Tasers: Unnecessary and Deadly Force

Another unarmed teen has died after being Tased by police.

Brett Elder, 15, from Bay City, Michigan died after police used Tasers to break up a fight between him and another teenager.

Disturbingly, Brett is already the second teenager to die after being Tased this year. In January, an unarmed 17-year-old boy in Virginia died after police responding to a minor street incident shocked him in his apartment. As of today, the total number of deaths after the use of Taser guns in the U.S. has surpassed 334 since June 2001 and it keeps rising. Perhaps what’s most unsettling is that in over 90% of those cases, the person shocked didn’t even have a weapon.

The news of these teen deaths comes soon after the unveiling of a new Taser weapon, the Taser Shockwave, capable of shocking entire crowds at once.  Clearly, this money could have been better spent conducting rigorous safety testing and research into why so many have died after being shocked with a Taser.  Amnesty International has called on U.S. law enforcement departments to cease using the weapons, pending further safety studies, or to strictly limit their use to a weapon of last resort.

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252 thoughts on “Tasers: Unnecessary and Deadly Force

  1. "Tasers: Unnecessary and Deadly Force"

    While I am not justifying the death of anyone, nor am I placing blame on the victim, this article is misleading because it fails to contain all the facts.

    1) "Minor street incident" – if it was minor then why did someone call the police? Even the most violent situations start out as "minor".

    2) How come the police had to break up the fight physically? Because the people fighting should have broke it up as soon as the police arrived and verbally told them to stop. How many people were involved in this fight?

    3) What actually caused the death of the victim? Just because he died after being shocked with a taser, doesn't mean the taser killed him. Many undetected and underlying health conditions can cause sudden death during a time of stress – such as being involved in a fight and then having the police come. Was he a habitual drug/alcohol user? This could clearly compromise his health and cause a heart attack.

    4) "As of today, the total number of deaths after the use of Taser guns in the US has risen to 351 since June 2001" This stat means nothing without having the total number of times tasers were used during the same time period to indicate the percentage of taser deployments that MAY HAVE resulted in a death.

    5)"…in over 90% of those cases, the person shocked didn’t even have a weapon." Was this a known fact BEFORE the taser was used? Probably not. Anything – shoe lace, pencil, officer's flashlight – can be a weapon in a violent situation.

    6)"Amnesty International has called on US law enforcement departments… to strictly limit their use to situations where they are necessary to protect life and avoid the use of police firearms." "Necessary to protect life" This is a total judgment call for the responding officers. The only time in a violent situation that you KNOW FOR A FACT THAT you must do whatever is necessary to protect life is after someone has already been killed. Essentially you are asking officers to wait until someone has been killed until they can deploy their tasers and subdue the danger.

    I think Amnesty International is an excellent organization and I support them, but it is time that individuals in society own up and take responsibility for their actions. If you are in a fight, yes, you might get hurt and you might even die be it from the person who you are fighting with or the people who are trying to protect you by breaking up the fight. That is a reality. If you don't want to die then don't fight or commit crimes. Criminals don't consider their victims rights when they are mugging, raping, killing, stealing or whatever, yet we have become a nation that continuously ties the hands of law enforcement, disabling it from being as effective as it should be, through gun control and certain human rights laws.

    If you want a safe society, you have to fight for it.

  2. "If you want a safe society, you have to fight for it."

    …you mean kill for it…

  3. Concerned…

    If a person committing a crime is killed during the commission of that crime that is the risk THEY took. That is the situation THEY put themselves in. Are we as a society just supposed to sit back and watch it happen because, god forbid, if we tried to stop it we might physically harm the scumbag criminal?

    Seriously – be realisic

  4. In Response to Reserve Officer:

    I'm sure if the fifteen year old that was killed by the unnecessary use of a taser was your son you would feel the same way. If he was your son you'd still support whatever it takes to stop your son the scumbag criminal?

    Realistically? Seriously?

    If so WE as a society are doomed.

    • am a Canadian mom who's son is 21 years of age was a avergerage kid diagnosed with a social anxiety personality. when he had a stressful situation and overdosed on his medication all prescribe. I called 911 and when the police arrived he was doped to the hilt on anty phycotic meds and did not want to go to jail just wanted to feel free from the pain. now at this very moment after he was tasered he is in a ICU strapped to a bed a ventilator in his throat and feeding tubes in his nose and from being healthy is now in permment atrial fibrullation.When I spoke to a Doctor whom I know who has no connection with the sudbury medical or legal authorities.. She told me good luck Its the real boys club here and they will not speak ill of members… from iether side. I want my sons health to improve in the mean time i do not wish for any thing like this to happen to another youth. 21 is too young to have your heart working like a 80 year old. My son is not a scumbag crimminal. he has emotional issues and has a heart of gold and whould never harm someone unless in defence of his child or the underdogs who know one helps

  5. Rick Saunders,

    Like I said in my opening statement, it is a sad situation and nobody wants this as an end result.

    If you go and read the original article, you will see that even the victim's aunt claimed that the victim started to fight with the police and threw a punch at one of the officers.

    I'm sorry that someone died, but as an officer, I'm going to make sure that me and my partners are going home at the end of our shift.

    The problem with this article is that it uses faulty logic to blame a death on the use of a taser. Yeah when people get tased – they stiffen up or flop uncontrollably – that is normal. But until the results of the autopsy are revealed, how do we know that the kid didn't have a brain anuerysm that ruptured because of the stressful situation he put himself in.?

    We dont?

    • Too adult physically trained police officers should be able to handle a young man who is sedated.. Verbal and throwing your arms to stay on a bthroom floor does not require a taser. My son or not its is not justified.

  6. Reserve officer,
    Since when is it justified to kill somebody on the condition that they committed or are committing a crime. Using deadly force to stop people from fighting is not justified because the "crime" itself is not as costly to society as the death of a person, regardless of whether or not they are "criminals."

    Also, when is it up to the officer to determine who is a criminal? That is up to the court system to decide. Police arrest suspects, not criminals, and everybody is innocent until proven guilty. Maybe the disturbance in the street was a teen defending himself an attack, he doesn't deserve to die. Even if he did instigate the fight, the risk of any 'suspect' dying is simply to high for using deadly force to be justified.

    You have to remember, there are other 'less-than-lethal' means available to law enforcement e.g. less powerful tasers, pepper spray, trained K-9 units, hell, they could even use nets to stop fleeing suspects.

    Touching on another point, cops have guns in order to use when they have the intent to kill. When an officer is forced to use their gun, they have made the decision that killing that person is justified. When officers use a taser, they don't have the intent to kill, however if there is potential for the weapon to kill the victim without the officer meaning to do so, that takes the decision out of the officers hands and makes it pointless to use the taser in the first place.

    • I agree I agree I agree But other than death tasers cuase life threatening permmenat effects. 312 young people lost thier lives before 2001 in taser attacks.

  7. Here is a bold statement that is truth no matter whether you like it or not….

    Tasers have SAVED MORE LIVES they they have allegedly taken

  8. @ reserve officer

    "Tasers have SAVED MORE LIVES they they have allegedly taken"

    Have you got any stats/links with which to back that 'bold statement' up?

    Or is it what we all hope is true, but suspect is not?

    Until we have a large-scale investigation of tasers' use by police, I don't think those stats exist.

  9. I never said that it is justified to kill someone who is committing a crime. I said that if the criminal is killed during the commission of that crime – that is the situation THEY put themselves into.

    Yes, the courts decide who is a criminal and what their punishment – if any – should be. But when you have a person taking swings at a uniformed police officer, or anyone else for that matter, you need to do what is needed to stop the threat. Clearly, the officer did not intend to kill the victim or he would have pulled a gun.

    The point I am trying to make is that you can not look at this one situation and make a blanket statement that tasers MAY be responsible for deaths and should therefore be banned from use.

    If you are that easily swayed then we should outlaw pools because children are 11 times more likely to die in the family swimming pool than from a gun in the house.

    Also, where is the element of personal responsibility towards the victim that you are holding the police too? The police didn't just show up and taze the kid without reason. He was tazed ONLY AFTER HE BEGAN TO THROW PUNCHES AT UNIFORMED OFFICERS. The kid had no respect for the officers or the law and committed a felony (attempting to striking an officer).

    Does this mean that he "deserved" to die – of course not. But there is no proof at this point that the taser is responsible for his death

  10. How can a taser save a life? You are assuming that in every situation in question, if there was no taser available, then there would have been a gun available and it would have caused a death? Seriously?

    Also, is that track record something to brag about? Saving more lives than it takes: wow- that's aiming high! What if that was the standard our medical community was aiming for?

  11. You also have to understand how a taser works…

    Which would you rather have performed on you? A taser or your finger put in a common 120v house outlet?

    I hope for your sake that you chose the taser because it has less amps and therefore is safer than being shocked by the common household outlet.

  12. Genelle….

    A taser saves lives be de-arming the situation BEFORE someone can pull a gun or beat someone to death.

    "Also, is that track record something to brag about? Saving more lives than it takes: wow- that’s aiming high! What if that was the standard our medical community was aiming for?"

    IT IS! People die in hospitals too when they shouldn't.

  13. A taser doesn't "de-arm" the situation- it is a weapon, duh! It actually arms the situation. It's a deadly weapon. How can it be pulled out faster than a gun is pulled out? You're not making sense.

  14. Genelle,

    Who is pulling the gun? The Officer or the criminal? A taser de-arms the criminal BEFORE THE CRIMINAL can pull a gun or beat/stab someone to death. Now this statement raised the question that was address by me above. Did the kid or any of the other cases in question have a weapon? Define weapon? And by the time you stick around to find out if they do have a weapon, they are already shooting at you and it is too late.

    If you really want to be simplistic about it – remove the whole taser element from the scene and say that a kid died after attacking a uniformed officer causing the officer to defend himself and his partners. That is the issue here. The officers did not escalate use of force until the kid forced them to by trying to punch them.

  15. So cops have no self-control whatsoever? Shoot (or taze) first, ask questions later? If cops use force it's because the "criminal" (define "criminal") made them? SERIOUSLY???

    Also, it doesn't matter who's pulling the gun. Any gun can kill any person. What I am talking about is a previously unarmed situation suddenly becoming armed. It's not helpful or safe.

    I'm a mom of three- if my kids were fighting each other to the point where I was scared for someone's life (never happened, probably won't, but ya never know), I would go get a bucket of water, not attempt to injure someone with a lethal weapon.

    Aren't cops supposed to be somewhat fit? Aren't they taught self-defense and other techniques that can disarm/subdue? It seems to me a strong fit person could break up a fight between unarmed teens pretty easily without using a weapon.

  16. Aha! I know the problem here…. I am viewing the cop's life and the civilian's life as equally important. You are viewing the cop's life as more important than the civilian's life. That's where we're losing each other.

  17. "So cops have no self-control whatsoever?"

    Who said that? Clearly the police did use self control until they were attacked.

    "If cops use force it’s because the “criminal” (define “criminal”) made them? SERIOUSLY???"

    Yes, for every action there is a reaction. This person attacked an officer, the officer defended himself.

    "Also, it doesn’t matter who’s pulling the gun. Any gun can kill any person. What I am talking about is a previously unarmed situation suddenly becoming armed. It’s not helpful or safe."

    It does matter who is pulling the gun. It has been caught on police dash cams time after time… a "seemingly" nonthreatening pull over. The cop has the person get out of the car, runs the persons record and finds out they have a warrant, goes to cuff them, the person fights and runs back to the car in an attempt to pull the gun they have stashed between the seat and the center console. Officer tases the person before they can reach the gun, finishes cuffing them and puts them in the back of the squad car. Then the officer goes and performs a search of the car finding a loaded gun in easy reach of the driver. Now granted this is not the case in this situation, but officers are trained only to escalate use of force tactics only when the situation warrants it.

    "I’m a mom of three- if my kids were fighting each other to the point where I was scared for someone’s life (never happened, probably won’t, but ya never know), I would go get a bucket of water, not attempt to injure someone with a lethal weapon."

    That's a good approach but a bucket water won't stop someone intent on killing someone else. Make sure you grab a plastic bucket because once throw cold water on them, making them even more mad, they would probably take the bucket and beat you over the head with it.

    "Aren’t cops supposed to be somewhat fit? Aren’t they taught self-defense and other techniques that can disarm/subdue? It seems to me a strong fit person could break up a fight between unarmed teens pretty easily without using a weapon."

    So, ASSUMING that this officer MIGHT not have been as fit as possible – he is guilty of abuse of force when defending himself? How does that make sense? he deserves to be punched for being out of shape? Most officers do keep themselves in shape because they know their lives depend on it every day.

    Here's a question for you Genelle…

    You have 3 kids – did they get their flu vaccines this year?

  18. Hell no I would never vaccinate my kids with the flu vaccine. Useless and dangerous.

    Again, I think there's an irreconcilable difference of values that we have: I view everyone as equally important, you don't.

  19. "Aha! I know the problem here…. I am viewing the cop’s life and the civilian’s life as equally important. You are viewing the cop’s life as more important than the civilian’s life. That’s where we’re losing each other."

    Not at all.

    You don't know my situation or background so you don't know how I am "viewing" the situation.

    If someone were beating the crap out of one of your kids and there was a cop standing there doing nothing – wouldn't you be a little miffed? Wouldn't you want the cop do stop the threat to your child as soon as possible? What effect is it going to have for the officer to say "excuse me, would you mind not hitting that child?" If you had a taser – would you use it to stop that person from beating on your kid? I certainly hope that as a parent you would do anything you needed to do to protect yourself and your children. Why should a police officer not be able to do the same?

  20. To me, everyone should be treated with the same amount of meticulous care by law enforcement professionals. A professional would make it their business to avoid using a weapon at all. The lazy way of going about being a "law enforcement professional" would be to just taze people who you don't know how to deal with.

    So, yes, if it was my kid attacking or being attacked, I'd want the attacker treated the same way: with meticulous care. And that meticulous care could not include the use of a taser because it's a deadly weapon! How do you know there isn't something medically wrong with the attacker? A prescription drug reaction? A seizure? How do you know the taser won't kill the person? Why risk it?

  21. so you would be ok with the officer to tap the beater on the shoulder and say "excuse me please don't do that" and when the beating continues and you shout at the officer to "DO SOMETHING! MAKE HIM STOP" and he says "Ma'm I asked him to stop – what else would you like me to do?"

