January Body Count: Five Men Die After Being Tasered

Yes, the carnage caused by miscreants in the ranks of law enforcement sworn to protect and serve the public continues unabated. Obviously using a Taser is appropriate in instances where a gun need not be used, but as we can see, this device can be a lethal weapon, and its use in some situations is highly questionable. From Taser of the Day, which monitors news stories about the device's use.

* Jan 4th: Brandon Smiley, 27, Mobile County, Alabama, after becoming violent with the crew of an ambulance taking him to the hospital for treatment for a suspected drug overdose.
* Jan 4th: Ryan Rich, 33, Las Vegas, Nevada (unidentified in original article), after driving erratically, crashing into a wall, and trying to resist police removing him from his vehicle.
* Jan 9th: Otis C. Anderson, 36, Fayetteville, North Carolina, asked police for help, then ran, encountered police again, become combatitive, was shocked, then stopped breathing during his arrest.
* Jan 11th: Xavier Jones, 29, Coral Gables, Florida, "became unresponsive" after police responding to calls about a man at a party being disruptive shocked him for resisting arrest.
* Jan 15th: Mark C. Backlund, 29, Fridley, Minnesota, unidentified in the original article, shocked after he "became uncooperative" with police after a car accident.
Given the number of these incidents, tasing in many cases becomes a first resort rather than a next-to-last resort, even when the number of officers outnumbers the alleged perpetrator by a large margin.

Our friends north of the border are experiencing plenty of unnerving events like this:
A Halifax Youth Court judge criticized three police officers Tuesday for their arrest of a teenage girl, who was tackled in her own bed and shocked twice with a stun gun last February.
"The spectacle of a 17-year-old girl being Tasered in her bedroom is a very disturbing and disconcerting one," Halifax Youth Court Judge Anne Derrick said in her ruling on the charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
"I find the police acted outside the scope of their authority in arresting [the girl] and that she was entitled to resist and committed no offence in doing so, and I acquit her of the charges before the court."

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