LP Activist Shot in the Back by Police; Local LP Throws Him Under the Bus

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On October 30, Jim Duensing, former chairman of the Nevada Libertarian Party and currently the LP candidate for US Senate against Harry Reid, was shot in the back by a Las Vegas policeman after the police had stopped Duensing for making an illegal turn and some illegal lane changes.

Initial reports said that Duensing ran from the police and that a policeman shot him in the back after “he tried to pull a handgun from his pocket.” An eyewitness reported that he was not going for a gun, but was merely trying to keep his pants up while fleeing.

Duensing is recovering and reports (see comment #73 here) that he started running after the officer used a taser on him:

With my hands raised above my head, the cop shot me with a taser in the chest. As I have had heart problems since my premature birth, I believe a Taser to be a lethal weapon. Several people without heart conditions have been killed by this weapon.

When the taser began electrocuting me, instinct took over….

I immediately turned to my left and began moving away from the source of the electrocution. By the time I got to the back of the vehicle, I had reached up with both hands, grabbed the electrodes, and pulled them away from my chest. The juice then flowed through my arms – not my heart. As I lay here in my hospital bed, I firmly believe this instinct saved my life.

I continued running away from the taser. I heard the cop fire it again, but did not feel an additional shock. I was running down the sidewalk with empty hands. I heard three pops from behind me.

(Read the rest of Duensing’s detailed narrative here.)

Before talking to Duensing or trying to verify any information, the local Libertarian Party issued the following in a press release:

The Libertarian Party of Clark County has no information, other than what the local media has reported, regarding the officer involved shooting of Raymond “Jim” Duensing. Until the events surrounding this incident are fully investigated, we will refrain from making any further statements.

The Libertarian Party of Clark County does not advocate fleeing the police as a means of peaceful conflict resolution. Raymond “Jim” Duensing, although a past officer of the party, holds no official standing within our party as an elected officer. Our thoughts go out to Jim Duensing, his family, and the officer involved in this incident (emphasis added).

Nathan Santucci, Chair, Clark County Libertarian Party

According to Duensing, “the CCLP had not issued a press release in years. I’m not sure why it felt compelled to issue one in this instance which contained misstatements of fact and which clearly tried to distance the CCLP from one of its members. Although, not an officer, I am a voting member of the CCLP excomm. Needless to say, my editing advice was not sought on the press release before it was issued.”

Duensing asks that, instead of flowers, please send contributions to his campaign at HellForHarry.com.

1:01 pm on November 2, 2009
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