the presence of barriers.[citation needed] Early models had difficulty in penetrating thick clothing, but the 'pulse' models are designed to bring down a subject wearing up to a Level III body armor vest.[7]

Some Taser models, particularly those used by police departments, 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. Taser defines "Drive Stun" as "the process of using the EMD weapon [Taser] as a pain compliance technique. This is done by activating the EMD 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."[7]

A Las Vegas police document says "The Drive Stun causes significant localized pain in the area touched by the Taser, but does not have a significant effect on the central nervous system. The Drive Stun does not incapacitate a subject but may assist in taking a subject into custody."[17]

"Drive Stun" was used in the UCLA Taser incident and the University of Florida Taser incident. It is also known as "dry tasing", "contact tasing", or "drive tasing".[7]

CANADIANS ARE REVISING THEIR POLICY ON TASERS

A revised RCMP policy that restricts how officers can use Tasers recognizes the stun guns can cause death, especially when fired on "acutely agitated" individuals, the head of the Mounties said Thursday.[1]

RCMP Commissioner William Elliott told a House of Commons public safety committee in Ottawa that the force introduced the policy on conductive energy weapons, or CEWs, to officers in June 2008.[1]

"The RCMP's revised CEW policy underscores that there are risks associated with the deployment of the device and emphasizes that those risks include the risk of death, particularly for acutely agitated individuals," Elliott told the committee.[1]

Under the amended policy, an officer is only permitted to use a stun gun if he or she is in physical danger or the public is in danger.[1]

It means Mounties can no longer shock people who are simply "actively resistant" to officers' orders, the commissioner said.[1]

"We've now made it very clear that the only time the use of a Taser can be justified is where there is a threat, either to our officers or members of the public," he told reporters after his appearance before the committee.[1]

'The Taser is clearly a dangerous weapon and should only be used in very limited circumstances where strictly necessary to protect life or avoid very serious injuries. It must be kept in the hands of a small number of highly trained specialist officers.' [5]

In at least six of the cases where people died, Tasers were used on individuals suffering from medical conditions such as seizures. [5]

One doctor who had crashed his car when he suffered an epileptic seizure, died after being repeatedly shocked at the side of the highway when, dazed and confused, he failed to comply with an officer's commands.[5]

Police officers in USA have also used Tasers on schoolchildren, pregnant women and even an elderly person with dementia. [5]

In March 2008, an 11-year-old girl with a learning disability was shocked with a Taser after becoming disruptive at school.[5]

Existing studies - many of them funded by the industry - have found the risk of these weapons to be generally low in healthy adults. However, these studies are limited in scope and have pointed to the need for more understanding of the effects of such devices on vulnerable people, including those under the influence of stimulant drugs or in poor health. [5]

Recent independently-funded animal studies have found that the use of these kinds of electro-shock weapons can cause fatal arrhythmias in pigs, raising further questions about their safety on human subjects. [5]

Second minor to die after being shocked by a Taser this year[4]The death of a 15-year-old boy in Michigan, USA after he was shocked with a Taser gun reinforces the need for greater caution to be applied in the roll out of Tasers to frontline police officers in the UK, said Amnesty International.[4]

The organisation also called for further tests into the safety of the electro-shock weapon.[4]

While few details are available, a police news release stated that the 15-year-old boy - who has not been named - was shocked when he 'attempted to fight' Bay City officers responding to reports of an argument between two males in an apartment. The boy is reported to have been unarmed.[4]

The boy reportedly went into medical distress immediately after being shocked and was pronounced dead in hospital.[4]Amnesty International UK's Arms Programme Director, Oliver Sprague said:'Tasers should only be used in life-threatening situations and this doesn't appear to be such an instance. Surely another form of restraint could have been applied in this case.[4]

'The tragic death of this teenager is a grave reminder that extreme caution has to be applied when Tasers are being used. Only a limited number of officers who undergo intensive, ongoing and rigorous training should be given these weapons.' [4]

According to information gathered by Amnesty International, this is the second minor to have died in the USA this year after being shocked with a Taser. In January, an unarmed 17-year-old boy in Virginia died after police, responding to a minor street incident, shocked him in his apartment.[4]

Since June 2001, the total number of deaths after the use of Taser guns in the US has risen to 351.[4]

A pilot program to enlarge Taser deployment in London pilot has caused a storm of international controversy surrounding the use of the Tasers. In October a Polish man died after being shot with a Taser by police officials as he waited to meet his mother in an airport in Vancouver, Canada. And just last month, a report published by the UN Committee Against Torture described the impact of the Taser weapon as 'provoking extreme pain, constituted a form of torture and that in certain cases it could also cause death.' UN office at Geneva press release, 23 November 2007[2]

The RCMP has more than 1,100 Tasers in use by more than 3,000 officers. In the wake of several high-profile incidents involving Tasers, critics and the RCMP's civilian watchdog accused the Mounties of relying on the weapons too much in policing and firing them on people who pose no threat.[1]

Arizona-based Taser International, which makes virtually all the stun guns currently being used by police forces, has said its products — which are intended to incapacitate people with an electric shock — have a higher safety margin than Tylenol.[1]

Elliott told reporters Thursday that stun guns are a "serious use of force," but added he believes the weapons are "far, far less lethal and far, far less dangerous" than conventional firearms, based on the experience of his force, other police agencies and available scientific data.[1]

Not everyone agrees.Amnesty International today (7 December) expressed concern at the ongoing pilot initiative for wider deployment of Taser stun guns being carried out by the Home Office, as London's Metropolitan Police prepare to enter the scheme despite strong reservations by the Metropolitan Police Authority. [2]

"I do not think there is any evidence that Tasers kill but certainly we have had some incidents where shortly after a Taser was deployed individuals died," Elliott said, "and certainly there is a distinct possibility that the deployment of the Taser and the experience generally contributed to the individual's death."[1]

The Mounties haven't spoken to the supplier about what the force's policy should be, he said.[1]

In January, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, a civilian oversight body, announced it would investigate every case in which a person died after being jolted by an RCMP Taser.[1]

Paul Kennedy, the commission's head, said the probe would cover about 10 deaths, but the exact number of cases to be examined had yet to be determined because the commission lacked a precise count.[1]