    At the core of every crime – or violent act is one person infringing on the rights of another. Someone is going to come out on the losing end. If it is the victim, then society gets pissed off and takes the "that's how are tax dollars are being used" approach. If it is the attacker, then society says it is the police's fault for not treating them with the same respect as a law abiding citizen, when clearly they have no concept of that respect.

    Again your assumption of a taser being a deadly weapon has no scientific proof to back it up. If his death MAY HAVE BEEN CAUSED by a single punch in the face from the officer – which is a very likely scenerio – did the officer still use abuse of force in defending himself?

    If the officer were 6 foot 5 and a professional body builder ripped with muscle – would he be a liability to the force because he is "too strong"? You can't have it both ways. If you want a society that is respectful of everyone then you have to have people that are respectful of everyone and be willing to punish those that are not.

    NO SHEEP ALLOWED

  22. Reserve Officer,

    I don't think the argument here is about whether or not police officers should defend themselves and others. I think the argument is about the force that they use to do so. I think that calling a weapon "non-lethal" when it has killed hundreds of people is a simple denial of the facts. Does it really matter if the person technically died because of heart problems or some other complication (which I don't find plausible because most of these instances seem to involove teenagers)? Even if there were complications, those complications were brought on by being literally electrocuted. Is there any evidence that these people would have had heart attacks regardless of whether or not they were "tazed?" I don't know. Which is why I agree with the proposed solution in this article. "Amnesty International has called on US law enforcement departments to cease using the weapons, pending further safety studies, or to strictly limit their use to situations where they are necessary to protect life and avoid the use of police firearms."

    Furthermore, I think we should reconsider Genelle's earlier argument that, "It seems to me a strong fit person could break up a fight between unarmed teens pretty easily without using a weapon." Your response was that out of shape officers should still be allowed to defend themselves. What does this have to do with anything? If there are two or more officers on site, what does it matter if one of them can't fight off a teenager? That's why two officers are there. Furthermore, is this truly a realistic scenario? The last police officer I saw that I don't think could prevent a potential aggressor from hitting him was on "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."

  23. Jane,

    As stated before there is no proof that a taser has been responsible for killing anyone. Even in this article it states that drug tests and an autopsy to determine method of death still need to be performed. So there is no "simple denial of the facts" as you claim.

    And furthermore if you read the article that I posted above, it only backs up my argument that the taser is an effective device to neutralize a threat and has no lasting effects.

    "Genelle’s earlier argument that, “It seems to me a strong fit person could break up a fight between unarmed teens pretty easily without using a weapon.” Your response was that out of shape officers should still be allowed to defend themselves."

    No that was not my response, my response was to question the inference that the officer was unfit and lazy and therefore "deserved" to be punched in the face. If that is the case then let me start punching all fat people!

    The reality of today is that criminals don't care about gun laws, and they don't care about law abiding citizens like you and me. All gun laws do is keep me from being able to protect myself and my family with the same firearms that a criminal is going to use on me (ie the Bank of America robbery in California). When responding to a fight – it doesn't matter how old the people involved are. At 15 this kid can work a knife, fire an illegally obtained automatic rifle etc etc. To assume that because he is a kid and therefore he is not a dangerous threat is just inviting an officer to die.

    The number of officers responding to a call is not set in stone either. The person fighting could be on drugs and clinically have 10 times the strength of a normal person while feeling no pain. It might take 10 officers to wrestle that person to the ground and cuff them. So two officers trying to stop a fight between two people already fighting is not an "even match" or even in the officer's favor given their training.

  24. Editors,

    While I respect your organization and yours (and everyone else's viewpoint on this thread) I have to say that based on your logic – a McDonald's hamburger is more dangerous than a taser. This is the same logic you use to argue your stance on tasers.

    If you eat enough of them it certainly causes a situation where you can die. More people die from heart disease and obesity in this country than ever before. Should McDonald's (and all other fast "food" places) be banned by the American Government? Of course not! If you don't want to be unhealthy – then just make the RESPONSIBLE DECISION to not eat foods of this type.

    If you are afraid of death possibly caused by a taser, then make a RESPONSIBLE DECISION to not commit crimes or warrant the use of a taser on your person.

  25. Reserve Officer,

    The logic you use in your fast food analogy makes no sense to me. Just because police are attacking a person does not necessarily mean that what they are doing is criminal. Based on your argument, civil rights protesters were asking to be hosed or to have dogs set loose on them- after all, the argument the police made at that time *was* that the protesters were resisting them by continuing their protest despite the fact that the police told them to break it up. So should they have made the "responsible decision" to never protest at all? Or to stop doing what they were doing- peacefully assembling?

    Your arguments about guns and gun laws are interesting, but considering that both the 15-year-old and the 17-year-old mentioned in the artice were confirmed by police as being unarmed, what's the significance? These people didn't have guns, knives, or baseball bats. I agree that if a person is trying to harm someone else, especially a police officer, they should be arrested and given a trial. However, these two kids were never given the opportunity to defend themselves in court, because they're dead. Perhaps you're right, and they aren't dead because of Tasers. But isn't it worth it to at least bother ourselves with finding out? To not do so is to shrug off these deaths for no better reason than because straying from the status quo can be bothersome.

  26. Reserve Officer,

    Your fast food analogy makes no sense to me. You assume that just because the police are going after someone, they must be doing something criminal. Under this ideology, civil rights protesters were "asking to" be hosed or to have dogs set on them. After all, they were resisting police by continuing the protest when they had been told to disperse. So should they have done the "responsible thing" to avoid harm? Should they have cooperated with the police even though what they were doing- peacefully assembling- was perfectly legal?

  27. Jane,

    "Just because police are attacking a person does not necessarily mean that what they are doing is criminal."

    In this case the person what trying to punch uniformed police officers – a felony.

    Last time I checked in this country it wasn't illegal to peacefully protest. So your argument doesn't apply since no crimes where being committed buy the protesters.

    "both the 15-year-old and the 17-year-old mentioned in the article were confirmed by police as being unarmed,"

    Was this confirmed before or after the tasing occured?

  28. Reserve Officer,

    I'm agreeing with you that the person should not have tried to punch an officer. But you're ignoring my argument that despite the fact that he was doing something illegal, he still had the right to defend himself in court and be given a punishment by a jury. Instead, he's dead, and not by the purposeful action of an officer. You may not agree with the argument that he's dead because of the Taser, and that's fine. I even accept that there is a possibility that somehow he died in some other way. But I don't believe that we should write off his death as a "no big deal" scenario and not take the responsibility of determining what exactly killed him. And if it was the Taser, then we should reevaluate our police officers' use of this "non-lethal" weapon.

  29. Jane,

    I agree with you, it is sad that this person and others MAY have died because of the use of a taser.

    But studies have been done showing the taser has no lasting effects and it has been used thousands of times without incident to prevent more severe crimes from taking place. It is OK to question it and to continue to study it, but to call for it to be banned until a conclusion can be reached is not realistic in today's society.

    I think it is also wrong to fault the police (I'm not saying you did – but society does all the time) for "abusing force". I won't deny that there are bad seeds in every apple, but the reason why you can wake up each morning, leave your house and drive safely to work for the day, come home and still have a house full of stuff is due largely to the many dedicated men and women officers on the street.

  30. I'm sorry but when did this comment stream become a civilian vs. law enforcement issue? We are all civilians – officers are civilians in uniform, with instructions to enforce the law with little to no harm done to any other civilians or property be it public or private. to all those on here saying that tasers are just as deadly as a gun and that officers use them too much or for those of you saying officers should use more restraint and they could have easily broken up a fight between two teens.
    OK, you have three seconds to make a decision to either.. oh time's up. In that instance could you have decided to use or not to use a taser? If you saw two teens wailin on each other and got in between them- then got punched in the face- which is a crime by the way to hit an officer, and still the teens continued to scuffle, tell me oh wise non-officers out there, what would you do. Stand back and say " now kids I've asked you nicely- oh please don't throw your shoe at that persons windshield darn now you have even more counts against you"
    COME ON PEOPLE wake up! We do not live in the fairy tale land of everybody listens to everyone else.
    Yes there should be restraint and studies done to make sure people are not being killed by a taser.
    BUT THIS ISSUE has nothing to do with cops goin around tasing people to kill them – they are trying NOT to kill them. End of subject done!
    This issue is a respected agency saying that tasers should be shelved so that officers can't accidentally kill someone because of tasing them,
    BUT you all forget that if we shelve the tasers- the only choice a cop now has is- HIS GUN.

  31. Reserve,
    Your McDonald's analogy is literally backwards and is a logical fallacy. I'm not going to explain it fully, but if you were to correctly use your premise to draw your conclusion, your argument would say that cops should be able to taze everyone all they want even though doing so is dangerous in the long run (If you eat all the burgers you want, it's dangerous). Somewhere in your argument you switch around cops and civilians, among other things.

    Anyway, the point is, there are clear solutions to this dilemma and you fail to see that your authoritative approach towards policing is EXACTLY what causes these problems in the first place. You and your fellow officers are so above the law that you can justify killing a civilian in the process of defending yourself from getting a black eye, yet if a civilian were to do the same they face 3-5 years in prison or even more.

    Reserve, your useless analogies and hypothetical situations still do nothing in the way of supporting the use of the weapons in question. The fact remains, there are other resources out there and the absolute least that should be done is to spare the lives of more potential victims of death by tazer (oh no, let's wait for the autopsy of a f**kin 17 year old kid who happened to die after being tazered. What could it have been, a god damn ear infection?). Open your eyes, serve and protect your COMMUNITY, not YOURSELF!

  32. M,
    SPRAY THEM WITH MACE, GET BACK-UP, PUT THE GOD DAMN KID IN A SLEEPER HOLD.

    In this case, the tazer did the same thing a gun would have done except it was an ACCIDENT. The officer did not make the decision to kill as he would have made if he did use the gun, THAT IS A PROBLEM. The intent of the officer should not be randomized or left up to the weapon to decide.

  33. “Tasers: Unnecessary and Deadly Force”

    While I am not justifying the death of anyone, nor am I placing blame on the victim, this article is misleading because it fails to contain all the facts.

    1) “Minor street incident” – if it was minor then why did someone call the police? Even the most violent situations start out as “minor”.

    2) How come the police had to break up the fight physically? Because the people fighting should have broke it up as soon as the police arrived and verbally told them to stop. How many people were involved in this fight?

    3) What actually caused the death of the victim? Just because he died after being shocked with a taser, doesn’t mean the taser killed him. Many undetected and underlying health conditions can cause sudden death during a time of stress – such as being involved in a fight and then having the police come. Was he a habitual drug/alcohol user? This could clearly compromise his health and cause a heart attack.

    4) “As of today, the total number of deaths after the use of Taser guns in the US has risen to 351 since June 2001″ This stat means nothing without having the total number of times tasers were used during the same time period to indicate the percentage of taser deployments that MAY HAVE resulted in a death.

    5)”…in over 90% of those cases, the person shocked didn’t even have a weapon.” Was this a known fact BEFORE the taser was used? Probably not. Anything – shoe lace, pencil, officer’s flashlight – can be a weapon in a violent situation.

    6)”Amnesty International has called on US law enforcement departments… to strictly limit their use to situations where they are necessary to protect life and avoid the use of police firearms.” “Necessary to protect life” This is a total judgment call for the responding officers. The only time in a violent situation that you KNOW FOR A FACT THAT you must do whatever is necessary to protect life is after someone has already been killed. Essentially you are asking officers to wait until someone has been killed until they can deploy their tasers and subdue the danger.

    I think Amnesty International is an excellent organization and I support them, but it is time that individuals in society own up and take responsibility for their actions. If you are in a fight, yes, you might get hurt and you might even die be it from the person who you are fighting with or the people who are trying to protect you by breaking up the fight. That is a reality. If you don’t want to die then don’t fight or commit crimes. Criminals don’t consider their victims rights when they are mugging, raping, killing, stealing or whatever, yet we have become a nation that continuously ties the hands of law enforcement, disabling it from being as effective as it should be, through gun control and certain human rights laws.

    If you want a safe society, you have to fight for it.

  34. “If you want a safe society, you have to fight for it.”

    …you mean kill for it…

  35. Concerned…

    If a person committing a crime is killed during the commission of that crime that is the risk THEY took. That is the situation THEY put themselves in. Are we as a society just supposed to sit back and watch it happen because, god forbid, if we tried to stop it we might physically harm the scumbag criminal?

    Seriously – be realisic

  36. Reserve Officer,

    How is it unrealistic to shelf a weapon that does have a clear connection to the deaths of unarmed people? Why can't officers use, as MSU Student said, Mace or some form of physcial subduement until there is unfailing evidence that Tasers were not responsible for those deaths? Police forces worked just fine before they had Tasers, why are these weapons now so critical to law enforcement?

  37. M,

    You say that we don't live in a "fairy tale land." But you act as if law enforcement is there, not to prevent violence and to keep the peace, but to act as vigilantes who are the judge, the jury, and the executioner in one. You don't allow for the complexities of law enforcement, you merely condone the "good guy" beating the "bad guy." In this case, there was no "good guy" or "bad guy." There was just an untested and unconfirmed weapon and a dead, unarmed 15-year-old.

  38. MSU student

    Clearly you are a poor study. My fast food analogy is the perfect example to defend the use of tasers inspite of a relatively small amount of deaths that may have resulted from the use of a taser. If we as a society banned things that we believe will kill people then why wouldn't that apply to fast food – or cigarettes – or alcohol for that matter. They kill far more people than tasers MIGHT!

    Lesson #2: You should go and look up what a Reserve Police Officer is. I am not a sworn law enforcement officer. I AM A TRAINED CIVILIAN VOLUNTEER – yes VOLUNTEER as in UNPAID! I have a full-time career in a separate unrelated field. I VOLUNTEER to deal with issues/situations and people that most people want nothing to do with so you can put aside your slam that I am serving myself and not my community. Be thankful that there are people out there like me that are watching your house during the day, your business at night and controlling your bleeding if you are in some kind of accident at a fraction of the cost to you Mr. Tax Payer.

    But this isn't about me.

    As simply as I can say it, I think it is unrealistic to ban tasers until a final conclusion can be made either way. The use of a taser has protected/saved more people than it MAY have killed. Nothing in this world is 100% safe, that is the reality. And to think that an officer can walk into a violent situation and make it 100% safe for everyone involved is completely unrealistic.

