Shocking Taser News: Tasers Kill People

I'm fairly sure nobody will pay the least bit of attention to this:

The electrical shock delivered to the chest by a Taser can lead to cardiac arrest and sudden death, according to a new study, although it is unknown how frequently such deaths occur.

The study, which analyzed detailed records from the cases of eight people who went into cardiac arrest after receiving shocks from a Taser X26 fired at a distance, is likely to add to the debate about the safety of the weapons. Seven of the people in the study died; one survived.

Advocacy groups like Amnesty International have argued that Tasers, the most widely used of a class of weapons known as electrical control devices, are potentially lethal and that stricter rules should govern their use.

But proponents maintain that the devices — which are used by more than 16,700 law enforcement agencies in 107 countries, said Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for Taser — pose less risk to civilians than firearms and are safer for police officers than physically tackling a suspect. The results of studies of the devices’ safety in humans have been mixed.

Medical experts said on Monday that the new report, published online on Monday in the journal Circulation, makes clear that electrical shocks from Tasers, which shoot barbs into the clothes and skin, can in some cases set off irregular heart rhythms, leading to cardiac arrest.

“This is no longer arguable,” said Dr. Byron Lee, a cardiologist and director of the electrophysiology laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. “This is a scientific fact. The national debate should now center on whether the risk of sudden death with Tasers is low enough to warrant widespread use by law enforcement.”

The rest of the experts interviewed (aside from the Taser international representative, of course) suggested that the use of tasers be limited in light of these findings. As I have said many times before, if tasers were a drug that killed this many people they would have been banned long ago. 

This is simple common sense. And not just because they quite obviously are deadly to some people, although that should put any further debate to rest. The fundamental reason they should be limited is because in a free society the police should not be allowed to inflict terrible pain on citizens for any reason they choose, no matter how petty or inconsequential. If police are to be allowed to carry tasers they must be strictly controlled. At the moment, this is far more common than not:







"I'm placing you under arrest because you did not follow my instructions."



He "refused to comply, made incoherent statements." Of course, he had a broken back.

Those were just random Youtubes I found with a cursory search. There are many, many more. 

And those are just events that happened to be videotaped.


Hullabaloo / By Digby | Sourced from

Posted at May 2, 2012, 5:23am

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