“Houston police officers have used Tasers more on black suspects than any other group of individuals, according to a city study released Monday.”
“Of 1,417 Taser deployments by officers between December 2004 and June 2007, nearly 67 percent were used on black suspects, according to an audit conducted for the city by a team of criminology, statistics and mathematics experts. About 25 percent of Houston’s population is black.”
“The audit was requested by Houston Mayor Bill White in 2006, after several high-profile incidents. That year, Houston Texans offensive lineman Fred Weary was shocked during a traffic stop, and an officer called to quiet a noisy music club shocked musicians and concertgoers. The latter incident was videotaped and widely viewed on YouTube.”
“Minister Robert Muhammad, with the southwest regional headquarters for The Nation of Islam, said the study shows that police are more apt to use the weapons on black suspects than suspects of other races.”
“‘Can we say it’s racism? Yes, and some people would argue no,’ said Muhammad. ‘The greater argument is abuse of authority. We give them authority to protect us. But instead of using that authority to protect us, they abuse us with it.’”
This video is from KHOU, broadcast September 8, 2008.