    Btw MSU student… some brands of mace are flammable so the potential for spraying a smoker in the face and having them burst into flames is very real – so mace is not 100% safe either.

    And if you think that causing someone to lose consciousness by depriving their brain of air through a choke hold is perfectly safe – you are wrong there too.

  39. to Jane,
    he is not saying the ends justify the means. I would also like to know where you got the statistic that tasers are only 23% safe?
    Also, how about public use of tasers? I am fairly certain women have used tasers to fend off would be rapists. How about that reversal?

    your statistics are way off. Only .3% of subjects suffer injuries servere enough to need hospital admission.

    Don't believe me? go to this link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/0710

  40. In Response to Reserve Officer:

    I’m sure if the fifteen year old that was killed by the unnecessary use of a taser was your son you would feel the same way. If he was your son you’d still support whatever it takes to stop your son the scumbag criminal?

    Realistically? Seriously?

    If so WE as a society are doomed.

  41. Reserve Officer,

    You're ignoring my argument that temporarily discontinuing police use of Tasers would not be as horrible for officers as you argue. Why is it that police could not use the same methods they used before Tasers were made? They seemed to be effective enough a few years ago.

    Furthermore, of course there is no 100% safe way to subdue an assailant, but that doesn't mean that we should be okay with the use of a weapon that is 23% safe, or even worse, one whose safety or dangerousness is unknown.

  42. Rick Saunders,

    Like I said in my opening statement, it is a sad situation and nobody wants this as an end result.

    If you go and read the original article, you will see that even the victim’s aunt claimed that the victim started to fight with the police and threw a punch at one of the officers.

    I’m sorry that someone died, but as an officer, I’m going to make sure that me and my partners are going home at the end of our shift.

    The problem with this article is that it uses faulty logic to blame a death on the use of a taser. Yeah when people get tased – they stiffen up or flop uncontrollably – that is normal. But until the results of the autopsy are revealed, how do we know that the kid didn’t have a brain anuerysm that ruptured because of the stressful situation he put himself in.?

    We dont?

  43. Reserve officer,
    Since when is it justified to kill somebody on the condition that they committed or are committing a crime. Using deadly force to stop people from fighting is not justified because the “crime” itself is not as costly to society as the death of a person, regardless of whether or not they are “criminals.”

    Also, when is it up to the officer to determine who is a criminal? That is up to the court system to decide. Police arrest suspects, not criminals, and everybody is innocent until proven guilty. Maybe the disturbance in the street was a teen defending himself an attack, he doesn’t deserve to die. Even if he did instigate the fight, the risk of any ‘suspect’ dying is simply to high for using deadly force to be justified.

    You have to remember, there are other ‘less-than-lethal’ means available to law enforcement e.g. less powerful tasers, pepper spray, trained K-9 units, hell, they could even use nets to stop fleeing suspects.

    Touching on another point, cops have guns in order to use when they have the intent to kill. When an officer is forced to use their gun, they have made the decision that killing that person is justified. When officers use a taser, they don’t have the intent to kill, however if there is potential for the weapon to kill the victim without the officer meaning to do so, that takes the decision out of the officers hands and makes it pointless to use the taser in the first place.

  44. "police use of Tasers would not be as horrible for officers as you argue"

    On the contrary, I do think that not allowing the police to use a tool that is safe and effective would be horrible for officers and those they protect.

    Things change – 10 years ago most officers carried a revolver and had a shot gun for back up. Today this is unrealistic, most officers carry at least one semi-automatic and have replaced the shot gun with an assault rifle. It is just a simple fact that as bad people gain more powerful weapons and tactics – law enforcement has to step up!

  45. Reserve Officer,

    You continue to say that Tasers are "safe and effective." What, then, killed these two teenagers? I'm starting to think MSU Student is right in saying you think it was an ear infection.

    Also, you say police should be given whatever weapons you deem necessary, but you never suggest that there is a line to be drawn, between the appropriate and the unjust. If there was a gang that used biological weapons or bombs to kill people, would that mean that police had no other choice but to stoop to using them as well? Of course not. That's why we have police officers who are trained in intelligence and tactics as well as in engaging in conflicts. In this way we can make sure that officers are able to protect the people without using the same terroristic methods of known criminals.

    Even if you disagree and you believe that the ends justify any sort of ill-conceived and unjust means, how does this defend the use of Tasers? Criminals don't use them to subdue others, they instead use physical methods or blunt weapons like bats.

  46. Here is a bold statement that is truth no matter whether you like it or not….

    Tasers have SAVED MORE LIVES they they have allegedly taken

  47. @ reserve officer

    “Tasers have SAVED MORE LIVES they they have allegedly taken”

    Have you got any stats/links with which to back that ‘bold statement’ up?

    Or is it what we all hope is true, but suspect is not?

    Until we have a large-scale investigation of tasers’ use by police, I don’t think those stats exist.

  48. I never said that it is justified to kill someone who is committing a crime. I said that if the criminal is killed during the commission of that crime – that is the situation THEY put themselves into.

    Yes, the courts decide who is a criminal and what their punishment – if any – should be. But when you have a person taking swings at a uniformed police officer, or anyone else for that matter, you need to do what is needed to stop the threat. Clearly, the officer did not intend to kill the victim or he would have pulled a gun.

    The point I am trying to make is that you can not look at this one situation and make a blanket statement that tasers MAY be responsible for deaths and should therefore be banned from use.

    If you are that easily swayed then we should outlaw pools because children are 11 times more likely to die in the family swimming pool than from a gun in the house.

    Also, where is the element of personal responsibility towards the victim that you are holding the police too? The police didn’t just show up and taze the kid without reason. He was tazed ONLY AFTER HE BEGAN TO THROW PUNCHES AT UNIFORMED OFFICERS. The kid had no respect for the officers or the law and committed a felony (attempting to striking an officer).

    Does this mean that he “deserved” to die – of course not. But there is no proof at this point that the taser is responsible for his death

  49. 1st- how about we stop making personal attacks, clearly Reserve Officer is an upstanding citizen.
    2nd- the issue is the use of "deadly weapons" on unarmed civilians. Pepper spray has been know to cause deaths as well. SH!T HAPPENS. Nothing is 100% safe. 331 deaths in 8 years is not to shocking. Almost the same number of people die in elevators every year.
    4th- Just because the "teen" was unarmed dosn't mean he was not acting violently.

  50. Reserve,
    What you said and what you meant to say were completely different. Who are you to tell me I'm a poor study? It takes little to know the basic structure of a logical argument but it seems that you have trouble grasping the concept of what I was trying to tell you. To spell it out more clearly, I was letting you know that you're stupid without saying so, but I guess I gave you too much credit. Anyway, thanks for volunteering, but to be honest with you, I would rather you not because it's people like you who call the police on a couple of kids fighting and get them jailed and/or killed.

    If you don't want to regulate the use of deadly force, then f**k it, do whatever it takes to enforce the perfect, infallible law of the land. If we expect everyone to be held accountable, EVERYONE must be held accountable. If you use a taser and it stops a violent act, wonderful, if you use a taser and it severely harms or kills an unarmed assailant, PAY FOR IT, especially if you are a cop. Where is the accountability?

    The establishment that you and your superhero volunteer friends are trying to support is caving in on itself. The bottom line is the justice system has evolved into a monopoly that has found a way to marginalize people (for reserve: that basically means discriminate in the simplest terms) and then profit from them. This is being realized by the next generation of leaders who, by way of the justice system, have essentially been turned into criminals via the failing ZERO tolerance policies of the 21st century that you asshole volunteers have been begging for. Rant Rant Rant…

  51. How can a taser save a life? You are assuming that in every situation in question, if there was no taser available, then there would have been a gun available and it would have caused a death? Seriously?

    Also, is that track record something to brag about? Saving more lives than it takes: wow- that’s aiming high! What if that was the standard our medical community was aiming for?

  52. You also have to understand how a taser works…

    Which would you rather have performed on you? A taser or your finger put in a common 120v house outlet?

    I hope for your sake that you chose the taser because it has less amps and therefore is safer than being shocked by the common household outlet.

  53. to Jane,
    he is not saying the ends justify the means. I would also like to know where you got the statistic that tasers are only 23% safe?
    Also, how about public use of tasers? I am fairly certain women have used tasers to fend off would be rapists. How about that reversal?

    your statistics are way off. Only .3% of subjects suffer injuries servere enough to need hospital admission.

    Don't believe me? go to this link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/0710

  54. to Jane,
    he is not saying the ends justify the means. I would also like to know where you got the statistic that tasers are only 23% safe?
    Also, how about public use of tasers? I am fairly certain women have used tasers to fend off would be rapists. How about that reversal?

    your statistics are way off. Only .3% of subjects suffer injuries servere enough to need hospital admission.

    Don't believe me? go to this link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/0710

  55. Genelle….

    A taser saves lives be de-arming the situation BEFORE someone can pull a gun or beat someone to death.

    “Also, is that track record something to brag about? Saving more lives than it takes: wow- that’s aiming high! What if that was the standard our medical community was aiming for?”

    IT IS! People die in hospitals too when they shouldn’t.

  56. AND MSU STUDENT:
    clearly you are a male. you have some sort of anger issue. Clearly Reserve Officer knew you were trying to insult him, he took the high road.
    There is a need for accountablility, but how about we attack the people who are abusing their power?
    PS- the kids should find a non-public place to fight then, or suffer the consequences. How about you males go deal with your aggression issues else where?

  57. Jenna,

    You say, "S— happens" in response to over 300 deaths that could have been prevented? Was our country not founded on the basic principle that people have the right to not be randomly killed by a weapon that is supposed to be non-lethal? Do you believe that people accused of being criminals should even be given a trial, or that they should be executed and that those deaths are "not so shocking?"

    We've already established that the teenager (yes, he was a teenager, the article states that he was 15 years old), was probably acting violently. That doesn't change the fact that there were numerous other ways the officer could have been given to respond to a threat, but instead he/she was given a weapon that he/she believed was non-lethal that killed the kid.

    23% was a random example. The point is, we have no way of knowing how safe Tasers are because they haven't been tested conclusively yet.

    What's the point of your argument that some women use Tasers? We're discussing use of Tasers by police officers.

    Even if you're right about .3% being admitted to hospitals, you're still ignoring the hundreds of people who were literally burnt to a crisp long before they could head off for an ER.

  58. A taser doesn’t “de-arm” the situation- it is a weapon, duh! It actually arms the situation. It’s a deadly weapon. How can it be pulled out faster than a gun is pulled out? You’re not making sense.

  59. Jenna,

    I think you're right in saying that we should avoid personal attacks. But gender stereotypes and hasty generalizations kind of fall into that category as well.

  60. Genelle,

    Who is pulling the gun? The Officer or the criminal? A taser de-arms the criminal BEFORE THE CRIMINAL can pull a gun or beat/stab someone to death. Now this statement raised the question that was address by me above. Did the kid or any of the other cases in question have a weapon? Define weapon? And by the time you stick around to find out if they do have a weapon, they are already shooting at you and it is too late.

    If you really want to be simplistic about it – remove the whole taser element from the scene and say that a kid died after attacking a uniformed officer causing the officer to defend himself and his partners. That is the issue here. The officers did not escalate use of force until the kid forced them to by trying to punch them.

  61. Jane,
    it is not that they are admitted to hospitals, it is that any hospital admission is necessary. minor cuts, bruises, and other injuries will occur, as with any other physical restraint.
    ALSO, accidents happen. it is not going to matter, people will always accidentaly die at the hands of the police and people will always be there to question it. WHICH is GREAT!
    BUT this whole issue has been blown completely out of proportion.
    AND if tasers are legal, and CAN be used as self-defense for women (Or men), it should not matter if police use them as well. Officers have rights too.

    ALSO, i can site my sources, which is more than most of these people can do. Dont believe me, then check for yourself. PS, my sources are considered unbiased.

  62. Jenna,

    I don't see a difference between being admitted to a hospital and needing to be admitted to a hospital.
    I don't argue that the study you site isn't legit; I argue that it is only one study of dozens that should be done before we pass judgment on Tasers, especially since they are implicated in, again, over 300 deaths.
    Again, you and Reserve Officer argue that because there is no 100% safe way for police to subdue criminals, we should not bother ourselves with even trying to better those conditions.
    "Blown out of proportion?" How many times can I say this? Over 300 people are dead here. How is saying that those numbers are ridiculous blowing the issue out of proportion?
    I think that the issue of Tasers being used by civilians is an interesting one, but really not related. Just because officers are also civilians does not mean that their actions don't represent the city and the district they are employed by.

  63. So cops have no self-control whatsoever? Shoot (or taze) first, ask questions later? If cops use force it’s because the “criminal” (define “criminal”) made them? SERIOUSLY???

    Also, it doesn’t matter who’s pulling the gun. Any gun can kill any person. What I am talking about is a previously unarmed situation suddenly becoming armed. It’s not helpful or safe.

    I’m a mom of three- if my kids were fighting each other to the point where I was scared for someone’s life (never happened, probably won’t, but ya never know), I would go get a bucket of water, not attempt to injure someone with a lethal weapon.

    Aren’t cops supposed to be somewhat fit? Aren’t they taught self-defense and other techniques that can disarm/subdue? It seems to me a strong fit person could break up a fight between unarmed teens pretty easily without using a weapon.

  64. Aha! I know the problem here…. I am viewing the cop’s life and the civilian’s life as equally important. You are viewing the cop’s life as more important than the civilian’s life. That’s where we’re losing each other.

  65. “So cops have no self-control whatsoever?”

    Who said that? Clearly the police did use self control until they were attacked.

    “If cops use force it’s because the “criminal” (define “criminal”) made them? SERIOUSLY???”

    Yes, for every action there is a reaction. This person attacked an officer, the officer defended himself.

    “Also, it doesn’t matter who’s pulling the gun. Any gun can kill any person. What I am talking about is a previously unarmed situation suddenly becoming armed. It’s not helpful or safe.”

    It does matter who is pulling the gun. It has been caught on police dash cams time after time… a “seemingly” nonthreatening pull over. The cop has the person get out of the car, runs the persons record and finds out they have a warrant, goes to cuff them, the person fights and runs back to the car in an attempt to pull the gun they have stashed between the seat and the center console. Officer tases the person before they can reach the gun, finishes cuffing them and puts them in the back of the squad car. Then the officer goes and performs a search of the car finding a loaded gun in easy reach of the driver. Now granted this is not the case in this situation, but officers are trained only to escalate use of force tactics only when the situation warrants it.

