May 26, 2014
On May 14, George King died a week after being shot with a Taser by Baltimore cop Thomas Hodas. Hodas and another cop had responded to a call from Baltimore’s Good Samaritan Hospital when King apparently had an allergic reaction to a drug he had been administered and was struggling with staff members. Hodas shot King with his Taser from a distance. Then with his Taser set on maximum, Hodas thrust it into King and shocked him four more times. Hospital staff gave King a sedative, but he went into a coma that lasted until he died.
This murderous police violence has not gone unanswered. With friends, church members, and others, King’s mother publicly protested her son’s murder. “Police are supposed to protect and serve, and this is not protect and serve,” she said. With assistance from an NAACP lawyer, she has sued the police department.
Baltimore Police Chief Anthony Batts responded with contempt. He is allowing Officer Hodas to remain on active duty during the “investigation.” And he threatened that police might stop responding to calls from hospitals. A supporter of Taser use by police, he announced months ago a plan to equip all 3,000 Baltimore City cops with them.
A Taser is not a mild, innocent weapon. It can kill – and often does. And the cops who use them know it.