Tasers On Stun


I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Jul 19, 2004
Out of Bounds
Perhaps because black people and the mentally disturbed commit a disproportionate amount of crime?
Perhaps because Tasers are now more widely issued, and people who previously would have had to be wrestled with and/or beaten with batons are now Tased?
Let’s have some context ...
I honestly can't believe you just posted that. ...
I share OWB's incredulity at MO's phrasing - both at face value and for the fact it's wildly off-target with respect to setting the context that's really relevant here. Setting aside the former, let me explain the latter ...

At face value, MO's hypothetical basis for correlation would pertain between BAME / mentally whatever persons who commit crimes and the relative incidence or frequency of taser usage (unholstering; brandishing; firing; or any all of these).

There is no doubt some proportion of suspects tasered at the outset of their legal processing who end up being convicted of whatever crime for which they were originally intercepted / detained. This is essentially beside the point, because many - including the most controversial - cases involve people who hadn't already committed or been formally indicted for a crime (except perhaps resisting arrest) being tasered.

The Guardian article is similarly off-target by tossing out comparative numbers based on general population demographics. The police aren't engaging the population based on balanced sampling of demographic categories - they're engaging whomever gets reported by others or approached by themselves in the course of their incident responses / investigations.

Both these approaches are off-target with regard to the focal context - those people who are intercepted, engaged, or detained by the police in incidents where a taser is at least presented and at most fired. The officers are dealing with a person 'here and now' because they need to do so, having been dutifully thrust into the given situation. Any decision to employ the taser (right or wrong) is taken in light of immediate circumstances and personal judgment.

Nothing reasonable can be said until and unless someone manages to provide data specifically relating to the situational contexts in which tasers are employed. Attempting to correlate situation-specific taser incidents with general crime or general population demographics / statistics represents nothing more than vacuous hand-waving from the peanut gallery.

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Aug 9, 2001
@maximus otter Figures and definitions are needed to support this statement if it is going to stand.
a) Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2016, A Ministry of Justice publication

1. Executive Summary

"...non-White ethnic groups appear to be over-represented at most stages throughout the Criminal Justice System, compared with the White ethnic group, though this is not universal and does not appear to increase as they progress through the CJS. Among non-White ethnic groups, Black and Mixed individuals were often the most over-represented. Trends over time for each ethnic group have tended to mirror overall trends, with little change in relative positions between ethnic groups."


b) In June 2007 the Home Affairs Select Committee published a report on young black people and the criminal justice system of England and Wales. It said that young black people were over-represented at all stages of the criminal justice system.


c) In London alone:

"Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that in 2007 an estimated 10.6 percent of London's population of 7,556,900 were black.

In June 2010, through a Freedom of Information Act request, The Sunday Telegraph obtained statistics on accusations of crime broken down by race from the Metropolitan Police Service.[n 2] The figures showed that the majority of males who were accused of violent crimes in 2009–10 were black. Of the recorded 18,091 such accusations against males, 54 percent accused of street crimes were black; for robbery, 58 percent; and for gun crimes, 67 percent.[27] Robbery, drug use, and gang violence have been associated with black people since the 1960s.[28] In the 1980s and 1990s, the police associated robbery with black people. In 1995, the Metropolitan Police commissioner Paul Condon said that the majority of robberies in London were committed by black people.[29]

Street crimes include muggings, assault with intent to rob, and snatching property. Black males accounted for 29 percent of the male victims of gun crime and 24 percent of the male victims of knife crime.[27] On sex offences, black men made up 32 per cent of male suspects. Similar statistics were recorded for females. On knife crime, 45 percent of suspected female perpetrators were black; for gun crime, 58 percent; and for robberies, 52 percent."


d) More from London:

"According to police figures, knife crime rose by more than a fifth in the UK last year, with a third of the recorded 37,443 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument taking place in London.

Black and minority ethnic teenage boys and men were disproportionately affected, as both victims and perpetrators...

Nicholas Davies, London police chief superintendent, told Al Jazeera: "The gangs don't necessarily follow racial groups, some can be very multicultural, but as a rule we're finding the biggest threat to a young black male is indeed a young black male."


e) More London:

"Almost half of murder victims - as well as suspects - were black despite the ethnic group accounting for just 13% of London's population.

White people in London make up 60% of the population, but only account for 35% of murder victims and 24% of murder suspects."


f) A bit more London:

"Twelve per cent of London’s men are black. But 54 per cent of the street crimes committed by men in London, along with 46 per cent of the knife crimes and more than half of the gun crimes, are thought by the Metropolitan Police to have been committed by black men."


g) The mentally ill? This is from a site downplaying the danger to the community from those with mental illness:

"...50–70 cases of homicide a year involv[e] people known to have a mental health problem at the time of the murder..."


h) "Patients with schizophrenia, psychosis or other disorders committed a total of 870 homicides across the UK between 2004 and 2014, which was just over one in ten (11%) of all killings in that time."


I could go on (and on and on...), but I think I've made my point.

maximus otter