    “I’m a mom of three- if my kids were fighting each other to the point where I was scared for someone’s life (never happened, probably won’t, but ya never know), I would go get a bucket of water, not attempt to injure someone with a lethal weapon.”

    That’s a good approach but a bucket water won’t stop someone intent on killing someone else. Make sure you grab a plastic bucket because once throw cold water on them, making them even more mad, they would probably take the bucket and beat you over the head with it.

    “Aren’t cops supposed to be somewhat fit? Aren’t they taught self-defense and other techniques that can disarm/subdue? It seems to me a strong fit person could break up a fight between unarmed teens pretty easily without using a weapon.”

    So, ASSUMING that this officer MIGHT not have been as fit as possible – he is guilty of abuse of force when defending himself? How does that make sense? he deserves to be punched for being out of shape? Most officers do keep themselves in shape because they know their lives depend on it every day.

    Here’s a question for you Genelle…

    You have 3 kids – did they get their flu vaccines this year?

  66. Hell no I would never vaccinate my kids with the flu vaccine. Useless and dangerous.

    Again, I think there’s an irreconcilable difference of values that we have: I view everyone as equally important, you don’t.

  67. “Aha! I know the problem here…. I am viewing the cop’s life and the civilian’s life as equally important. You are viewing the cop’s life as more important than the civilian’s life. That’s where we’re losing each other.”

    Not at all.

    You don’t know my situation or background so you don’t know how I am “viewing” the situation.

    If someone were beating the crap out of one of your kids and there was a cop standing there doing nothing – wouldn’t you be a little miffed? Wouldn’t you want the cop do stop the threat to your child as soon as possible? What effect is it going to have for the officer to say “excuse me, would you mind not hitting that child?” If you had a taser – would you use it to stop that person from beating on your kid? I certainly hope that as a parent you would do anything you needed to do to protect yourself and your children. Why should a police officer not be able to do the same?

  68. To me, everyone should be treated with the same amount of meticulous care by law enforcement professionals. A professional would make it their business to avoid using a weapon at all. The lazy way of going about being a “law enforcement professional” would be to just taze people who you don’t know how to deal with.

    So, yes, if it was my kid attacking or being attacked, I’d want the attacker treated the same way: with meticulous care. And that meticulous care could not include the use of a taser because it’s a deadly weapon! How do you know there isn’t something medically wrong with the attacker? A prescription drug reaction? A seizure? How do you know the taser won’t kill the person? Why risk it?

  69. so you would be ok with the officer to tap the beater on the shoulder and say “excuse me please don’t do that” and when the beating continues and you shout at the officer to “DO SOMETHING! MAKE HIM STOP” and he says “Ma’m I asked him to stop – what else would you like me to do?”

    At the core of every crime – or violent act is one person infringing on the rights of another. Someone is going to come out on the losing end. If it is the victim, then society gets pissed off and takes the “that’s how are tax dollars are being used” approach. If it is the attacker, then society says it is the police’s fault for not treating them with the same respect as a law abiding citizen, when clearly they have no concept of that respect.

    Again your assumption of a taser being a deadly weapon has no scientific proof to back it up. If his death MAY HAVE BEEN CAUSED by a single punch in the face from the officer – which is a very likely scenerio – did the officer still use abuse of force in defending himself?

    If the officer were 6 foot 5 and a professional body builder ripped with muscle – would he be a liability to the force because he is “too strong”? You can’t have it both ways. If you want a society that is respectful of everyone then you have to have people that are respectful of everyone and be willing to punish those that are not.

    NO SHEEP ALLOWED

  70. Reserve Officer,

    I don’t think the argument here is about whether or not police officers should defend themselves and others. I think the argument is about the force that they use to do so. I think that calling a weapon “non-lethal” when it has killed hundreds of people is a simple denial of the facts. Does it really matter if the person technically died because of heart problems or some other complication (which I don’t find plausible because most of these instances seem to involove teenagers)? Even if there were complications, those complications were brought on by being literally electrocuted. Is there any evidence that these people would have had heart attacks regardless of whether or not they were “tazed?” I don’t know. Which is why I agree with the proposed solution in this article. “Amnesty International has called on US law enforcement departments to cease using the weapons, pending further safety studies, or to strictly limit their use to situations where they are necessary to protect life and avoid the use of police firearms.”

    Furthermore, I think we should reconsider Genelle’s earlier argument that, “It seems to me a strong fit person could break up a fight between unarmed teens pretty easily without using a weapon.” Your response was that out of shape officers should still be allowed to defend themselves. What does this have to do with anything? If there are two or more officers on site, what does it matter if one of them can’t fight off a teenager? That’s why two officers are there. Furthermore, is this truly a realistic scenario? The last police officer I saw that I don’t think could prevent a potential aggressor from hitting him was on “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.”

  71. As a former inner city teacher I have single handedly broken up many fist fights between 14 to 18 year olds. I have never used a taser, pepper spray, billyclub, hit anyone with my fist, open hand or anything else. The idea that a grown man can't subdue an unruly teen without resorting to dangerous weapons is simply ridiculous. Cops have every right to meet force with like force, but tazing a kid for throwing a punch is not 'like force'. The article calls for studies not banning. Don't we want to know the lethality potential of our tools, be they bandsaws or tazers?

  72. Jane,

    As stated before there is no proof that a taser has been responsible for killing anyone. Even in this article it states that drug tests and an autopsy to determine method of death still need to be performed. So there is no “simple denial of the facts” as you claim.

    And furthermore if you read the article that I posted above, it only backs up my argument that the taser is an effective device to neutralize a threat and has no lasting effects.

    “Genelle’s earlier argument that, “It seems to me a strong fit person could break up a fight between unarmed teens pretty easily without using a weapon.” Your response was that out of shape officers should still be allowed to defend themselves.”

    No that was not my response, my response was to question the inference that the officer was unfit and lazy and therefore “deserved” to be punched in the face. If that is the case then let me start punching all fat people!

    The reality of today is that criminals don’t care about gun laws, and they don’t care about law abiding citizens like you and me. All gun laws do is keep me from being able to protect myself and my family with the same firearms that a criminal is going to use on me (ie the Bank of America robbery in California). When responding to a fight – it doesn’t matter how old the people involved are. At 15 this kid can work a knife, fire an illegally obtained automatic rifle etc etc. To assume that because he is a kid and therefore he is not a dangerous threat is just inviting an officer to die.

    The number of officers responding to a call is not set in stone either. The person fighting could be on drugs and clinically have 10 times the strength of a normal person while feeling no pain. It might take 10 officers to wrestle that person to the ground and cuff them. So two officers trying to stop a fight between two people already fighting is not an “even match” or even in the officer’s favor given their training.

  73. Editors,

    While I respect your organization and yours (and everyone else’s viewpoint on this thread) I have to say that based on your logic – a McDonald’s hamburger is more dangerous than a taser. This is the same logic you use to argue your stance on tasers.

    If you eat enough of them it certainly causes a situation where you can die. More people die from heart disease and obesity in this country than ever before. Should McDonald’s (and all other fast “food” places) be banned by the American Government? Of course not! If you don’t want to be unhealthy – then just make the RESPONSIBLE DECISION to not eat foods of this type.

    If you are afraid of death possibly caused by a taser, then make a RESPONSIBLE DECISION to not commit crimes or warrant the use of a taser on your person.

  74. It may be only one of many studies but most studies that are unbiased are rather consistant. While 300 deaths is nothign to snub, it is 300 deaths over an 8 year period, that is about 37 deaths a year, in the WHOLE United States, over 303,824,600 people. These things are bound to happen. While it is necessary to prevent unecessary deaths, tax payer money, Our Money, I would rather have spent on other things, More importnant things. How about fighting specific AND intentional acts of violence by police on unarmed citizens?

    There IS NOT DIFFERENCE between a officer of the law using a taser and a civillian using one. Officers may represent the city and district they work in, but if citizens are allowed the use of taser, law enforcement officers should be as well.

    Next week, I will be having a discussion with a group that meets. This will certainly be a topic we discuss.
    While it is unfortunate that these people have died, this is not as serious as other offenses commited by our government (if an ACCIDENTAL death is an offense).
    Everyone has made good points. Clearly the issue here is not that tasers are fool-proof (they are not) BUT how safe do they have to be before our police can use them on civillians?

  75. Reserve Officer,

    The logic you use in your fast food analogy makes no sense to me. Just because police are attacking a person does not necessarily mean that what they are doing is criminal. Based on your argument, civil rights protesters were asking to be hosed or to have dogs set loose on them- after all, the argument the police made at that time *was* that the protesters were resisting them by continuing their protest despite the fact that the police told them to break it up. So should they have made the “responsible decision” to never protest at all? Or to stop doing what they were doing- peacefully assembling?

    Your arguments about guns and gun laws are interesting, but considering that both the 15-year-old and the 17-year-old mentioned in the artice were confirmed by police as being unarmed, what’s the significance? These people didn’t have guns, knives, or baseball bats. I agree that if a person is trying to harm someone else, especially a police officer, they should be arrested and given a trial. However, these two kids were never given the opportunity to defend themselves in court, because they’re dead. Perhaps you’re right, and they aren’t dead because of Tasers. But isn’t it worth it to at least bother ourselves with finding out? To not do so is to shrug off these deaths for no better reason than because straying from the status quo can be bothersome.

  76. Reserve Officer,

    Your fast food analogy makes no sense to me. You assume that just because the police are going after someone, they must be doing something criminal. Under this ideology, civil rights protesters were “asking to” be hosed or to have dogs set on them. After all, they were resisting police by continuing the protest when they had been told to disperse. So should they have done the “responsible thing” to avoid harm? Should they have cooperated with the police even though what they were doing- peacefully assembling- was perfectly legal?

  77. Jane,

    “Just because police are attacking a person does not necessarily mean that what they are doing is criminal.”

    In this case the person what trying to punch uniformed police officers – a felony.

    Last time I checked in this country it wasn’t illegal to peacefully protest. So your argument doesn’t apply since no crimes where being committed buy the protesters.

    “both the 15-year-old and the 17-year-old mentioned in the article were confirmed by police as being unarmed,”

    Was this confirmed before or after the tasing occured?

  78. Reserve Officer,

    I’m agreeing with you that the person should not have tried to punch an officer. But you’re ignoring my argument that despite the fact that he was doing something illegal, he still had the right to defend himself in court and be given a punishment by a jury. Instead, he’s dead, and not by the purposeful action of an officer. You may not agree with the argument that he’s dead because of the Taser, and that’s fine. I even accept that there is a possibility that somehow he died in some other way. But I don’t believe that we should write off his death as a “no big deal” scenario and not take the responsibility of determining what exactly killed him. And if it was the Taser, then we should reevaluate our police officers’ use of this “non-lethal” weapon.

  79. Jane,

    I agree with you, it is sad that this person and others MAY have died because of the use of a taser.

    But studies have been done showing the taser has no lasting effects and it has been used thousands of times without incident to prevent more severe crimes from taking place. It is OK to question it and to continue to study it, but to call for it to be banned until a conclusion can be reached is not realistic in today’s society.

    I think it is also wrong to fault the police (I’m not saying you did – but society does all the time) for “abusing force”. I won’t deny that there are bad seeds in every apple, but the reason why you can wake up each morning, leave your house and drive safely to work for the day, come home and still have a house full of stuff is due largely to the many dedicated men and women officers on the street.

  80. I’m sorry but when did this comment stream become a civilian vs. law enforcement issue? We are all civilians – officers are civilians in uniform, with instructions to enforce the law with little to no harm done to any other civilians or property be it public or private. to all those on here saying that tasers are just as deadly as a gun and that officers use them too much or for those of you saying officers should use more restraint and they could have easily broken up a fight between two teens.
    OK, you have three seconds to make a decision to either.. oh time’s up. In that instance could you have decided to use or not to use a taser? If you saw two teens wailin on each other and got in between them- then got punched in the face- which is a crime by the way to hit an officer, and still the teens continued to scuffle, tell me oh wise non-officers out there, what would you do. Stand back and say ” now kids I’ve asked you nicely- oh please don’t throw your shoe at that persons windshield darn now you have even more counts against you”
    COME ON PEOPLE wake up! We do not live in the fairy tale land of everybody listens to everyone else.
    Yes there should be restraint and studies done to make sure people are not being killed by a taser.
    BUT THIS ISSUE has nothing to do with cops goin around tasing people to kill them – they are trying NOT to kill them. End of subject done!
    This issue is a respected agency saying that tasers should be shelved so that officers can’t accidentally kill someone because of tasing them,
    BUT you all forget that if we shelve the tasers- the only choice a cop now has is- HIS GUN.

  81. Reserve,
    Your McDonald’s analogy is literally backwards and is a logical fallacy. I’m not going to explain it fully, but if you were to correctly use your premise to draw your conclusion, your argument would say that cops should be able to taze everyone all they want even though doing so is dangerous in the long run (If you eat all the burgers you want, it’s dangerous). Somewhere in your argument you switch around cops and civilians, among other things.

    Anyway, the point is, there are clear solutions to this dilemma and you fail to see that your authoritative approach towards policing is EXACTLY what causes these problems in the first place. You and your fellow officers are so above the law that you can justify killing a civilian in the process of defending yourself from getting a black eye, yet if a civilian were to do the same they face 3-5 years in prison or even more.

    Reserve, your useless analogies and hypothetical situations still do nothing in the way of supporting the use of the weapons in question. The fact remains, there are other resources out there and the absolute least that should be done is to spare the lives of more potential victims of death by tazer (oh no, let’s wait for the autopsy of a f**kin 17 year old kid who happened to die after being tazered. What could it have been, a god damn ear infection?). Open your eyes, serve and protect your COMMUNITY, not YOURSELF!

  82. Roger

    I applaud your service to our young as a teacher and the fact that you managed to break up fights without anything more than your hands. One thing you are forgetting is that those kids are in school, which means they have some sense of respect for themselves and others, some sense of respect for other peoples property. Some sense of right and wrong. Some sense that they want to and will amount to something someday. Some sense that working hard for something is more rewarding than just taking it from someone else who worked hard.