Change brought in last year, commissioner says [1]

Elliott dismissed suggestions by members of the committee that the force had delayed informing politicians and the public about the new policy.[1]

"I think that the media certainly has been advised on numerous occasions over the last several months with respect to the changes that we were adopting," he said.[1]

He noted Parliament has been suspended twice since the policy was introduced, preventing him from briefing MPs on the changes.[1]

"There was no committee for us to provide the update to," he said.[1]

The old policy instructed police to follow the standard use-of-force framework, which outlines when certain approaches are warranted. In the past, RCMP officials have said the policy meant an officer could use his or her own discretion to decide when to deploy a Taser.[1]

"I certainly think that there are incidents that, if they occurred today, a Taser will not be used, where if they occurred some months ago, a Taser would be used," Elliott said.[1]

No cause for concern, MPs told [1]

Elliott also said 60 RCMP stun guns have been tested since the CBC and Radio-Canada reported in December that an independent test of Tasers manufactured before 2005 found some of the devices produced a higher level of electricity than the manufacturer promises.[1]

Of the 41 Tasers tested by a U.S. laboratory commissioned by the broadcasters, four delivered significantly more current than Taser International says is possible. In some cases, the current was as much as 50 per cent stronger than specified on the devices.[1]

Elliott said the force's own independent tests have so far turned up no cause for concern, but he would keep MPs informed as testing continued.[1]

In response to the CBC/Radio-Canada report, Taser International said the U.S. laboratory tests commissioned by the broadcasters are "flawed."[1]

The Canadian Medical Association has raised concerns in the past about police departments relying on the manufacturer's claims of safety, and has called on police departments to open their databases to researchers. [1]

Amnesty International believes that Tasers can only be used if:
Tasers are only used as an alternative to lethal force where situation presents an immediate threat of death or serious injury to officers or others [2]

Officers carrying Tasers are trained to firearms standards on an ongoing basis [2]

Roll-out is highly restricted and then only to specially trained officers [2]

The Home Office has demonstrated how the use of Tasers will be consistent with its obligations under international human rights guidelines and has demonstrated what policies and procedures are in place to prevent misuse of electro-shock weapons. [2]

As far as Amnesty International is aware, none of these things has been spelt out and therefore Amnesty continues to oppose widespread deployment beyond the current policy of deployment by Specialist Firearms Officers. [2]

Taser stun guns are potentially lethal electrical weapons. The pistol-shaped weapon delivers 50,000 volts of electricity into a person's body. The result is excruciatingly painful, causing a person to fall to the ground and, at times, lose control of their bodily functions. [2]

'It's a dangerous world out there'[1]

RCMP officers are still required to report each stun gun firing or threat to fire, as well as to justify the use as a reasonable and necessary response to a threat to an officer or to public safety, he noted. [1]

The force is committed to submitting quarterly and annual reports on Taser use incidents, the commissioner said.[1]

The commissioner also said officers will now refresh stun gun training each year instead of every two years, but the RCMP did not adopt the all-party committee's call to reclassify the stun gun as an impact weapon.[1]

Elliott said that's because it's already considered a prohibited firearm with clear policy restrictions for its use. He said the contentious weapons save lives.[1]

"It's a dangerous world out there, and our officers are called upon to respond to situations involving threat with alarming regularity," he said.[1]

Police use of Tasers has generated intense public concern after Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died at Vancouver International Airport more than a year ago. An RCMP officer shot him with a Taser shortly before his death.[1]

British Columbia called an inquiry that has also been looking at the use of Tasers and the circumstances surrounding Dziekanski's death.[1]

Analysis

Current placement of Tasers as an acceptable response on the use-of-force
continuum varies by agency. The use-of-force continuum has five levels, ranging
from ‘Strategic’ situations, in which the officer may use such responses as
cooperative controls, to ‘Lethal’ situations, where response includes deadly
force. Universally elevating Taser usage to the "Harmful" level on the Use-of-Force
Continuum narrows the circumstances of use, decreasing frequency of Taser
deployments. This effectively lowers risk of injury or death. (Refer to figure in
endnotes) Elevated circumstances will placate community fear of abusive Taser
use. Community perception can change if citizens view Tasers only being used in
dangerous situations. In this manner, Taser usage can be seen as a positive, lesslethal
alternative to a firearm or impact weapon, i.e. baton or nightstick.[6]

Posted Here by Terry Bankert 3/25/09
You are invited to continue this discussion on my Face Book Page. http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Bankert/645845362

[1]
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/02/12/rcmp-stunguns.html
[2]
http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=17565
[3]
http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10079
[4]
http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=18120
[5]
http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=17990
[6]
http://rooseveltinstitution.org/_file/_25icj_leight_and_pencak_taser_deployment.pdf

[7]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taser

Sphere: Related Content

Questions when police kill children

GOOD MORNING FLINT!
3/24/09
By Terry Bankert
Posted first to Blogging for Michigan
http://bloggingformichigan.com/

Death by Taser: The Killer Alternative to Guns[5]

Already in the case of the Bay City killing we hear denunciation of the victim and blind support for the police. When there is a death at the hands of the police we have an obligation and right to ask questions.

How can the demand for governmental accountability be any greater than when the Bay City Police Department killed a child with a Taser?

Google Taser Death and numerous articles come up. My intent today is a brief review to begin to raise the right questions we should be asking Bay City Government and our own elected officals.
Since 2001, more than 150 people nationwide have died after they were shocked by Tasers, according to an Amnesty International [6]

TASER ASSOCIATED DEATHS & NEED TO MINIMIZE THE APPEARANCE OF BRUTALITY

Many Taser-associated deaths have been written up by coroners as being attributable to "excited delirium," a condition that includes frenzied or aggressive behavior, rapid heart rate and aggravating factors related to an acute mental state and/or drug-related psychosis. When such suspects are stunned, especially while already being held down or hogtied, deaths seem to occur after a period of "sudden tranquility," as Taser explains in its CD-ROM training material entitled, "Sudden Custody Death: Who's Right and Who's Wrong." In that same material, the company warns officers to "try to minimize the appearance of mishandling suspects."[5]

A CHILD DIES AT THE HANDS OF POLICE ,THE TASER PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE WILL ARRIVE IN TOWN SOON. WHY?

