The taser is not harmless, it can be dangerous and even deadly
by Giuseppe del Bello
The dramatic news of the 35-year-old with mental health problems, who died at a center in Chieti province after being tasered and then, according to the news, sedated.
It will be the investigation launched with the homicide hypothesis that will clarify the many doubts about the dynamics of the tragic episode. But in the meantime, we feel there are some things that should be said that invite a serious moment of thought that needs to be done.
There was a rush to talk about the need for the taser, a “weapon that doesn’t kill,” a few years ago after the killing of a twenty-year-old boy of Ecuadorian origin, Jefferson Tomalà, in Genoa, five times by handgun during an alleged TSO. As has all too often been the case lately, the emphasis is on safety rather than provoking thought about how best to help, manage, or even control a person in a moment of confused, desperate excitement.
We recall that at that time there were serious medical objections to the alleged “safety” of the taser introduced as a crime prevention tool, while Amnesty International has long denounced dozens and dozens of deaths related to the use of the taser in countries including the United States, where it has been in service for some time.
by Giuseppe del Bello
A “less-than-lethal” weapon, they claim, against criminals…but we immediately wondered how many other people, agitated, perhaps angry or angry people (and how many we meet on the streets these days) with a lack of self-control , People whom we fear might threaten our tranquility with hasty gestures are in danger of being nailed in the spasm of a kind of electric shock. And the history of these days unfortunately confirms these fears…
by Massimo Cozza
This tool only confirms a kind of distance, like an abyss that is increasingly emerging between us and people with mental disorders, for which any tool becomes legitimate from the moment the person stops using it. Looking back decades, the mentally ill person becomes an object. This is about a person lying naked on the street, but nobody asks what happened to him before, his path, his pain. How his shocking illness was treated by the psychiatric services who also knew this young man well.
We remain of the opinion that this superiority of danger and safety means nothing other than to result in the overriding of a vision of caring that is imperative to implement as we face the unease that besets us increasingly dramatic questions really want to meet.
by Francesca De Carolis
Man and his pain come first and we must act from here. We wonder what culture these unsuspecting police officers had who used this tool of “distancing”, the taser. How they could see a serious threat to the safety of others in a man walking around naked and unarmed. We are very struck by the silence (perhaps we should have expected) of psychiatrists, who are increasingly inclined to objectify men and women. Psychiatrists who cannot be outraged by these deaths, or by deaths of restraint or neglect, or death by reduction to the invisibility of the “chronic,” have produced these very dominant psychiatrists.
We think that a very consistent restart based on a treatment reflection can be a concrete starting point. Healing is understood as the best way to restore the fragmentation that has taken place, leading to episodes like this one that our reflection starts from. Caring, as Basaglia taught, is the best thing we can do. To practice this we have powerful tools at our disposal: from an extensive knowledge of how to deal with the painful presence of others, to the many experiences accumulated over the past fifty years that seem to point the way forward.
by Massimo Cozza
Mauro Palma, Guarantor of the Rights of Persons Deprived of their Liberty, shared what he had said: “It is unacceptable that the operation aimed at killing a person in an apparent state of unrest and therefore the subjective Difficulty bringing to rest ends.” with his death”,
for the Mental Health Forum