    I dare say that if you dawned a police uniform and went into the projects – and dealt with the kids that didn't bother to go to school, had no positive guidance, gangbang, do nothing but sell/use drugs, steal cars and all the other crimes related to that lifestyle they would treat you a little differently. I find it ironic too that a lot of schools across the nation are now considering letting teachers carry a gun with them. Where is the logic in that? Skipping right over an option that MIGHT be dangerous (taser) to allowing teachers to carry an option the is 100% deadly when applied in the right area.

    I'm not saying don't study the effects of tasers, I am saying that it would not be wise to ban them while doing such studies.

    There is a difference between being admitted to a hospital and needing to be admitted. Most department policy is to admit anyone that has been tazed to the ER to make sure they are OK. Like Jenna said, other injuries can occur from taser use, especially if the person is standing, running. Nobody has ever been "burnt to a crisp" as a result of a taser. Most times the most direct technique, the drive stun, leaves nothing more than red marks that disappear shortly afterwards. Again – the taser is not the electric chair! It is powered by a small battery and is less dangerous than being shocked by standard house current. It's all about less amps people, not voltage.

    What most of the public does not realize, myself included until I became taser certified, is that every time that taser is activated, it records the date, time, duration of activation and other stats which is then downloaded into department computers where it is stored. So there is plenty of data on the safety of the taser. The actual cartridge (if the taser is shot as opposed to a drive stun – actual skin contact) also is tagged and admitted into evidence with the case.

    I tell you this because some of you seem to think that there is a big police conspiracy to control you and the taser is part of it. This is complete paranoid crap. Police departments keep more data and record keeping more than they have ever had to before because so many criminals believe that the arresting officer is infringing on their rights. We document EVERYTHING to cover ourselves. You have to when you are dealing with dishonest people.

  83. M,
    SPRAY THEM WITH MACE, GET BACK-UP, PUT THE GOD DAMN KID IN A SLEEPER HOLD.

    In this case, the tazer did the same thing a gun would have done except it was an ACCIDENT. The officer did not make the decision to kill as he would have made if he did use the gun, THAT IS A PROBLEM. The intent of the officer should not be randomized or left up to the weapon to decide.

  84. Reserve Officer,

    How is it unrealistic to shelf a weapon that does have a clear connection to the deaths of unarmed people? Why can’t officers use, as MSU Student said, Mace or some form of physcial subduement until there is unfailing evidence that Tasers were not responsible for those deaths? Police forces worked just fine before they had Tasers, why are these weapons now so critical to law enforcement?

  85. M,

    You say that we don’t live in a “fairy tale land.” But you act as if law enforcement is there, not to prevent violence and to keep the peace, but to act as vigilantes who are the judge, the jury, and the executioner in one. You don’t allow for the complexities of law enforcement, you merely condone the “good guy” beating the “bad guy.” In this case, there was no “good guy” or “bad guy.” There was just an untested and unconfirmed weapon and a dead, unarmed 15-year-old.

  86. MSU student

    Clearly you are a poor study. My fast food analogy is the perfect example to defend the use of tasers inspite of a relatively small amount of deaths that may have resulted from the use of a taser. If we as a society banned things that we believe will kill people then why wouldn’t that apply to fast food – or cigarettes – or alcohol for that matter. They kill far more people than tasers MIGHT!

    Lesson #2: You should go and look up what a Reserve Police Officer is. I am not a sworn law enforcement officer. I AM A TRAINED CIVILIAN VOLUNTEER – yes VOLUNTEER as in UNPAID! I have a full-time career in a separate unrelated field. I VOLUNTEER to deal with issues/situations and people that most people want nothing to do with so you can put aside your slam that I am serving myself and not my community. Be thankful that there are people out there like me that are watching your house during the day, your business at night and controlling your bleeding if you are in some kind of accident at a fraction of the cost to you Mr. Tax Payer.

    But this isn’t about me.

    As simply as I can say it, I think it is unrealistic to ban tasers until a final conclusion can be made either way. The use of a taser has protected/saved more people than it MAY have killed. Nothing in this world is 100% safe, that is the reality. And to think that an officer can walk into a violent situation and make it 100% safe for everyone involved is completely unrealistic.

    Btw MSU student… some brands of mace are flammable so the potential for spraying a smoker in the face and having them burst into flames is very real – so mace is not 100% safe either.

    And if you think that causing someone to lose consciousness by depriving their brain of air through a choke hold is perfectly safe – you are wrong there too.

  87. Reserve Officer,

    You’re ignoring my argument that temporarily discontinuing police use of Tasers would not be as horrible for officers as you argue. Why is it that police could not use the same methods they used before Tasers were made? They seemed to be effective enough a few years ago.

    Furthermore, of course there is no 100% safe way to subdue an assailant, but that doesn’t mean that we should be okay with the use of a weapon that is 23% safe, or even worse, one whose safety or dangerousness is unknown.

  88. “police use of Tasers would not be as horrible for officers as you argue”

    On the contrary, I do think that not allowing the police to use a tool that is safe and effective would be horrible for officers and those they protect.

    Things change – 10 years ago most officers carried a revolver and had a shot gun for back up. Today this is unrealistic, most officers carry at least one semi-automatic and have replaced the shot gun with an assault rifle. It is just a simple fact that as bad people gain more powerful weapons and tactics – law enforcement has to step up!

  89. Reserve Officer,

    You continue to say that Tasers are “safe and effective.” What, then, killed these two teenagers? I’m starting to think MSU Student is right in saying you think it was an ear infection.

    Also, you say police should be given whatever weapons you deem necessary, but you never suggest that there is a line to be drawn, between the appropriate and the unjust. If there was a gang that used biological weapons or bombs to kill people, would that mean that police had no other choice but to stoop to using them as well? Of course not. That’s why we have police officers who are trained in intelligence and tactics as well as in engaging in conflicts. In this way we can make sure that officers are able to protect the people without using the same terroristic methods of known criminals.

    Even if you disagree and you believe that the ends justify any sort of ill-conceived and unjust means, how does this defend the use of Tasers? Criminals don’t use them to subdue others, they instead use physical methods or blunt weapons like bats.

  90. 1st- how about we stop making personal attacks, clearly Reserve Officer is an upstanding citizen.
    2nd- the issue is the use of “deadly weapons” on unarmed civilians. Pepper spray has been know to cause deaths as well. SH!T HAPPENS. Nothing is 100% safe. 331 deaths in 8 years is not to shocking. Almost the same number of people die in elevators every year.
    4th- Just because the “teen” was unarmed dosn’t mean he was not acting violently.

  91. Reserve,
    What you said and what you meant to say were completely different. Who are you to tell me I’m a poor study? It takes little to know the basic structure of a logical argument but it seems that you have trouble grasping the concept of what I was trying to tell you. To spell it out more clearly, I was letting you know that you’re stupid without saying so, but I guess I gave you too much credit. Anyway, thanks for volunteering, but to be honest with you, I would rather you not because it’s people like you who call the police on a couple of kids fighting and get them jailed and/or killed.

    If you don’t want to regulate the use of deadly force, then f**k it, do whatever it takes to enforce the perfect, infallible law of the land. If we expect everyone to be held accountable, EVERYONE must be held accountable. If you use a taser and it stops a violent act, wonderful, if you use a taser and it severely harms or kills an unarmed assailant, PAY FOR IT, especially if you are a cop. Where is the accountability?

    The establishment that you and your superhero volunteer friends are trying to support is caving in on itself. The bottom line is the justice system has evolved into a monopoly that has found a way to marginalize people (for reserve: that basically means discriminate in the simplest terms) and then profit from them. This is being realized by the next generation of leaders who, by way of the justice system, have essentially been turned into criminals via the failing ZERO tolerance policies of the 21st century that you asshole volunteers have been begging for. Rant Rant Rant…

  92. to Jane,
    he is not saying the ends justify the means. I would also like to know where you got the statistic that tasers are only 23% safe?
    Also, how about public use of tasers? I am fairly certain women have used tasers to fend off would be rapists. How about that reversal?

    your statistics are way off. Only .3% of subjects suffer injuries servere enough to need hospital admission.

    Don’t believe me? go to this link:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071008080329.htm

  93. AND MSU STUDENT:
    clearly you are a male. you have some sort of anger issue. Clearly Reserve Officer knew you were trying to insult him, he took the high road.
    There is a need for accountablility, but how about we attack the people who are abusing their power?
    PS- the kids should find a non-public place to fight then, or suffer the consequences. How about you males go deal with your aggression issues else where?

  94. Jenna,

    You say, “S— happens” in response to over 300 deaths that could have been prevented? Was our country not founded on the basic principle that people have the right to not be randomly killed by a weapon that is supposed to be non-lethal? Do you believe that people accused of being criminals should even be given a trial, or that they should be executed and that those deaths are “not so shocking?”

    We’ve already established that the teenager (yes, he was a teenager, the article states that he was 15 years old), was probably acting violently. That doesn’t change the fact that there were numerous other ways the officer could have been given to respond to a threat, but instead he/she was given a weapon that he/she believed was non-lethal that killed the kid.

    23% was a random example. The point is, we have no way of knowing how safe Tasers are because they haven’t been tested conclusively yet.

    What’s the point of your argument that some women use Tasers? We’re discussing use of Tasers by police officers.

    Even if you’re right about .3% being admitted to hospitals, you’re still ignoring the hundreds of people who were literally burnt to a crisp long before they could head off for an ER.

  95. Jenna,

    I think you’re right in saying that we should avoid personal attacks. But gender stereotypes and hasty generalizations kind of fall into that category as well.

  96. Jane,
    it is not that they are admitted to hospitals, it is that any hospital admission is necessary. minor cuts, bruises, and other injuries will occur, as with any other physical restraint.
    ALSO, accidents happen. it is not going to matter, people will always accidentaly die at the hands of the police and people will always be there to question it. WHICH is GREAT!
    BUT this whole issue has been blown completely out of proportion.
    AND if tasers are legal, and CAN be used as self-defense for women (Or men), it should not matter if police use them as well. Officers have rights too.

    ALSO, i can site my sources, which is more than most of these people can do. Dont believe me, then check for yourself. PS, my sources are considered unbiased.

  97. Jenna,

    I don’t see a difference between being admitted to a hospital and needing to be admitted to a hospital.
    I don’t argue that the study you site isn’t legit; I argue that it is only one study of dozens that should be done before we pass judgment on Tasers, especially since they are implicated in, again, over 300 deaths.
    Again, you and Reserve Officer argue that because there is no 100% safe way for police to subdue criminals, we should not bother ourselves with even trying to better those conditions.
    “Blown out of proportion?” How many times can I say this? Over 300 people are dead here. How is saying that those numbers are ridiculous blowing the issue out of proportion?
    I think that the issue of Tasers being used by civilians is an interesting one, but really not related. Just because officers are also civilians does not mean that their actions don’t represent the city and the district they are employed by.

  98. As a former inner city teacher I have single handedly broken up many fist fights between 14 to 18 year olds. I have never used a taser, pepper spray, billyclub, hit anyone with my fist, open hand or anything else. The idea that a grown man can’t subdue an unruly teen without resorting to dangerous weapons is simply ridiculous. Cops have every right to meet force with like force, but tazing a kid for throwing a punch is not ‘like force’. The article calls for studies not banning. Don’t we want to know the lethality potential of our tools, be they bandsaws or tazers?

  99. It may be only one of many studies but most studies that are unbiased are rather consistant. While 300 deaths is nothign to snub, it is 300 deaths over an 8 year period, that is about 37 deaths a year, in the WHOLE United States, over 303,824,600 people. These things are bound to happen. While it is necessary to prevent unecessary deaths, tax payer money, Our Money, I would rather have spent on other things, More importnant things. How about fighting specific AND intentional acts of violence by police on unarmed citizens?

    There IS NOT DIFFERENCE between a officer of the law using a taser and a civillian using one. Officers may represent the city and district they work in, but if citizens are allowed the use of taser, law enforcement officers should be as well.

    Next week, I will be having a discussion with a group that meets. This will certainly be a topic we discuss.
    While it is unfortunate that these people have died, this is not as serious as other offenses commited by our government (if an ACCIDENTAL death is an offense).
    Everyone has made good points. Clearly the issue here is not that tasers are fool-proof (they are not) BUT how safe do they have to be before our police can use them on civillians?

  100. Roger

    I applaud your service to our young as a teacher and the fact that you managed to break up fights without anything more than your hands. One thing you are forgetting is that those kids are in school, which means they have some sense of respect for themselves and others, some sense of respect for other peoples property. Some sense of right and wrong. Some sense that they want to and will amount to something someday. Some sense that working hard for something is more rewarding than just taking it from someone else who worked hard.

    I dare say that if you dawned a police uniform and went into the projects – and dealt with the kids that didn’t bother to go to school, had no positive guidance, gangbang, do nothing but sell/use drugs, steal cars and all the other crimes related to that lifestyle they would treat you a little differently. I find it ironic too that a lot of schools across the nation are now considering letting teachers carry a gun with them. Where is the logic in that? Skipping right over an option that MIGHT be dangerous (taser) to allowing teachers to carry an option the is 100% deadly when applied in the right area.

    I’m not saying don’t study the effects of tasers, I am saying that it would not be wise to ban them while doing such studies.

    There is a difference between being admitted to a hospital and needing to be admitted. Most department policy is to admit anyone that has been tazed to the ER to make sure they are OK. Like Jenna said, other injuries can occur from taser use, especially if the person is standing, running. Nobody has ever been “burnt to a crisp” as a result of a taser. Most times the most direct technique, the drive stun, leaves nothing more than red marks that disappear shortly afterwards. Again – the taser is not the electric chair! It is powered by a small battery and is less dangerous than being shocked by standard house current. It’s all about less amps people, not voltage.

    What most of the public does not realize, myself included until I became taser certified, is that every time that taser is activated, it records the date, time, duration of activation and other stats which is then downloaded into department computers where it is stored. So there is plenty of data on the safety of the taser. The actual cartridge (if the taser is shot as opposed to a drive stun – actual skin contact) also is tagged and admitted into evidence with the case.

    I tell you this because some of you seem to think that there is a big police conspiracy to control you and the taser is part of it. This is complete paranoid crap. Police departments keep more data and record keeping more than they have ever had to before because so many criminals believe that the arresting officer is infringing on their rights. We document EVERYTHING to cover ourselves. You have to when you are dealing with dishonest people.

