Prisoners United Issue Statement Against Tasers in Santa Clara County Jails

Editor's Note:

Santa Clara County inmates urge the County Board of Supervisors not to go forward with a plan to arm deputies with tasers.

Do they care about our lives, our health, or our safety? That is the question we ask ourselves as we read about the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department acquiring $45,000 for a Taser pilot program. We are tired prisoners who have been concerned with our safety long before the tragedy of Michael Tyree. Nothing will ever take the pain and suffering we've endured through the actions of the plagued Sheriff's Department infested with rouge officers. Do you think the beating of Michael Tyree was an isolated incident? Not by far! The officers who were convicted of murder are among many who have committed jail brutality, but are in fact the only officers who have been caught.

This is first hand information psychically witnessed by us, the prisoners. Until this day, the screams still echo in our ear drums. Depictions and sounds of hearing thump after thump, punch after punch still echo in our memories. The begging for mercy and the yelling of “I am not not resisting!” What follows are the cover ups. The justifying of their actions through false reports. However Michael Tyree is just a small portion of what we've been exposed to.

With jail conditions consisting of rat infestation, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, group punishment, and multiple accounts of excessive force, how can the County Board approve the Sheriff’s Department to add potentially lethal weapons to our everyday plight. Current and past policies were not able to control these rogue officers. What makes you think a policy will be able to uphold integrity with a weapon in their hands that only empowers them to cause more harm? How long before another life is lost? We need to ask why the Santa Clara County Sheriff's stopped using Tasers in the past. The word insanity means doing something over and over again, yet expecting different results.

Putting Tasers in the hands of Sherriff Deputies means promoting violence, intimidation, abuse of power, abuse of force, unsafe conditions, a lack of consideration for prisoners with heart and medical issues, further hospitalization, and the death of another prisoner.

We refuse this culture of Sherriff Deputies versus Prisoners that has allowed transgressions to be swept under the rug over and over again. As Prisoners United, we plea to the community and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to prevent the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department to obtain these torturous dangerous weapons. Don't wait until another death happens, react now before its too late.

Prisoners United

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