3 Cops, 3 Tasers:

The Last Hour of Linwood Lambert’s Life—Tortured to Death at 50,000 Volts

November 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader

Two years ago in May, South Boston, Virginia police were called to help Linwood Lambert. Three officers responded to a “trashed” motel room and found Lambert acting delusional, clearly in need of help. The cops handcuffed him and told him that they were taking him to the emergency room. Lambert was cooperative and unarmed. 

Yet ONE MORE video of an outrageous murder by police. Linwood Lambert shackled, tased and murdered by South Boston, Va. police. THIS WANTON MURDER MUST END...WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Watch MSNBC's report including newly available video

Once arriving at the hospital, the entire situation took a sharp turn. Confused and out of touch, Lambert began kicking the window in the back of the police cruiser, eventually shattering it. The three cops removed him from the back of the car. Handcuffed and unarmed, Lambert bolted toward the hospital entrance. Before making it through the door, he was knocked to the ground by 50 thousand volts of electricity discharged from the officer’s taser. Lambert was arrested, put back in the police car and driven to jail. Once reaching the jail, Lambert was unresponsive–unable to exit the car. Medics brought Lambert back to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The medical examiner’s report described the cause of death as “acute cocaine intoxication” (his blood report shows only 0.01 mg/l, a low and unlikely level for an overdose) while mentioning wounds on his body that appeared to be from a taser. For nearly two years this has been the official story. Investigators upheld the 3 officers use of force that resulted in Linwood Lambert’s death since he destroyed property and supposedly posed a danger to others.

Lambert’s sister filed a suit with the city over her brother’s death and only within the past few weeks has she been allowed to view the surveillance videos of what ACTUALLY happened. 

What the police did not release publicly in the wake of Lambert’s death is now available for the world to see. As of tonight many people have probably caught a glimpse of the last hour of Linwood Lambert’s life. Already tens of thousands of people have witnessed the image of ANOTHER unarmed black man MURDERED by police!

The video shows Lambert tasered while handcuffed in front of the hospital doors, not by one officer, but three! After the shackling his legs, the officers continue to taser Linwood Lambert. Each of the three tasers pulsing 50 thousand agonizing volts of electricity through Lambert’s body. Between the buzzing cracks of discharged tasers, the police shout commands at Lambert as he pleads for his life.

“Roll over or I’m gonna light you up again!” yells one of the cops.

“I didn’t do nothing, man. I just did cocaine, man. Why are ya’ll trying to kill me?” Lambert pleads from the ground as the three cops continue to tase him.

Footage from inside the squad car shows Lambert who had just been tased multiple times with his hands and feet restrained, slumping sideways in the backseat. The cops yell at him, “Sit your ass up like you’ve got some sense…I’m gonna tase you again!” Lambert doesn’t seem to even register that the officer is yelling at him, but twitches and cringes with pain as the officer begins electrocuting him again. 

Despite being tased at least twenty times over a thirty minute period, the cops take Lambert to jail instead of the hospital. They yell at his unresponsive body in the back of the car and then return his corpse to the hospital.

Two years later, despite going against the federal guidelines for taser use and breaking their own department’s rule against tasing a restrained individual, NO charges have been filed against the three officers! In fact—THEY HAVE BEEN PROMOTED! 

Linwood Lambert was murdered two years ago and until today, few people knew his name. Only recently did Lambert’s family discover the extent to which their relative was tortured to death! Think about it: Despite all the videos that have come to light exposing the police executing unarmed men, women, and children…many others have not received the light of day, not to mention the ones that were not caught on camera and/or witnesses’ footage confiscated and destroyed.

What kind of system does this to its people over and over again while celebrating the brutes that carry out these heinous crimes? It doesn’t have to be this way and there is no good reason for humanity to have to continue to endure such horrendous suffering at the hands of police. In closing, I want to share a quote from Bob Avakian. Although Avakian is reflecting on another needless murder by the police, I think it is very appropriate in regard to this murder as well and speaks not only to the outrage these murders invoke, but offers a sense of hope in terms of the type of society we can and must bring into being…

Editor’s note: Tyisha Miller was a 19-year-old African-American woman shot dead by Riverside, California police in 1998. Miller had been passed out in her car, resulting from a seizure, when police claimed that she suddenly awoke and had a gun; they fired 23 times at her, hitting her at least 12 times, and murdering her. Bob Avakian addressed this:

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 2:16




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