  101. Reserve: Please answer this question: Do you believe a product being sold to a police force should be thoroughly tested before it is used in the field? We're talking hypothetically, here, Reserve. That means I'm not necessarily talking about testing tasers for the victim's safety, I could be talking about testing a gun or a restraint or the fence thingy in the police cars for any kind of defect. The defect could put the police force in danger or it could put civilians in danger, or both. So, try to think big here. I'll ask the question again to be clear:

    Do you believe a product being sold to a police force should be thoroughly tested before it is used in the field?

  102. Genelle, to answer your question… without belittling your viewpoint as you have with me.

    Q: "Do you believe a product being sold to a police force should be thoroughly tested before it is used in the field?"

    A: YES I DO! And the TASER HAS BEEN and is continuously TESTED and found to have NO LASTING EFFECTS!

    I don't know how I can answer your question any clearer.

    Everyone needs to realize that the shock of a taser is NOT like the shock we have experienced from our household outlets or the shock of the electric chair. It is much less dangerous as it is a low amp shock that mimics the same electrical signal that the brain sends to muscles to contract naturally.

    Another thing everyone needs to realize is that there is a 6 hour class and written test you must pass in order to be certified to carry/use a taser. Now you will argue that this is not enough training – but they aren't just handed out willy-nilly without training to each officer. On top of that – part of officers training is to BE TASED and BE MACED (when training on mace) so we can experience what a person goes through when we tase/mace them.

  103. Civilians are not held to the highest standards of restraint and accountability that police officers are (supposedly) held to in order to keep them from abusing their power. Civilians and police officers are absolutely not the same thing.

    Good Samaritan laws allow civilians without emergency training to perform CPR and other life saving techniques without running the risk of legal repercussion in case they make a mistake in administering care to a victim. On the other hand, civilians with special certification are held to higher standards because of their advanced training and if they make a mistake in the administration of CPR, that person is susceptible to legal action. This is exactly the same kind of thing you can apply when thinking about the difference between a civilian and an officer with years of specialized training who is entrusted by their municipality, county, etc. to serve and protect 'the rest of us.'

  104. Reserve,
    I was referring to the comments saying that the two groups are the same when, especially in a situation like this, they are very different.

    Also, I was making the point that police officers should be held to a higher standard because of their advanced qualifications and so forth.

  105. And I agree with you, police are constantly undergoing certification/recertification and training all the while being professional in their treatment of people and situations. Are there some less professional than others? Sure. Are there some that probably shouldn't be police at all? Sure. It is no different than in any other career. I have had plenty of doctors that probably shouldn't have been doctors! AIG and GM have CEOs that shouldn't be CEOs.

    In my situation I am held to a higher standard because I have received training from full time officers in my department and I do represent the city/community when out on call. But that doesn't mean that I am allowed "to get away" with things because I am in uniform as you infer. In fact – quite the opposite. I live in a state where it is legal, as long as you have the permit, to conceal and carry. If I walk into a movie theater full of 100 adults – each one of them can have a gun on them. BUT, when I am in uniform and on duty I am not allowed to carry a fire arm AT ALL because of the liabilities should I need to use it. So I have a shirt with police patches on it, a badge, name tag, duty belt with everything except gun related items, wear body armour, but I am not allowed to protect myself as much as an average citizen.

    I don't know what your experience has been with the police, but your stereo type that they (I intentionally did not say "we") are nothing but power hungry abusers is completely off.

    Departments document EVERYTHING because so much of what goes on is "he said/she said" when it comes to dealing with the public. If I transport a prisoner, I dispatch and report the time, my location and current mileage. When I arrive to my destination I call dispatch, report the time, location and ending mileage. I do this so the person that I am transporting can not say – because they will, later that "i pulled over on the side of the road and beat the tar out of them"

    This is why tasers record each incident… so scumbag criminal can not say "after he cuffed me he tazed me 15 times in the back of the car"

    I would suggest that you call your local PD and request a "ride-along", then you will see the professionalism that is there, the procedures that are in place FOR EVERYONE'S SAFETY, and the patience that most officers exhibit under stressful conditions.

  106. If they've been thoroughly tested, then that means these 334 deaths were premeditated murder.

    There are 334 people who suffered "lasting effects" as you put it. Pretend, for argument's sake, that half of them were really just coincidental deaths that just happened to follow a taser incident. That's still 167 deaths. That's not ok for a supposedly safe, non-lethal weapon!!

    I blame the companies selling/marketing these weapons as safe as much as the cops who overuse them. They should be recalled as defective products, because they are not what the company says they are.

    And Reserve, your attitude is dangerous for a cop (paid or not) to have, and I hope your superiors take you off the streets soon. You say, "This is why tasers record each incident… so scumbag criminal can not say “after he cuffed me he tazed me 15 times in the back of the car”. How can you make this statement? All people who say they were tazed after they were cuffed are scumbag criminals? All people who accuse the police of anything are scumbag criminals? You have admitted yourself that there are bad cops (something about seeds and apples? haha your mixed up idioms are hilarious) so if you have this knowledge, why would you think of accusers as automatically suspicious, or worse, "scumbag criminals"?

  107. You didn't call me a "shitty" anything. I said that to you only in response to your attack.

    You have no right to talk about my attitude because you don't know my attitude. All you know of me is what I have expressed through this blog post – yet you feel it is your right to conclude that my "attitude is dangerous for a cop" and "I hope your superiors take you off the streets soon".

    I risk my life for no pay and no thanks from people like you – just the satisfaction that I helped someone during my shift, so yes, I do take your statements personally. Frankly I don't by that you didn't "mean" them to be personal – of course you did or you wouldn't have said them. AND, there is no law from keeping me from expressing my opinion of your parenting – atleast what I know of it from this thread. So you are not high-and-mighty in the right here.

    I wonder how much of your posts have more to do with just hating the police verses truly believing that the taser is a dangerous weapon. You certainly have spent more time today attacking me and other law enforcement rather than engaging in good debate, with links, about the safety of the taser.

    I suggest you do the same thing that I recommended to MSU Student, call your local PD and request a ride along. Then you will have more of a realistic understanding of what law enforcement is all about. At the very least, visit http://www.scanamerica.us and listen to your local or nearest police dispatch via the internet. See what goes on and how officers respond.

  108. Genelle,

    We can go round and round on this… and I'll say it again. The benefits of tasers far outweigh the POSSIBLE drawbacks. I'm not saying don't continue to test them and make them safer – which their manufacturer continues to do – and strive for 100% safety. What I am saying is that when used following use of force procedure, they are an effective method of neutralizing a threat without causing lasting effects – far more effective than mace, strikes from a baton or using a gun. The drop in number of officer deaths AND civilian deaths since tasers have been in use is proof of this.

    As for my attitude, you have absolutely no right to make such a statement as you don't know me or my situation. If we are going into character smears I can do that too… I think you are a shitty parent because you would not step in and protect your child from being beaten because of the possible risk that you could injure your child's beater!

    The simple fact is that if you are involved in any field of law enforcement – be it as a paid officer, unpaid volunteer reserve officer, security guard, prison guard, or mall cop – you are dealing with criminals. Your error in logic is making the jump by assuming that I I categorize EVERYONE I deal with is a "scumbag criminal". When did I say that? What I said was

    "This is why tasers record each incident… so scumbag criminal can not say “after he cuffed me he tazed me 15 times in the back of the car”

    I work with and have met a lot of upstanding citizens in my community – difference is that these people will not ever end up in the back of my squad in cuffs, because there is a difference between and upstanding citizen and a scumbag criminal that revolves around being honest. Criminals are not honest and if you trust one you are a fool. My point about having to transmit certain information if I am transporting a person or the taser recording every time it is put to us is that these procedures don't protect only the victim, but the officer as well. It would be very easy, without following proper procedure while transporting a female prisoner to be accused of raping that person. Then it is only my word against a criminals word. Same thing with the taser. It keeps offers a safeguard against a criminal claiming that they were continuously tazed by the police in the back of a squad and therefore deserve millions of dollars because they were abused by the police. Simply consult the taser log – and you can see WITHOUT A DOUBT if the criminal was or wasn't tased as they claim.

    All people who say they were tazed after they were cuffed are scumbag criminals?

    Where did I say that?

    All people who accuse the police of anything are scumbag criminals?

    Where did I say that?

  109. I really think you should stop calling people criminals (or shitty parents) unless you know something about the person. I actually said, "if it was my kid attacking or being attacked, I’d want the attacker treated the same way: with meticulous care." That does not translate into the wacky conclusion you have come up with but I'm not going to explain it in simple language for you.

    You did not qualify your statement about people who accuse cops of excessive force, you called them "scumbag criminals." I talked about *your attitude* as a public servant, which I have every right to comment on.

    I did not call you a personal name or attack you on something that is outside this discussion.

    After all this, you didn't even address the point that if tasers have been thoroughly tested, then that means these 334 deaths were premeditated murder.

  110. After all this, you didn’t even address the point that if tasers have been thoroughly tested, then that means these 334 deaths were premeditated murder.

    your wrong in your assumption that tasers caused the deaths of 334 people – there is no proof of this. They were all breathing before they died too – following your logic (or lack of), breathing could have killed them too.

    I really think you should stop calling people criminals (or shitty parents) unless you know something about the person.

    Exactly why I resented your attack that "my attitude is dangerous for a cop" you dont' know me either so you have no right to make that statement. If you go and read through this whole thread I have not thrown personal insults to anyone until my "parenting" remark, while receiving many. There is no double standard here, if YOU want RESPECT then YOU have to BE respectful, and by making snap judgements as to my character you are not being respectful.

    I really think you should stop calling people criminals …

    I don't call people criminals – I also called them upstanding citizens. If someone is in the back of my squad – or any squad for that matter – in handcuffs it is because they have been caught breaking a law, making them a criminal. Why is that hard for you to understand?

    As for my statements regarding people who accuse cops of excessive force. It's just that – AN ACCUSATION – it doesn't mean the cop did it, it doesn't mean they didn't. I addressed that situation simply to say that there are many procedures in place that police follow for the protection of themselves as well as the protection of the people they serve – be it upstanding citizen or scumbag criminal. Clearly you missed my point about criminals being less than honest people.

  111. Reserve: Please answer this question: Do you believe a product being sold to a police force should be thoroughly tested before it is used in the field? We’re talking hypothetically, here, Reserve. That means I’m not necessarily talking about testing tasers for the victim’s safety, I could be talking about testing a gun or a restraint or the fence thingy in the police cars for any kind of defect. The defect could put the police force in danger or it could put civilians in danger, or both. So, try to think big here. I’ll ask the question again to be clear:

    Do you believe a product being sold to a police force should be thoroughly tested before it is used in the field?

  112. I talked about *your attitude* as a public servant, which I have every right to comment on. I never attacked you personally or called you a shitty anything.

  113. You didn't call me a "shitty" anything. I said that to you only in response to your attack.

    You have no right to talk about my attitude because you don't know my attitude. All you know of me is what I have expressed through this blog post – yet you feel it is your right to conclude that my "attitude is dangerous for a cop" and "I hope your superiors take you off the streets soon".

    I risk my life for no pay and no thanks from people like you – just the satisfaction that I helped someone during my shift, so yes, I do take your statements personally. Frankly I don't by that you didn't "mean" them to be personal – of course you did or you wouldn't have said them. AND, there is no law from keeping me from expressing my opinion of your parenting – atleast what I know of it from this thread. So you are not high-and-mighty in the right here.

    I wonder how much of your posts have more to do with just hating the police verses truly believing that the taser is a dangerous weapon. You certainly have spent more time today attacking me and other law enforcement rather than engaging in good debate, with links, about the safety of the taser.

    I suggest you do the same thing that I recommended to MSU Student, call your local PD and request a ride along. Then you will have more of a realistic understanding of what law enforcement is all about. At the very least, visit http://www.scanamerica.us and listen to your local or nearest police dispatch via the internet. See what goes on and how officers respond.

  114. You didn't call me a "shitty" anything. I said that to you only in response to your attack.

    You have no right to talk about my attitude because you don't know my attitude. All you know of me is what I have expressed through this blog post – yet you feel it is your right to conclude that my "attitude is dangerous for a cop" and "I hope your superiors take you off the streets soon".

    I risk my life for no pay and no thanks from people like you – just the satisfaction that I helped someone during my shift, so yes, I do take your statements personally. Frankly I don't by that you didn't "mean" them to be personal – of course you did or you wouldn't have said them. AND, there is no law from keeping me from expressing my opinion of your parenting – atleast what I know of it from this thread. So you are not high-and-mighty in the right here.

    I wonder how much of your posts have more to do with just hating the police verses truly believing that the taser is a dangerous weapon. You certainly have spent more time today attacking me and other law enforcement rather than engaging in good debate, with links, about the safety of the taser.

    I suggest you do the same thing that I recommended to MSU Student, call your local PD and request a ride along. Then you will have more of a realistic understanding of what law enforcement is all about. At the very least, visit http://www.scanamerica.us and listen to your local or nearest police dispatch via the internet. See what goes on and how officers respond.

  115. Genelle, to answer your question… without belittling your viewpoint as you have with me.

    Q: “Do you believe a product being sold to a police force should be thoroughly tested before it is used in the field?”

    A: YES I DO! And the TASER HAS BEEN and is continuously TESTED and found to have NO LASTING EFFECTS!

    I don’t know how I can answer your question any clearer.

    Everyone needs to realize that the shock of a taser is NOT like the shock we have experienced from our household outlets or the shock of the electric chair. It is much less dangerous as it is a low amp shock that mimics the same electrical signal that the brain sends to muscles to contract naturally.

    Another thing everyone needs to realize is that there is a 6 hour class and written test you must pass in order to be certified to carry/use a taser. Now you will argue that this is not enough training – but they aren’t just handed out willy-nilly without training to each officer. On top of that – part of officers training is to BE TASED and BE MACED (when training on mace) so we can experience what a person goes through when we tase/mace them.

  116. Civilians are not held to the highest standards of restraint and accountability that police officers are (supposedly) held to in order to keep them from abusing their power. Civilians and police officers are absolutely not the same thing.