Today, more than 9,500 law enforcement, correctional and military agencies in 43 countries use Taser weaponry. In the past eight years, more than 184,000 Tasers have been sold to law enforcement agencies, with another 115,000 to citizens in the 43 states where it is legal to possess a stun gun. [5]

IN AN ONGOING CANADIAN CASE LYING MOUNTIES GOT CAUGHT IN A VIDEO

A fuzzy video of four Mounties zapping Robert Dziekanski with a stun gun sparked international outrage, but it is unusual for police officers to be convicted of using excessive force in such cases, experts say.The reasons are varied. Police are given leeway to use a certain amount of force in their jobs. It's hard to prove the officers intended to kill or badly hurt the victims. And juries are often hesitant to convict officers if the victims had been acting violently. Among the highest-profile cases of police use of force was that of Rodney King, a black motorist beaten by four Los Angeles police officers in 1991. The police were charged but acquitted in court, sparking massive race riots.[4]

THE POLICE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX WILL SAY TASERING IS HUMAN

Long touted as a safer alternative to handguns for law enforcement, tasers are potentially deadly weapons that have a growing history of abuse by police and security guards. [5]

HIT HIM AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN

A VANCOUVER, B.C. news article on a taser death raised the issue of how many time the victim was tasered on the ground collapsed and did the officer have the proper training.
Taser's stun guns are designed to shoot a maximum of 50,000 volts into a person's body through two compressed nitrogen-fueled probes, thereby disrupting the target's electromuscular system. The probes are connected to the Taser gun by insulated wires, and can deliver repeat shocks in quick succession. The probes can pierce clothing and skin from a distance or be directly applied to a person's body -- a process known as "dry stunning" -- for an ostensibly less-incapacitating, cattle-prod effect.[5]

A VICTIM WHO DID NOT UNDERSTAND ENGLISH GIVEN CONFLICTING ORDERS AND KILLED

The inquiry into the Taser-related death of a Polish immigrant at Vancouver International Airport will resume Monday with testimony from the senior officer involved.RCMP Cpl. Benjamin (Monty) Robinson was the officer in charge of a team of four when Robert Dziekanski was hit multiple times with a police stun gun and died on Oct. 14, 2007.Dziekanski family lawyer Walter Kosteckyj said the testimony from the three other Mounties involved has been full of errors and misrepresentations.[2]

THE POLICE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX RUNS ON TASER

Taser International Inc. maintains that its stun-guns are "changing the world and saving lives everyday." There is no question that they changed Jack Wilson's life. On Aug. 4, in Lafayette, Colo., policemen on a stakeout approached Jack's son Ryan as he entered a field of a dozen young marijuana plants. When Ryan took off running, officer John Harris pursued the 22-year-old for a half-mile and then shot him once with an X-26 Taser. Ryan fell to the ground and began to convulse. The officer attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but Ryan died.[5]

THE MOUNTIES ARE SORRY A MAN IS DEAD..HIT AGAIN AND AGAIN

"No one should have passed away," he said. "This never should have happened." "When he took the step forward, that's when I gave Const. Millington the command to deploy the Taser," said Robinson. "And at that point, the Taser was deployed."Robinson said when Dziekanski didn't immediately fall down, he asked for a second shock...On the video, one of the officers can be heard shouting, "Hit him again! Hit him again!" after the second stun, long after Dziekanski had fallen. The other officers have said that voice belongs to Robinson. Robinson said he didn't remember giving a third command, but didn't dispute that it was him. "I don't rule that out, it was me a third possible time," he said.A bystander's video played numerous times at the inquiry shows Dziekanski was on the floor for the second stun, and Robinson acknowledged Dziekanski had either already collapsed or was on his way down by the end of the first shock.Robinson completed Taser training in 2003, but that training expired three years later. He wasn't recertified until a month after Dziekanski's death.[1]

QUESTION How many times was the victim tasered.?

QUESTION What was the state of the victim when tasered?

QUESTION Did the officers doing the tasering have proper training or certification?

TEMPORARY OVERRIDE OF NERVOUS SYSTEM

According to Taser's promotional materials, its stun guns are designed to "temporarily override the nervous system [and take] over muscular control." People who have experienced the effect of a Taser typically liken it to a debilitating, full-body seizure, complete with mental disorientation and loss of control over bodily functions.[5]

POLICE DO LIE. ITS YET TO BE PROVEN IN BAY CITY. KEEP AN OPEN MIND BUT A CRITICAL ONE

In the Canadian case police officers were caught in a lie.
Robinson denied that he and his three Mountie colleagues had colluded in any way by discussing what happened that night.[2]After watching a video of the incident taken by a man at the airport, Robinson admitted his statement was wrong in that Dziekanski did fall after the first Taser and did not have to be wrestled to the ground. [2]

QUESTION What inconsistencies exist in officer statements showing the conspiracy to lie by officers.

HOW MANY STUNS TO A KILL?

He said he thought Dziekanski was only Tasered twice. He didn’t realize the Taser was deployed five times, the last three in stun mode, where the electrical device is held against a person to immobilize them. [2]

QUESTION What does deployed mean? What does stun mode mean? What other mode is there?

Robinson will be asked about his gestures to Dziekanski just before he was jolted, why he asked for another Taser shock even though Dziekanski was already on the floor and what efforts he made to revive the unconscious man.[3]

QUESTION What efforts were made to assist the victim.

BEFORE A COUPLE BIG COPS COULD HANDLE A KID

The Taser has made the debate around police use of force more complicated. The "conducted energy weapon" was introduced as a less-lethal alternative to handguns, but its usage has increased dramatically in recent years and it has been used in multiple incidents in Canada that have resulted in a death.That has sparked controversy internationally about whether the Taser should be considered the equivalent to a gun, or truly a more middle-of-the-road weapon if used appropriately.[4]

QUESTION How many deaths have been caused by taser?

QUESTION Should a Taser be considered a gun.

SOME TASER HITS OCCUR WHILE CUFFED. Or death occurs after cuffing.

In July, a Louisiana grand jury indicted former police officer Scott Nugent on a manslaughter charge in the death of a man who was Tasered nine times while handcuffed.[4]
QUESTION Why would a handcuffed prisoner need to be tasered?

