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Home > Culture and Society

WAWIBF... Roger Holyfield

3 November 2006

On Saturday 17-year-old Roger Holyfield was wandering around Jerseyville, Illinois, carrying a bible and yelling out, 'I want Jesus!' So, naturally, local police shot him dead. There are three possible explanations for this. 1) They genuinely wanted to help him achieve his stated goal and chose merely to speed up the process. 2) They misheard his cries as 'I want Tasers'. Easily done. Or - and if we're honest, our money is on this option - 3) They're actually a bunch of tiny-minded armed thugs and are not really trained to deal with mental illness in any but the most brutal of ways.

In a demise that would have made a wonderful opening sequence of an episode of 'Six Feet Under', police at first tried to calm the disturbed teen - probably by shouting at him to drop his bible and lie down on the ground with his hands on his head, but Holyfield, being mental, refused to comply. So, they Tasered him. Even then, as the 50,000 volts made an epileptic of him, Holyfield refused to stop jerking about. So they shot him again.

Then they flew him to a local hospital where he died the next day. Job done. That'll teach him to reach out to the Lord.

A statement released by the murdering bastards on Tuesday expressed sympathy to the dead kid's parents but refused to discuss the matter further. Fair enough. They were probably far too busy shooting cats out of trees or setting fire to orphanages.

Death by Taser is increasingly common in the States as more and more law enforcement agencies realise the full potential of the non-lethal weapon. A study by Amnesty claims that during the last five years, there have been 156 Taser deaths. The police don't really like to talk about it, as we have seen, but Taser International are quick to pooh-pooh the statistics, pointing out that many of these deaths would most probably have happened anyway. Sooner or later.


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