    Good Samaritan laws allow civilians without emergency training to perform CPR and other life saving techniques without running the risk of legal repercussion in case they make a mistake in administering care to a victim. On the other hand, civilians with special certification are held to higher standards because of their advanced training and if they make a mistake in the administration of CPR, that person is susceptible to legal action. This is exactly the same kind of thing you can apply when thinking about the difference between a civilian and an officer with years of specialized training who is entrusted by their municipality, county, etc. to serve and protect ‘the rest of us.’

  117. Reserve,
    I was referring to the comments saying that the two groups are the same when, especially in a situation like this, they are very different.

    Also, I was making the point that police officers should be held to a higher standard because of their advanced qualifications and so forth.

  118. And I agree with you, police are constantly undergoing certification/recertification and training all the while being professional in their treatment of people and situations. Are there some less professional than others? Sure. Are there some that probably shouldn’t be police at all? Sure. It is no different than in any other career. I have had plenty of doctors that probably shouldn’t have been doctors! AIG and GM have CEOs that shouldn’t be CEOs.

    In my situation I am held to a higher standard because I have received training from full time officers in my department and I do represent the city/community when out on call. But that doesn’t mean that I am allowed “to get away” with things because I am in uniform as you infer. In fact – quite the opposite. I live in a state where it is legal, as long as you have the permit, to conceal and carry. If I walk into a movie theater full of 100 adults – each one of them can have a gun on them. BUT, when I am in uniform and on duty I am not allowed to carry a fire arm AT ALL because of the liabilities should I need to use it. So I have a shirt with police patches on it, a badge, name tag, duty belt with everything except gun related items, wear body armour, but I am not allowed to protect myself as much as an average citizen.

    I don’t know what your experience has been with the police, but your stereo type that they (I intentionally did not say “we”) are nothing but power hungry abusers is completely off.

    Departments document EVERYTHING because so much of what goes on is “he said/she said” when it comes to dealing with the public. If I transport a prisoner, I dispatch and report the time, my location and current mileage. When I arrive to my destination I call dispatch, report the time, location and ending mileage. I do this so the person that I am transporting can not say – because they will, later that “i pulled over on the side of the road and beat the tar out of them”

    This is why tasers record each incident… so scumbag criminal can not say “after he cuffed me he tazed me 15 times in the back of the car”

    I would suggest that you call your local PD and request a “ride-along”, then you will see the professionalism that is there, the procedures that are in place FOR EVERYONE’S SAFETY, and the patience that most officers exhibit under stressful conditions.

  119. If they’ve been thoroughly tested, then that means these 334 deaths were premeditated murder.

    There are 334 people who suffered “lasting effects” as you put it. Pretend, for argument’s sake, that half of them were really just coincidental deaths that just happened to follow a taser incident. That’s still 167 deaths. That’s not ok for a supposedly safe, non-lethal weapon!!

    I blame the companies selling/marketing these weapons as safe as much as the cops who overuse them. They should be recalled as defective products, because they are not what the company says they are.

    And Reserve, your attitude is dangerous for a cop (paid or not) to have, and I hope your superiors take you off the streets soon. You say, “This is why tasers record each incident… so scumbag criminal can not say “after he cuffed me he tazed me 15 times in the back of the car”. How can you make this statement? All people who say they were tazed after they were cuffed are scumbag criminals? All people who accuse the police of anything are scumbag criminals? You have admitted yourself that there are bad cops (something about seeds and apples? haha your mixed up idioms are hilarious) so if you have this knowledge, why would you think of accusers as automatically suspicious, or worse, “scumbag criminals”?

  120. Genelle,

    We can go round and round on this… and I’ll say it again. The benefits of tasers far outweigh the POSSIBLE drawbacks. I’m not saying don’t continue to test them and make them safer – which their manufacturer continues to do – and strive for 100% safety. What I am saying is that when used following use of force procedure, they are an effective method of neutralizing a threat without causing lasting effects – far more effective than mace, strikes from a baton or using a gun. The drop in number of officer deaths AND civilian deaths since tasers have been in use is proof of this.

    As for my attitude, you have absolutely no right to make such a statement as you don’t know me or my situation. If we are going into character smears I can do that too… I think you are a shitty parent because you would not step in and protect your child from being beaten because of the possible risk that you could injure your child’s beater!

    The simple fact is that if you are involved in any field of law enforcement – be it as a paid officer, unpaid volunteer reserve officer, security guard, prison guard, or mall cop – you are dealing with criminals. Your error in logic is making the jump by assuming that I I categorize EVERYONE I deal with is a “scumbag criminal”. When did I say that? What I said was

    “This is why tasers record each incident… so scumbag criminal can not say “after he cuffed me he tazed me 15 times in the back of the car”

    I work with and have met a lot of upstanding citizens in my community – difference is that these people will not ever end up in the back of my squad in cuffs, because there is a difference between and upstanding citizen and a scumbag criminal that revolves around being honest. Criminals are not honest and if you trust one you are a fool. My point about having to transmit certain information if I am transporting a person or the taser recording every time it is put to us is that these procedures don’t protect only the victim, but the officer as well. It would be very easy, without following proper procedure while transporting a female prisoner to be accused of raping that person. Then it is only my word against a criminals word. Same thing with the taser. It keeps offers a safeguard against a criminal claiming that they were continuously tazed by the police in the back of a squad and therefore deserve millions of dollars because they were abused by the police. Simply consult the taser log – and you can see WITHOUT A DOUBT if the criminal was or wasn’t tased as they claim.

    All people who say they were tazed after they were cuffed are scumbag criminals?

    Where did I say that?

    All people who accuse the police of anything are scumbag criminals?

    Where did I say that?

  121. As a public servant, your attitude *is* my business, and I do have enough to go on here to comment on it. I didn't comment on the kind of person you are, only your attitude *as it applies to you being a cop.*

    You, however, have no right to comment on my parenting.

  122. I really think you should stop calling people criminals (or shitty parents) unless you know something about the person. I actually said, “if it was my kid attacking or being attacked, I’d want the attacker treated the same way: with meticulous care.” That does not translate into the wacky conclusion you have come up with but I’m not going to explain it in simple language for you.

    You did not qualify your statement about people who accuse cops of excessive force, you called them “scumbag criminals.” I talked about *your attitude* as a public servant, which I have every right to comment on.

    I did not call you a personal name or attack you on something that is outside this discussion.

    After all this, you didn’t even address the point that if tasers have been thoroughly tested, then that means these 334 deaths were premeditated murder.

  123. After all this, you didn’t even address the point that if tasers have been thoroughly tested, then that means these 334 deaths were premeditated murder.

    your wrong in your assumption that tasers caused the deaths of 334 people – there is no proof of this. They were all breathing before they died too – following your logic (or lack of), breathing could have killed them too.

    I really think you should stop calling people criminals (or shitty parents) unless you know something about the person.

    Exactly why I resented your attack that “my attitude is dangerous for a cop” you dont’ know me either so you have no right to make that statement. If you go and read through this whole thread I have not thrown personal insults to anyone until my “parenting” remark, while receiving many. There is no double standard here, if YOU want RESPECT then YOU have to BE respectful, and by making snap judgements as to my character you are not being respectful.

    I really think you should stop calling people criminals …

    I don’t call people criminals – I also called them upstanding citizens. If someone is in the back of my squad – or any squad for that matter – in handcuffs it is because they have been caught breaking a law, making them a criminal. Why is that hard for you to understand?

    As for my statements regarding people who accuse cops of excessive force. It’s just that – AN ACCUSATION – it doesn’t mean the cop did it, it doesn’t mean they didn’t. I addressed that situation simply to say that there are many procedures in place that police follow for the protection of themselves as well as the protection of the people they serve – be it upstanding citizen or scumbag criminal. Clearly you missed my point about criminals being less than honest people.

  124. Reserve Officer,

    You say, "Your wrong in your assumption that tasers caused the deaths of 334 people – there is no proof of this. They were all breathing before they died too – following your logic (or lack of), breathing could have killed them too."

    If I were to follow your logic, that there is no such thing as incriminating evidence, I would say something along the lines of, "A person who is dead, with multiple wounds in their chest, with a bloody steak knife next to their corpse, did not necessarily die from being stabbed five or six times. It would be ridiculous to argue that steak knives can pose a lethal threat to people, because the results from the lab haven't shown us conclusively that the person died from being stabbed multiple times. They could have died from heart failure that *resulted* from being stabbed through the heart, or perhaps they drowned because blood filled thier lungs, but we cannot blame the steak knife for that."

    Your argument that Tasers are not to blame for these deaths is as unconvincing as ever. Your attempt to file an "innocent until proven guilty" complaint on behalf of an inanimate object is also, again, not convincing me of anything. When it comes to public safety, should we wait until *400* people are dead before we are willing to shelf or discontinue the use of these weapons?

  125. I talked about *your attitude* as a public servant, which I have every right to comment on. I never attacked you personally or called you a shitty anything.

  126. You didn’t call me a “shitty” anything. I said that to you only in response to your attack.

    You have no right to talk about my attitude because you don’t know my attitude. All you know of me is what I have expressed through this blog post – yet you feel it is your right to conclude that my “attitude is dangerous for a cop” and “I hope your superiors take you off the streets soon”.

    I risk my life for no pay and no thanks from people like you – just the satisfaction that I helped someone during my shift, so yes, I do take your statements personally. Frankly I don’t by that you didn’t “mean” them to be personal – of course you did or you wouldn’t have said them. AND, there is no law from keeping me from expressing my opinion of your parenting – atleast what I know of it from this thread. So you are not high-and-mighty in the right here.

    I wonder how much of your posts have more to do with just hating the police verses truly believing that the taser is a dangerous weapon. You certainly have spent more time today attacking me and other law enforcement rather than engaging in good debate, with links, about the safety of the taser.

    I suggest you do the same thing that I recommended to MSU Student, call your local PD and request a ride along. Then you will have more of a realistic understanding of what law enforcement is all about. At the very least, visit http://www.scanamerica.us and listen to your local or nearest police dispatch via the internet. See what goes on and how officers respond.

  127. As a public servant, your attitude *is* my business, and I do have enough to go on here to comment on it. I didn’t comment on the kind of person you are, only your attitude *as it applies to you being a cop.*

    You, however, have no right to comment on my parenting.

  128. Reserve Officer,

    You say, “Your wrong in your assumption that tasers caused the deaths of 334 people – there is no proof of this. They were all breathing before they died too – following your logic (or lack of), breathing could have killed them too.”

    If I were to follow your logic, that there is no such thing as incriminating evidence, I would say something along the lines of, “A person who is dead, with multiple wounds in their chest, with a bloody steak knife next to their corpse, did not necessarily die from being stabbed five or six times. It would be ridiculous to argue that steak knives can pose a lethal threat to people, because the results from the lab haven’t shown us conclusively that the person died from being stabbed multiple times. They could have died from heart failure that *resulted* from being stabbed through the heart, or perhaps they drowned because blood filled thier lungs, but we cannot blame the steak knife for that.”

    Your argument that Tasers are not to blame for these deaths is as unconvincing as ever. Your attempt to file an “innocent until proven guilty” complaint on behalf of an inanimate object is also, again, not convincing me of anything. When it comes to public safety, should we wait until *400* people are dead before we are willing to shelf or discontinue the use of these weapons?

  129. Genelle,

    From m-w.com

    public servant
    Function:
    noun
    Date:
    1671

    : a government official or employee

    Perhaps you should learn what a public servant is and read the thread again as I am niether a government official or employee. So NO you DO NOT have the right to judge me.

    I would prefer to get back on subject – tasers
    You believe what you want to believe. I believe what I want to believe. As far as I can tell I am the only one on this thread who has ANY hands on experience in taser use/training. Does that mean your opinion is wrong – of course not – how can someone's opinion be wrong. All I am sharing with you is my opinion and my experience.

    You can believe what you want to believe but I refer back to my opening statement on this thread – there is not enough information in the incident in question given to make judgement on whether the taser killed this boy or not. I'm not saying it didn't – but I won't say that it did either. And OVERALL the taser has saved more lives than it MAY HAVE harmed.

  130. Jane,

    Your analogy is so far off. But it helps me prove my point exactly so I thank you for it.

    First off let me point to the HUGE double standard here that I already pointed out above that nobody is keeping in mind.

    One big beef that anti-taser people continue to use as an argument is that

    "90% of the people that were tased were unarmed"

    Like I said earlier – define "unarmed". A seemingly harmless shoelace can be used as a lethal weapon if used the right way – that is why when prisoners are admitted to jail, there shoes are either taken away or delaced. Give me less than five minutes and I can turn the plastic top to your starbucks coffee cup into a lethal weapon. Give me 5 minutes and I can kill you with a tooth brush. This is why the point that these people were unarmed holds no water – anything can become a weapon at any time. There are many other weapons – traditional and non-traditional – besides a hand gun. The real question in the death of this boy is "was he acting violently and aggressively towards police or others and did the police take steps before the deployment of the taser to restrain the individual". YES, they did! Where there steak knives in the house? Probably! Can steak knives be used as a weapon? YOU BET! Is the kid capable of grabbing one or more of them and stabbing the officers? CERTAINLY!

    Certainly there is a thing called incriminating evidence – but it is absent IN ALL of the studies of taser use that tasers can cause death. Right now your argument is based on nothing more than a theory.

    “A person who is dead, with multiple wounds in their chest, with a bloody steak knife next to their corpse, did not necessarily die from being stabbed five or six times."

    EXACTLY! Sure they died from stab wounds FROM SOMETHING! But forensic tests will be conducted on the knife to determine if it was indeed THAT KNIFE that made the wounds which lead to the victims death. In your scenerio, that knife could have been a defensive weapon the victim used as protection from an attack. Testing needs to be done to PROVE the relationship of that knife and how it played a part in the incidents that lead to the victims death. That is why I say in this case we need to wait for the autopsy.

    Many people have heart attacks in the morning when they wake up – does this mean that their bed or there pillow is what caused the heart attack and therefore the manufacturers of each should be shut down immediately and sued for negligence? No. But if I used your oversimplified logic – this is the conclusion I would draw.

  131. Pingback: Exporting Insanity: Dutch Police Get Tasers | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  132. Genelle,

    From m-w.com

    public servant
    Function:
    noun
    Date:
    1671

    : a government official or employee

    Perhaps you should learn what a public servant is and read the thread again as I am niether a government official or employee. So NO you DO NOT have the right to judge me.