TASER IS BIG BUSINESS AND THEIR PUBLIC RELATIONS PEOPLE WILL HIT TOWN SOON.

Over the same period, Taser has developed a near-monopoly in the market for non-lethal weaponry. Increasingly, law enforcement officials use such weapons to subdue society's most vulnerable members: prisoners, drug addicts and the mentally ill, along with "passive resisters," like the protesters demonstrating against Florida Governor Jeb Bush's attendance of a Rick Santorum fundraiser in Pittsburgh on Oct. 9.[5]

TASER OPERATES ON INFLUENCE PEDDLING

Taser has built this monopoly through influence peddling, savvy public relations and by hiring former law enforcement and military officers -- including one-time Homeland Security chief hopeful, Bernard Kerik. And now that questions are being raised about the safety of Taser weaponry, the company is fighting back with legal and marketing campaigns. [5]

Review with a critical eye what the police ,prosecutor and Taser PR people say. The police are our police protecting us.The individual officers did the best they could and feel truly saddened over the death of this child in Bay City. Its tough rough business. Focus on departmental procedure and office training. Put accountability on the police chain of command and the elected officials. They will try to run but they cannot hide.

Posted Here by Terry Bankert 3/23/09
You are invited to continue this discussion on my Face Book Page. http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Bankert/645845362
--
[1]
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5i9_GH7741Z1l6bOKUDNtPdeVN_Hw


[2]
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Everything+happened+really+quick+final+officer+tells+Taser+inquiry/1419113/story.html

[3]
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/03/22/bc-braidwood-inquiry-resumes.html

[4]
http://www.canada.com/news/Convictions+police+excessive+force+rare+experts/1071785/story.html

[5]
http://www.alternet.org/rights/44455/
[6]
http://tampabay.injuryboard.com/defective-and-dangerous-products/another-taser-death-in-clearwater.aspx?googleid=202670

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 23, 2009

BAY CITY POLICE KILL CHILD

GOOD MORNING FLINT! 3/23/09 By Terry Bankert
Posted first to Blogging for Michgian
http://attorneybankert.com/http://bloggingformichigan.com/
http://attorneybankert.com/

BAY CITY, A POLICE CALL AND A CHILD DIES AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE
I heard that a child was tasered to death by the Bay City Michigan Police. Citizen compliance to police authority and the police reasonable use of force are two competing pressures, equally important that keep our community’s safe. The courts often are called upon to determine if a citizen properly complied with a police authority. The courts seldom are called upon to determine proper police use of force. We rely on the leadership of the department and or political jurisdiction to monitor police behavior.

WE HAVE A RIGHT TO ASK QUESTIONS
But we have a right to demand answers and proof that when a child is killed by the police that it was reasonable. Reasonable is measured by law, departmental management , procedures and officer training. We have a right to know if the force used in this case was reasonable, a child was killed.

So far it , 5 am Monday 3/23/09,appears the Bay City issued a pres release the associated press picked it up and most media just repeated it. The blogosphere comments are that the child was repeatedly tasered. The State police are investigating. Next will come a statement by the Bay County Prosecutor. The Bay City Council should be asking hard questions. Yes police work is tough, we appreciate their service and the community should support their police department. But a child died, we have a right to know if the use of force was reasonable.
My first stop was at the internet site of the police department involved.
Welcome to the Bay City Police Department, Mission Statement ,"To provide the highest quality of police services for the community in a professional and caring manner." Vision Statement,"Excellence in Policing." [9]

They have defined the question. Was the police killing of the child by the Bay City police e representative of professional, caring police services of the highest quality and representative of excellence in policing.

Before the pro police jump on me, I was Flint Municipal Ombudsman for 7 years and have been trained to investigate police procedure and conducted over 300 investigations with a number of use of force cases. That was 15 years ago. I do not litigated ( represent victims) in this area and practice only in family law and will accept no involvement in this case, don’t call.

THE OFFICIAL WORD

A police news release says officers answered a report of a fight about 3:40 a.m. Sunday. The statement says two males were arguing in an apartment, and one of them "attempted to fight the officers."[8]

COMMUNITY REACTION BEGINS IN THE BLOGOSPHERE

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! once again, cops in bay city like the judges thinking they can do anything.how would any of you feel if it were your child. skinny 15 year old can`t be controlled by grown men? you people don’t know him? Brett was like any other kid. bay city police should hang their heads on this one .I hope it cost the city alot.put this murderer in prison. you all scream about donna,this guy tasered the kid MULTIPLE TIMES.HE IS A MURDERER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[ Posted by BILLZIMMER on Reader comment Saginaw News [4]

Fact: You were not there and don't know exactly what happened.[Posted by audionautix on reader comment on Saginaw News[4]

A CHILD IS DEAD

Bay City police say a 15-year-old has died after being Tasered by officers who were trying to break up a fight.[1]

HOW TO CONTACT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT INVOLVED

Bay City Police Department501 3RD ST BAY CITY, MI 48708 989-892-8571[9]
DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE, WAS IT HANDLED PROPERLY

Police say two males were arguing in an apartment early yesterday and one of them "attempted to fight the officers." [6]

CHILD TASERED

The teen was Tasered after he "attempted to fight the officers" but his reaction prompted police to immediately call for medics.[8]

CHILD KILLED BY BAY CITY MI POLICE

A Bay City teenager is dead after being Tasered by a Bay City police officer. It happened around 3:40 am Sunday morning along the 200 block of South Catherine Street. Police got to the area and found at least two people fighting near an apartment.[3]

HOW JUST DID THE OFFICER ATTEMPT TO STOP THE FIGHT

Officers tried several times to stop the argument[3]

THERE SHOULD BE POLICE DISPATCH TAPES, WHAT WAS THE CALL?

