MacAdam Mason, 39-years-old, was a talented artist as well as a
person with disabilities, including epilepsy. He was shot by
Vermont State Police with a Taser stun gun while unarmed outside
his home in Thetford and died immediately thereafter.
A week to the day following his death, various advocates, state
legislators and concerned citizens held a press conference and
issued a statement calling for a moratorium on the use of Tasers by
both local and state police across Vermont.
The statement urges that the moratorium be kept in place until
standardized, statewide and state-approved policies as well as more
extensive police training, including about how to better deal with
people experiencing mental health crises, than is now currently
available, are put in place.
An online petition had also since been created. To date nearly
1200 signatures, the vast majority of which are from Vermont
residents, have been collected thus far.
The Taser moratorium and related action should not have to wait
until either the results from an autopsy and subsequent reports are
finally made available or, even worse, for another tragic incident
along these lines to occur.
The time for prudent leadership as well as political
courage to be exercised at all levels concerning these urgent
matters is sorely needed sooner rather than later.
Morgan W. Brown, Montpelier
PS- Those interested in signing onto the online petition are
strongly encouraged to do so. The Web address for the petition is: