UN watchdogs call for probe into Taser assaults in US jails Dec 08, 2017 0 691 12345 ReutersGENEVAThe UN special rapporteur on torture urged US authorities to investigate and weigh criminal charges against jail officials in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas for the"clearly gratuitous infliction of severe pain and suffering"from the use of Tasers on inmates.After reviewing footage of jail incidents, Nils Melzer said the"grave abuse"from Taser use in some US jails violated the United Nations'prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and, in some cases, amounted to torture. He cited video footage published of 22 incidents in four jails: in Franklin County, Ohio; Cheatham County, Tennessee; Franklin County, Arkansas; and McCurtain County, Oklahoma."In my view, all of the incidents shown in this video require independent investigation and most of them are likely to merit prosecution,"Melzer said in an interview. "Clearly gratuitous infliction of severe pain and suffering constitutes a grave violation of human dignity and of the universal code of conduct for law enforcement officials."His criticisms were echoed by the head of the United Nations watchdog panel that monitors US compliance with an anti-torture treaty, who said the cases documented by Reuters"need to be investigated thoroughly."In an article and accompanying video report published Wednesday, Reuters identified 104 cases of prisoners who died after being shocked with Tasers. Some of the in-custody deaths were deemed"multi-factorial,"with no single cause, and some were attributed to pre-existing health problems. But the Taser was listed as a cause or contributing factor in more than a quarter of the 84 inmate fatalities in which the news agency obtained cause-of-death findings.Of the 104 inmates who died, just two were armed when shocked and nearly 80 percent hadn't been convicted of a crime. A third were in handcuffs or other restraints when stunned. In more than two-thirds of the 70 cases in which the inmate already was immobilized when shocked - pinned to the ground or held by officers."When you use a tool like this on an incapacitated person, to me it certainly amounts to cruel and degrading treatment,"Melzer said.The weapon's manufacturer, Axon Enterprise Inc, said stun guns can help jailers and inmates avoid injuries when used properly. Axon issues guidance on proper use and warns of the risks associated with its weapons, but the company said it is up to local jail administrators to set their own policies on how and when the weapons are deployed. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Court indicts ex-Argentinian president, orders arrest Dec 08, 2017 0 526 Senator Franken resigning amid sexual harassment allegations Dec 08, 2017 0 392 FBI Director defends bureau integrity amid Clinton, Trump probes Dec 08, 2017 0 337 Pentagon braces for possible govt shutdown Washington: The Pentagon on Thursday warned of possible weapons delays and other military ramifications if the government shuts down over a budget deal impasse or passes a stop-gap spending bill to avert it. The .. US cop jailed for 20 years in fatal shooting of black man Charleston: A white former US police officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black motorist. The death of Walter Scott in April 2015 was one of the most shocking in a series .. Wikileaks faces US probes into its 2016 election role, CIA leaks Reuters WASHINGTON WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are facing multiple investigations by U.S. authorities, including three congressional probes and a federal criminal inquiry, sources familiar with the .. Three killed in US school shooting, attacker dead At least three people were killed in a shooting at a high school in northern New Mexico on Thursday, including two students and the attacker, police said. New Mexico State Police said no other injuries were reported after .. Trump Jr. had reasons not to answer panel questions: White House WASHINGTON: The White House said on Thursday that Donald Trump Jr. was on solid legal ground when he refused to answer questions from a congressional committee about a conversation he had with his father, President .. Southern California fires force 200,000 people to flee LOS ANGELES: Hundreds of Los Angeles area schools shut their doors on Thursday as raging wildfires wreaked havoc on Southern California, forcing about 200,000 people to flee and destroying hundreds of houses. .. U.S. lawmakers press FBI on alleged bias in Clinton, Trump cases By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee lambasted the FBI on Thursday over how it handled an investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private ..