Officers were sent to an apartment in the 200-block of South Catherine about 3:40-Sunday morning for a disturbance. A 15-year old boy was arguing with another man in the west side apartment and he tried to fight with the officers. One of the officers used a taser weapon to subdue the teen.[5]

HOW DID THE POLICE ATTEMPT TO DIFFUSE THE SITUATION

Police told TV5 that two men were arguing. Police said they attempted to diffuse the situation but the teen attempted to fight the officers. Police used a Taser in an effort to subdue him. [7]

DID THE POLICE OVERREACT? WHAT WAS THEIR TRAINING, DEPARTMENT POLICE AND RECORD OF THE OFFICERS INVOLVED

The police over reacted.[ Posted by flint4u on Reader comment Saginaw News [4]

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE BAY CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

The Bay City Police are known for being to violent and aggressive with adults let alone teens. Opie was a good boy and never did anything wrong.[Posted by flint4u on Reader comment Saginaw News [4]

THERE WILL BE A TAPE OF THE OFFICES CALL, WHAT WAS SAID.

Officers at the scene called an ambulance after seeing the teen’s reaction to the Taser, police said. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.[7]

WHAT IS THE MEDICAL REACTION TO A TASERThe teen suffered a medical reaction after
being taken into custody. He was pronounced dead at Bay Regional Medical Center. His name is being withheld at this time. [5]

Tasers use electrical shocks to stun attackers and disrupt voluntary control of their muscles.[2]

WAS THE CHILD TASERED MORE THAN ONCE?

Being tased over and over again for not being quiet is uncalled for..Seriously what could he have done to hurt them when he was already handcuffed? That cop should be put under the jail...His job is to protect people not kill innocent, harmless teenagers...[ Posted by kimmy1776 on reader comment Saginaw News [4]

WHAT WAS THE CONDITION OF THE CHILD BEFORE THE TASER?

Then the 15-year-old reportedly tried to fight the officers, shortly before the Stun Gun was used on him.[3]

WHO WERE THE MEDICAL STAFF AND WHAT IS THEIR VERSION?

Medical staff arrived to treat the teen. He was taken to Bay Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.[3]

WHO WERE THE NEIGHBORS, WHAT DID THEY SEE AND HOW LARGE WAS THE FIGHT, WAS IT MORE THAN TWO.

Neighbors summoned authorities to quell a large fight, police said.[4]

WERE THE OFFICERS SURROUNDED BY A NUMBER OF PEOPLE OR JUST TWO?

When officers arrived, neighbors directed them to an apartment where they found two people arguing.Officers' attempts to diffuse the situation failed, police said.[4]

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF TASER USE IN BAY CITY AND MICHIGAN

Frankly, the expanding overuse of tasers in the United States is one of the most egregious abuses of police power I have ever seen. They're used for crowd control against non-violent people, they are used to subdue those who may be unarmed but resist arrest, and they're used when people are perceived as upset or out-of-line. [Boston Globe reader comment[2]

WHAT IS THE TRAINING AN OFFICER RECEIVES TO MAKE THE DECISION TO USE A TASER?

What were the police supposed to do if he was so uncooperative, shoot him? People call the police to do something, and when they do, they are the bad guys. What would you have done??? I support the police in this case.[Posted by nowayjean Saginaw news reader comment [4]

PUBLIC OPINION IS FORMING WITHOUT ALL THE FACTS.

I, for one, will not stand for this. Weapons this dangerous should not be in the hands of trigger-happy police officers who don't know if their little toy weapon is going to kill someone.They're just waiting to try it, and when the first person steps out of line and says, "Don't taze me, bro!," BAM! You've just been electrocuted to death. [Boston Globe reader comment[2]

This sounds more like a 1984 or Fascist nightmare than a Representative Democracy of the people.Let's reconsider out taser policies across the country. We keep seeing these articles, because it's human nature to go trigger happy with these violent and deadly weapons they perceive as the next best thing to pepper spray. by flowingfire March 23, 3:49 AM [Boston Globe reader comment[2]

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE KILLED ANNUALLY BY TASERS?

For a supposedly nonfatal law enforcement tool, it sure ends up killing a lot of people. Of course, that's because it's rampantly overused and abused in situations where a cop would never pull a gun. Large amounts of electricity are used to kill people...what a surprise that slightly small amounts do too! by Wasabiturtleboston-1 March 23, 2:50 AM [Boston Globe reader comment[2]

OBEYING THE POLICE AND REASONABLE USE OF FORCE ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT

When the cop points the TASER at you.....stop what you are doing....and live. by powhitetrash March 23, 2:22 AM [Boston Globe reader comment[2]

THE EARLY MEDIA ACCOUNTS ANF BLOGOSPHERE COMMENTS


The death occurred after Bay City officers answered a report of an early morning fight early yesterday.[2]

Two males were arguing in an apartment, and one of them "attempted to fight the officers," a police statement said.[2]

Police didn’t release his name and say state police are investigating.[1]
A police news release says officers answered a report of a fight about 3:40 a.m. Sunday. The statement says two males were arguing in an apartment, and one of them "attempted to fight the officers."[1]
Fact: According to a study by Amnesty International, a small percentage of those who have tasers used on them each year die as a direct result of getting tased, and deaths during arrests increase in police departments where tasers are introduced.[Posted by audionautix on Saginaw reader comment [4]
Fact: being belligerent and disrespectful to the police will increase your chances of having your @ss tased.[Posted by audionautix on Saginaw reader comment [4]

Police say police Tasered him, and his reaction led them to immediately call for emergency medical help. He was pronounced dead at Bay Regional Medical Center.[1]


The whole reason for the taser is to control anyone without coming in direct contact with an aggressive subject. No matter the age, sex or size. They should now go and Taze the parents for not teaching their child how to respect the police. Unacceptable ...? No...it’s the standard. Have to wait and see how intoxicated or how high the youth was.[ Posted by simonsidol on Saginaw News Reader comment[4]

Police say officers used the Taser to subdue the teenager, and his reaction led them to immediately call for emergency medical help. He was pronounced dead at Bay Regional Medical Center.[2]


I don't recall the article stating the teen died as a result of the taser...I have personally tazed 50+ subjects and yes-none of them have died...the purpose of the taser is so that neither the officer nor arrestee get injured...so we should all patiently await the autopsy report...and ... you would also be the first to complain if the officers had to become physical, not beat him, to detain him...not all teens are 5'08" 130lbs![ Posted by mezcal084 on Saginaw News reader comment[4]


Well I find it interesting that officers could not take control of a 15 year old kid they are trained police officers and they had to use a stungun on him that is unacceptable for law enforcement
[ Posted by repo0225 on Saginaw News reader comment [4]

Deputy Chief Thomas Pletzke tells WNEM-TV police placed one officer on administrative leave.[1]
Deputy Police Chief Thomas Pletzke told WNEM-TV that the department has placed one officer on administrative leave in connection with the episode.[2]

I find it interesting that this is being reported on mlives saginaw site but not on the bay city site.It seems that when a teen dies after being tasered by a member of law enforcement it should deserve at least a cursory mention in the local press. Maybe the bay city times hasn't figured out a way to put the proper spin on it yet?[Posted by heresthis on Saginaw News reader comment[4]

Michigan State police are investigating the case. The names of the officer and the teen have not been released.[3]

Most teen age KIDS!! are cocky. The teenage kid was in the wrong to go after the cops.However is a 15 year BOY that much of a danger to two full grown men? Police officers TRAINEDin self defense. Did the boy have a gun,Knife? I didnt see where they stated he did. Where thecops in that much danger? A BOY is going to kick both cops A**? I dought it. What about the nakedman they tasered last month. Did he have hidden weapons? Yea Right!! I think the cops are outof control on there use of tasers and should be held accountable for thier actions. Nakedmen and BOYS can be taken down and hand cuffed the old fashion way. Do your jobs right andnut just taser people and children because you THINK you can. I bet the Bay City copslose this lawsuit BIG TIME. We will see, and thier just might be murder charges drop this.THIS IS GOING TO FAR!! OUT LAW TASERS FOR THELAW OFFICERS ALSO. [ Posted by Saddman47 on Saginaw News reader comment [4]

Well To the people that think the Taser is no good think of this. Let's say they don't use the taser and fight with the kid and in the strugle he breaks a arm or leg, Are they at fault now? Or lets say the kid is 6 foot 2 and 240 pounds (note any size person could get lucky here) and puts up a good fight and gets one of there guns somehow then what?. The Tasers job is to stop the fight before it ever happens and save injury of the person or the officer. It seems to me in this case by some of the comments the police would have been wrong no matter what had happen. Remember That fighting with the police in the first place is a crime. Let's wait and see how the kis died before we go all crazy and want to hang anyone out to dry.[Posted by smooth781 on reader comment Saginaw News [4]

In Bay City start my supporting your police but demand answers in ths short run. In the long run use this opportunity to review your policies.

You the public have a right to know and a right to demand a department that kills a child is held accountable and must publicly and fully report.


Why not use this as an opportunity to work with your local police department and elected leadership and review your departments polices on use of force and tasers. Why wait for a child death?

Posted Here by Terry Bankert 3/23/09 You are invited to continue this discussion on my Face Book Page. http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Bankert/645845362
-
[1]
http://www.freep.com/article/20090323/NEWS06/90323003/1001/NEWS/Bay+City+teen+dies+after+police+Taser+him

[2]
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/03/23/teen_dies_when_police_use_taser_on_him/

[3]
http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=276821

[4]
http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2009/03/teed_dies_after_police_use_tas.html

[5]
http://wsgw.com/Tasered-Teen-Dies/4063076

[6]
http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2009/03/23/8848571-sun.html

[7]
http://www.wnem.com/news/18987196/detail.html

[8]
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25227299-663,00.html

[9]
http://www.cityofbaycity.org/index.asp?ID=8http://www.baycitymi.org/police/police.htm

[10]

I'm gonna let you folks in on facts that are missing. Noone inn the family is saying brett was a perfect kid you are right he had a rough life and was srinking that night. The family dont have a problem with the police using a taser. The famioly does have a problem with the half truths coming out on the news. Brett was HANDCUFFED while being tased. Does that make a diffrence to anyone it does to us. He was not fighting or swinging or throwing punches or kicks he stood up thats all he did he got dropped with no warning for standing up. he fell over and screamed as most people would do so they tased him again, this is where the family has problems but wait it gets better for all you who stick up for the police no matter what they do. The tasing caused brett to vomit so now he is laying face down in his own vomit and his heart stops. 1 of the 3 officers that were there said the victim is unresponsive. The family that was there now started to yell at the cops he's not breathing he's not breathing. this we have on audio recording. a family member wo has been in health care for most of her adult life told the police she was cpr certified and ask to try to revive him SHE WAS DENIED!!!! nor would the police try to perform cpr they refused to roll him on his side as you are supposed to do to someone who vomits whilr unconcious. So the family is not angry at the use of a taser, they are angry at the actions the cops would not let happen to save his life. This was cold and negligent. oh by the way they started taking state ments from people, bretts family and friends before the paramedics got there while he was laying on the floor dying WAY COOL BAY CITY POLICE YOU GO!!!! I HOPE THIS MAKES YOU FEEL BIG AND BAD TOUGH GUYS!!!![Posted by str8fan on reader comment from Saginaw News
[10]

http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2009/03/teed_dies_after_police_use_tas.html


[11]

http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2009/03/update_bay_city_teen_dies_afte.html#comments

Michigan State Police will investigate the death of a 15-year-old boy who died Sunday morning after a Bay City Police Department officer user a Taser weapon to subdue him.
Police identified the teen as Brett Elder.
Bay City Police Department officers said they responded to a fight in the 200 block of South Catherine Street at 3:40 a.m. Sunday. Officers said they were led to an apartment and found two males arguing, and tried to defuse the situation several times.

City police said one of the males, however, then tried to go after other occupants of the apartment and tried to fight the officers.
Police said they then Tasered the youth and took him into custody. Officers summoned medical personnel immediately due to the reactions of the subject.
Rescuers took Elder to Bay Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Police said they arrested the boy's 35-year-old uncle at the hospital for assaulting a police officer there, and for resisting and obstructing police.
Prosecutors expect to arraign the uncle, of Bay City, in court today on the criminal charges.
Bay City Police Chief Michael Cecchini said the officer who used the stun gun has been placed on administrative leave for several days.
"This is a very tragic event," said Cecchini, noting the Bay City Police Department will conduct an internal investigation to determine whether the officer followed department policy when using the Taser.
Cecchini would not identify the officer.
Brett Elder attended Wenona High School, an alternative high school at 201 Woodside Lane operated by the Bay City Public Schools. Elder attended Bay City Central High School earlier this school year.
"He was a pleasant enough young man," said Jerry Lombardo, principal at Wenona High School, though Lombardo noted Elder had attended the alternative school for only about three weeks.
Police said an autopsy will take place today, but it will take weeks for final results - including toxicology tests to check for levels of drugs and alcohol.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 20, 2009

We have Circus they have 3 million protesters!

ARTICLE SUMMARY
1.AN ANGRY MIDDLE CLASS ERUPTS!
2.WOULD A MILLION WORKERS PROTEST ECONOMICS IN U.S.?
3.US MIDDLE CLASS OUTRAGED ABOUT THE BAILOUT BONUS, ARE THERE PROTESTS? 4.MIDDLE CLASS SAYS DEFEND US FROM ECONOMIC HARM
5.PROFESSIONALS AND TEACHERS JOIN IN...
6.RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE AND BENEFITS
7.WHY IS OUR GOVERNMENT NOT DOING MORE?
8.WE CANNOT FEED OUR CHILDREN
9.UNEMPLOYMENT IN PRIVATE SECTOR GOING UP...FAST
10.FRENCH GOVERNMENT BAILS OUT THE WORKER LESS THAN THE BUSINESSPERSON
11.US STUNNED BY THE GREED OF WALL STREET
12.LEADERS DEMAND MORE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS LESS FOR THE ECONOMIC RULING CLASS
13.THREE MILLION PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE
14.THE PROTEST COULD WIDEN
15.FRANCE IS DIFFERENT
16.FRENCH CITIZENS COMMENTS
17.WHAT IS HAPPENING IS WRONG
18.WHY IS A CITIZEN STRIKE NECESSARY?
19.HAPPY PROTESTING
20.IT’S THE MONEYED PEOPLE
21.PEOPLE RIOT WHEN THEY HAVE NO BREAD
22.AMERICANS UPSET OVER A PARAGRAPH ALLOWING THE BAILOUT BONUS
23.IT’S THE FAULT OF BIG GOVERNMENT
24.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WE ARE MAD AS...AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY LONGER 25.UNITED STATES SHOULD LOOK TO THE FUTURE
26.AMERICAN TAXPAYER WANTS HEADS TO ROLL POLITICALLY FOR THE BAILOUT BONUS?..WHO ...WHO.....WHO IS AT FAULT? IS IT DODD?
27.DODD ON DEFENSIVE "This political circus that's going on here today with this bill is not getting to the bottom of the questions of who knew what and when did they know it,"


GOOD MORNING FLINT! 3/19/09 By Terry Bankert

AN ANGRY MIDDLE CLASS ERUPTS! More than a million French workers staged a general strike and marched in demonstrations across the country Thursday in a second round of protests against the government's response to the world economic crisis.[1]

WOULD A MILLION WORKERS PROTEST ECONOMICS IN U.S.? The rallies, which, according to polls, are backed by three quarters of the French population, reflect growing disillusion with Sarkozy’s...[FRENCH PRESIDENT]... reforms as tens of thousands of jobs are lost to the downturn.[4]

US MIDDLE CLASS OUTRAGED ABOUT THE BAILOUT BONUS, ARE THERE PROTESTS? Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner confirmed yesterday that his department urged Sen. Chris Dodd to water down the executive-bonus limits included in last month's stimulus bill, a move that allowed the payment of $165 million in bonuses to American International Group employees.[6]

MIDDLE CLASS SAYS DEFEND US FROM ECONOMIC HARM The protests, which drew substantially more people into the streets than a similar outpouring Jan. 29, were depicted by union leaders as part of a sustained campaign to pressure President Nicolas Sarkozy to do more to defend French people against the economic upheaval that has unfurled across the planet since the fall. [1]

PROFESSIONALS AND TEACHERS JOIN IN... Teachers and doctors protested against his long-standing reform plan, saying public-sector job cuts would kill schools and hospitals. University staff are continuing their seven-week strike against higher education reform with sit-ins and occupations. [2]

RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE AND BENEFITS In particular, they called on him to raise low-end wages and unemployment benefits and to make it harder for business leaders to fire employees when profits sink. [1]

WHY IS OUR GOVERNMENT NOT DOING MORE? "I cannot believe the government will stay immobile in the face of a phenomenon of this size," Bernard Thibault of the General Labor Confederation said on the government's France 2 television. [1]

WE CANNOT FEED OUR CHILDREN More than 90,000 French workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in January, pushing the total to 2.2 million and leading economists to estimate the unemployment rate at 8 percent. In addition, an increasing number of factories have put workers on part-time schedules, drastically reducing their pay and increasing fears of more layoffs. [1]

UNEMPLOYMENT IN PRIVATE SECTOR GOING UP...FAST Private-sector employees, including supermarket cashiers, bank clerks and car workers, took to the street over poor pay, factory closures and the return of a traditional French scourge: unemployment, now rising at its fastest rate in 10 years. [2]

FRENCH GOVERNMENT BAILS OUT THE WORKER LESS THAN THE BUSINESSPERSON In reaction, Sarkozy's government last month announced $3.2 billion worth of aid, including extended unemployment benefits, tax breaks for the poor and a one-time payment of $650 to unemployed youths who were not on the job long enough to qualify for unemployment checks. But the bulk of his $33 billion in anti-crisis spending has gone to buttress the finances of threatened banks and stimulate the flow of credit to needy businesses.[1]

US STUNNED BY THE GREED OF WALL STREET Obama told host Jay Leno that the payments raised moral and ethical problems — and that the administration was going to do everything it could to get the money back.But Obama added that the bigger problem is the culture that allowed traders to claim them.He said that has to change if the economy is to recover.[5]

LEADERS DEMAND MORE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS LESS FOR THE ECONOMIC RULING CLASS Union leaders have denounced Sarkozy's aid to workers as half-measures that betray an inability to understand the feelings of insecurity and unfairness spreading through the working-class population. Prime Minister Fran├žois Fillon, in a television appearance after the protests, acknowledged workers' concerns as legitimate but noted that the crisis was worldwide and said the French government would be irresponsible if it promised more spending now. [1] "Certainly not a new stimulus plan," he added. [1]

THREE MILLION PEOPLE DEMONSTRATE Unions said 3 million people participated in the demonstrations; police put the number at 1.2 million. In Paris, where the largest protest took place, marchers seemed enraged by what they said was Sarkozy's political bias toward the rich. France's bankers and businessmen have been granted expensive government subsidies to avoid bankruptcy, they said, while workers have been asked to make do with less money in their pay envelopes.[1]

THE PROTEST COULD WIDEN The government is concerned about the increasingly radical nature of protesters, with Sony factory workers holding a chief executive hostage over redundancies last week. Some French protesters are looking to the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, where a six-week general strike and one death eventually forced the government to back down and raise wages. [2]

FRANCE IS DIFFERENT With its large public sector, generous welfare system and rigid banking system, France has not yet suffered as acutely as Britain or Spain from the financial crisis. But a wave of mass redundancies sparked the protests. [2]

FRENCH CITIZENS COMMENTS I am not happy about the crooks in the banks who receive lots of money. I oppose the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy. I don't like him, he is very right-wing. He is part of a gang of rich people and he doesn't care about the poor people. [3] I always strike when I have the opportunity. It's the law of democracy to oppose. It's a good thing. Here in France, we are doing what others, like those in the US and the UK don't want to do. We want to stop this kind of capitalism. [3]

WHAT IS HAPPENING IS WRONG "There is a feeling of injustice," said Jean-Jacques Abekassi, 49, an employee of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and union activist who marched down the Rue du Temple under a warm sun. "We need a general rise in salaries and a better distribution of wealth in this country." [1]

WHY IS A CITIZEN STRIKE NECESSARY? I do feel that this strike is necessary. The number of poor people in our city is increasing in a crazy way. People on low income can hardly afford to pay the rent. [3] Those working in the arts and culture have so many reasons to strike. I personally plan to leave France to find better opportunities as a musician abroad. [3] Our research and educational system is falling into pieces and it's a shame. Researchers and university lecturers work in appalling conditions. [3]

HAPPY PROTESTING Despite the rancor on their banners, most marchers seemed cheerful in the spring weather as they marched and shouted anti-capitalist slogans. They moved past the house where Gustave Flaubert, author of "Madame Bovary," lived in the 19th century; they walked by the Kunga Tibetan restaurant, from where three Tibetans peered out at a raucous phenomenon that their countrymen left behind under Chinese rule were unlikely to witness any time soon; and they spilled into the Place de la Bastille, where street protesters kicked off the French Revolution in 1789 by tearing open a royal prison tower. [1]

IT’S THE MONEYED PEOPLE Claudine Chettab, 54, who was just laid off after 28 years as a purchasing agent, came from the Paris suburbs to join the show of outrage. Her firm was laying off people, she said, "because the financiers stuffed their pockets and never invested anything in the company when times were good." [1]

PEOPLE RIOT WHEN THEY HAVE NO BREAD To drive home her complaint, Chettab carried a handwritten banner paraphrasing Marie Antoinette, the insouciant queen of Louis XVI who was told the Paris poor were rioting because they had no bread. "When we have no more bread, we will eat cake," it read. [1] After the last general strike in January, Sarkozy moved to defuse tension by introducing certain tax cuts and welfare payments for the poorest families. Unions said it was not enough, but the president's advisers this week said there would be no more immediate measures. [2] "Sarkozy says there's no money for the public sector, that state coffers are dry, then he miraculously finds money to bail out the car industry," said Olivier Langillier, a nurse at the Paris march.[2]

AMERICANS UPSET OVER A PARAGRAPH ALLOWING THE BAILOUT BONUS A clause in the $787-billion economic stimulus plan approved by Congress last month capped bonuses for executives at companies getting federal bailout aid. But a one-paragraph provision tucked into the thick bill modified the cap to apply it only to future bonuses, not those already legally contracted.[6]

IT’S THE FAULT OF BIG GOVERNMENT It's the public sector, which lives off the back of the fantastic, competent and diligent workers in the private sector, that is on strike. In other words, the government is striking against the government, as absurd as it may sound. [3] France is run by civil servants and all they think of is their salaries, holidays, weekends and who's going to pay for lunch. [3] This country will never improve until power is taken from the parasitic civil service and put back into the hands of the people and their elected officials. [3] But Fran├žois Fillon, the French Prime Minister, ruled out any further stimulus packages. [4]

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WE ARE MAD AS...AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY LONGER "It was the measures taken to aid recovery that have doubled the budget deficit this year," he said. "I think the French people understand we cannot go any further. Not only would it be a big mistake for future generations, but it would also prevent the recovery." [4]

UNITED STATES SHOULD LOOK TO THE FUTURE But he said too many in Washington were trying to figure out whom to blame for things — when they should be focused on fixing them.[5]

AMERICAN TAXPAYER WANTS HEADS TO ROLL POLITICALLY FOR THE BAILOUT BONUS?..WHO ...WHO.....WHO IS AT FAULT? IS IT DODD? As the House readied legislation to crack down on the outrage-inspiring bonuses, Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who chairs the Banking Committee, and Geithner appeared at odds over who was really responsible for Congress' failure to prevent them in the first place.[6]

DODD ON DEFENSIVE Dodd, on the defensive over a loophole that enabled the bonuses to go forward, claimed the Obama administration insisted he modify his proposal to rein in bonuses at companies getting billions of dollars in financial bailouts so that it would only apply to payments agreed to in the future - thus clearing the way for the AIG payouts.[6] Dodd told reporters he agreed to the changes "in order to preserve the amendment."[6] "This political circus that's going on here today with this bill is not getting to the bottom of the questions of who knew what and when did they know it," said House Republican LeaderJohn Boehner of Ohio.[6]

Posted Here by Terry Bankert 3/19/09

You are invited to continue this discussion on my Face Book Page. http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Bankert/645845362

Update: Mayoral Debate Hosted by Genesee County Democratic Party 4/30/09 http://gcdpdebate.wordpress.com/


-sources [1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/19/AR2009031900804.html?hpid=sec-world [2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/20/nicolas-sarkozy-france-protests [3] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7953429.stm [4] http://www.euronews.net/2009/03/20/sarkozy-under-pressure-after-french-protests/ [5] http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation/story/1096658.html [6] http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzbonu206076078mar20,0,5660097.story

Sphere: Related Content