    I would prefer to get back on subject – tasers
    You believe what you want to believe. I believe what I want to believe. As far as I can tell I am the only one on this thread who has ANY hands on experience in taser use/training. Does that mean your opinion is wrong – of course not – how can someone’s opinion be wrong. All I am sharing with you is my opinion and my experience.

    You can believe what you want to believe but I refer back to my opening statement on this thread – there is not enough information in the incident in question given to make judgement on whether the taser killed this boy or not. I’m not saying it didn’t – but I won’t say that it did either. And OVERALL the taser has saved more lives than it MAY HAVE harmed.

  133. Jane,

    Your analogy is so far off. But it helps me prove my point exactly so I thank you for it.

    First off let me point to the HUGE double standard here that I already pointed out above that nobody is keeping in mind.

    One big beef that anti-taser people continue to use as an argument is that

    “90% of the people that were tased were unarmed”

    Like I said earlier – define “unarmed”. A seemingly harmless shoelace can be used as a lethal weapon if used the right way – that is why when prisoners are admitted to jail, there shoes are either taken away or delaced. Give me less than five minutes and I can turn the plastic top to your starbucks coffee cup into a lethal weapon. Give me 5 minutes and I can kill you with a tooth brush. This is why the point that these people were unarmed holds no water – anything can become a weapon at any time. There are many other weapons – traditional and non-traditional – besides a hand gun. The real question in the death of this boy is “was he acting violently and aggressively towards police or others and did the police take steps before the deployment of the taser to restrain the individual”. YES, they did! Where there steak knives in the house? Probably! Can steak knives be used as a weapon? YOU BET! Is the kid capable of grabbing one or more of them and stabbing the officers? CERTAINLY!

    Certainly there is a thing called incriminating evidence – but it is absent IN ALL of the studies of taser use that tasers can cause death. Right now your argument is based on nothing more than a theory.

    “A person who is dead, with multiple wounds in their chest, with a bloody steak knife next to their corpse, did not necessarily die from being stabbed five or six times.”

    EXACTLY! Sure they died from stab wounds FROM SOMETHING! But forensic tests will be conducted on the knife to determine if it was indeed THAT KNIFE that made the wounds which lead to the victims death. In your scenerio, that knife could have been a defensive weapon the victim used as protection from an attack. Testing needs to be done to PROVE the relationship of that knife and how it played a part in the incidents that lead to the victims death. That is why I say in this case we need to wait for the autopsy.

    Many people have heart attacks in the morning when they wake up – does this mean that their bed or there pillow is what caused the heart attack and therefore the manufacturers of each should be shut down immediately and sued for negligence? No. But if I used your oversimplified logic – this is the conclusion I would draw.

  134. Reserve Officer,

    You have yet again dragged this "unarmed" issue into the discussion. What on earth is the relevance of a person's *capability* to harm someone else? You can continue to harp on and on and on about the fact that Brett Elder was involved in an altercation with the police, an altercation which you have misconstrued, fabricated, and manipulated into the utterly ludicrous equivalent of an assassination attempt via shoelace. You can continue to repeat, at increasingly louder volumes, your assertion that we don't know that he was killed by the Taser. But you cannot give me five realistic and believable scenarios where Elder, a fifteen-year-old boy, was dead by the end of the day, and it was not because of the Taser attack or the resulting effects on his body.

    Wait, let me clarify that, for fear that you will regress into your standby sophomoric ad hominem approach. Give me five of those scenarios where you aren't assuming that Elder was on drugs or drunk. At the very least show some respect for the dead if you refuse to show any for the living, and stop repeating your absurd argument that anyone who has ever been put in handcuffs necessarily must have been convicted and must have been a "dirty, untrustworthy crook." For all of your beliefs that you are being victimized, you show little reverence for a similar plight in a teenager whose parents are still mourning his death.

    Let's continue to use this knife analogy, since you are such a big fan of it. To recap: There's a dead body, with multiple stab wounds in the chest, and a bloody knife next to it. I look at that scene and say, "Hmm. Seems to me this person was stabbed to death." You look at this scene and say, "Not necessarily. Perhaps the person had a heart attack. Then another person, who was holding a steak knife in their hand, ran forward to help the person with the heart attack. Then that second person tripped and fell, and stabbed the first person in the heart. Let's say that second person was really clumsy. So they tried to get up, but then they fell again, stabbing the first person a second time. They kept on trying to get up and falling again, until the police came. *That's* a plausible idea." I'm sorry if I disagree.

    Then you argue this: "Certainly there is a thing called incriminating evidence – but it is absent IN ALL of the studies of taser use that tasers can cause death. Right now your argument is based on nothing more than a theory."

    Again, by all means, give me five realistic scenarios in which somehow the "coincidence" of being Tased did not cause Elder's, or any of the other hundreds of people's deaths, and I will concede to you this fantasy that the Taser just happened to play a totally unrelated role in the last moments or minutes of 334 people's deaths before they unexpectedly and randomly died of something else entirely. Things that are "random" tend not to repeat themselves ceaselessly; a fact of science that I think even you will admit to be truth.

    Finally, you fabricate this heart attack analogy, saying that my "oversimplified logic" would allow for the blame to fall on a bed. Actually, my "oversimplified logic" would tell me that the most obvious scenario is also probably the most realistic (see the knife analogy). In this instance, a person who is dead in the morning, unless they aren't elderly or do not have a health condition (unlikely), probably died of natural causes (i.e., a heart attack), which are the leading cause of death for people who are elderly or who have health problems. I would argue that, far from my logic being "oversimplified," yours is convoluted and ridiculously elaborate, and allows for you to defend the position that if there were 334 instances where one event immediately preceded another, we shouldn't assume that there is a correlation between the two events.

  135. Reserve,

    You *are* an employee of the government, regardless if you get paid. You have the power of the government behind you when you wear your badge or drive your car. If you don't view yourself as a public servant, what do you view yourself as? A vigilante?

    Anyway, you say: "…HUGE double standard here that I already pointed out … One big beef that anti-taser people continue to use as an argument is that “90% of the people that were tased were unarmed” "

    Ok, that's not a "double standard", but I think you're trying to say it's plain incorrect. Usually when there's a "double standard", there's one set of standards for one person/people and another for a separate person/people. Another problem with this is the article actually says OVER 90% were unarmed.

    You ask for a definition of "unarmed", so here it is: Lacking weapons or armor. A shoelace holding a shoe together does not make one "armed". Be real here. We're talking about an unarmed teenager. It doesn't say "innocent nonviolent teenager", it says "unarmed teenager." The point is, as I said earlier, a taser turns a previously unarmed situation into an armed situation, usually needlessly.

  136. Reserve Officer,

    You have yet again dragged this “unarmed” issue into the discussion. What on earth is the relevance of a person’s *capability* to harm someone else? You can continue to harp on and on and on about the fact that Brett Elder was involved in an altercation with the police, an altercation which you have misconstrued, fabricated, and manipulated into the utterly ludicrous equivalent of an assassination attempt via shoelace. You can continue to repeat, at increasingly louder volumes, your assertion that we don’t know that he was killed by the Taser. But you cannot give me five realistic and believable scenarios where Elder, a fifteen-year-old boy, was dead by the end of the day, and it was not because of the Taser attack or the resulting effects on his body.

    Wait, let me clarify that, for fear that you will regress into your standby sophomoric ad hominem approach. Give me five of those scenarios where you aren’t assuming that Elder was on drugs or drunk. At the very least show some respect for the dead if you refuse to show any for the living, and stop repeating your absurd argument that anyone who has ever been put in handcuffs necessarily must have been convicted and must have been a “dirty, untrustworthy crook.” For all of your beliefs that you are being victimized, you show little reverence for a similar plight in a teenager whose parents are still mourning his death.

    Let’s continue to use this knife analogy, since you are such a big fan of it. To recap: There’s a dead body, with multiple stab wounds in the chest, and a bloody knife next to it. I look at that scene and say, “Hmm. Seems to me this person was stabbed to death.” You look at this scene and say, “Not necessarily. Perhaps the person had a heart attack. Then another person, who was holding a steak knife in their hand, ran forward to help the person with the heart attack. Then that second person tripped and fell, and stabbed the first person in the heart. Let’s say that second person was really clumsy. So they tried to get up, but then they fell again, stabbing the first person a second time. They kept on trying to get up and falling again, until the police came. *That’s* a plausible idea.” I’m sorry if I disagree.

    Then you argue this: “Certainly there is a thing called incriminating evidence – but it is absent IN ALL of the studies of taser use that tasers can cause death. Right now your argument is based on nothing more than a theory.”

    Again, by all means, give me five realistic scenarios in which somehow the “coincidence” of being Tased did not cause Elder’s, or any of the other hundreds of people’s deaths, and I will concede to you this fantasy that the Taser just happened to play a totally unrelated role in the last moments or minutes of 334 people’s deaths before they unexpectedly and randomly died of something else entirely. Things that are “random” tend not to repeat themselves ceaselessly; a fact of science that I think even you will admit to be truth.

    Finally, you fabricate this heart attack analogy, saying that my “oversimplified logic” would allow for the blame to fall on a bed. Actually, my “oversimplified logic” would tell me that the most obvious scenario is also probably the most realistic (see the knife analogy). In this instance, a person who is dead in the morning, unless they aren’t elderly or do not have a health condition (unlikely), probably died of natural causes (i.e., a heart attack), which are the leading cause of death for people who are elderly or who have health problems. I would argue that, far from my logic being “oversimplified,” yours is convoluted and ridiculously elaborate, and allows for you to defend the position that if there were 334 instances where one event immediately preceded another, we shouldn’t assume that there is a correlation between the two events.

  137. Reserve,

    You *are* an employee of the government, regardless if you get paid. You have the power of the government behind you when you wear your badge or drive your car. If you don’t view yourself as a public servant, what do you view yourself as? A vigilante?

    Anyway, you say: “…HUGE double standard here that I already pointed out … One big beef that anti-taser people continue to use as an argument is that “90% of the people that were tased were unarmed” ”

    Ok, that’s not a “double standard”, but I think you’re trying to say it’s plain incorrect. Usually when there’s a “double standard”, there’s one set of standards for one person/people and another for a separate person/people. Another problem with this is the article actually says OVER 90% were unarmed.

    You ask for a definition of “unarmed”, so here it is: Lacking weapons or armor. A shoelace holding a shoe together does not make one “armed”. Be real here. We’re talking about an unarmed teenager. It doesn’t say “innocent nonviolent teenager”, it says “unarmed teenager.” The point is, as I said earlier, a taser turns a previously unarmed situation into an armed situation, usually needlessly.

  138. Jane,

    been put in handcuffs necessarily must have been convicted and must have been a “dirty, untrustworthy crook.”

    I never said that someone who is put in handcuffs "must have been convicted and must have been a 'dirty, untrustworthy crook' (btw… is there anything other than an untrustworthy crook?) What I said was if they are handcuffed and in the back of a squad car it is because the were arrested for breaking some sort of law. They can only be convicted after a trial finds them guilty. You need to learn the law more and not from Paul Blart – Mall Cop or CSI.

    an altercation which you have misconstrued, fabricated, and manipulated into the utterly ludicrous equivalent of an assassination attempt via shoelace.

    When did i ever fabricate anything – I never said he was killed by a shoelace

    But you cannot give me five realistic and believable scenarios where Elder, a fifteen-year-old boy, was dead by the end of the day, and it was not because of the Taser attack or the resulting effects on his body.

    I already did – you just don't accept them. Your argument/opinion is based purely on emotions and not on the facts that this article has or has not provided us or any of the facts me or other contributers to this thread have provided.

    sophomoric ad hominem

    Great – more crappy factless dribble from you along with personal smears

    For all of your beliefs that you are being victimized, you show little reverence for a similar plight in a teenager whose parents are still mourning his death.

    Where did I say I was the victim here? In fact I have deflected time and time again away from my situation and tried to keep you and others back on track – "do tasers kill people" – not "do police abuse there power" etc etc

    Things that are “random” tend not to repeat themselves ceaselessly; a fact of science that I think even you will admit to be truth.

    There is no truth in science – it is ALL THEORY – the THEORY OF EVOLUTION, the BIG BANG THEORY etc etc. Certainly we learn things that seem to be "Fact" because they happen over and over again but that is why scientist document their experiments – so they can be repeated and checked by others. Simple numbers tell you that the taser has been used thousands of times with no lasting effect. So your point of "random" science fails in both ways.

    Oh your diggin yourself in deep with the knife scenerio. First off – you put a whole lot of words in that I never said. I did say that clearly the person had been stabbed to death. Where we disagree is in the assumption that the weapon that killed this person is the knife in question. You ASSUME it is and I ASSUME it may not be. That is the problem with your complete debate on this taser situation. You see two events that happened in a situation and ASSUME that because A happened, then B happened, that A must have caused B.

  139. Genelle,

    A shoelace holding a shoe together does not make one “armed”. Be real here.

    I AM being real here – I didn't just make that or any of the other scenerios up – they are real life situations that have happened to law enforcement officers in the past.

    Ok – great so you looked up the definition of "unarmed", but I also asked to define "weapon" because anything can become a weapon in a matter of seconds in a domestic abuse case – the most dangerous type of call an officer goes to. Clearly you missed this point too!

  140. Jane,

    been put in handcuffs necessarily must have been convicted and must have been a “dirty, untrustworthy crook.”

    I never said that someone who is put in handcuffs “must have been convicted and must have been a ‘dirty, untrustworthy crook’ (btw… is there anything other than an untrustworthy crook?) What I said was if they are handcuffed and in the back of a squad car it is because the were arrested for breaking some sort of law. They can only be convicted after a trial finds them guilty. You need to learn the law more and not from Paul Blart – Mall Cop or CSI.

    an altercation which you have misconstrued, fabricated, and manipulated into the utterly ludicrous equivalent of an assassination attempt via shoelace.

    When did i ever fabricate anything – I never said he was killed by a shoelace

    But you cannot give me five realistic and believable scenarios where Elder, a fifteen-year-old boy, was dead by the end of the day, and it was not because of the Taser attack or the resulting effects on his body.

    I already did – you just don’t accept them. Your argument/opinion is based purely on emotions and not on the facts that this article has or has not provided us or any of the facts me or other contributers to this thread have provided.

    sophomoric ad hominem

    Great – more crappy factless dribble from you along with personal smears

    For all of your beliefs that you are being victimized, you show little reverence for a similar plight in a teenager whose parents are still mourning his death.

    Where did I say I was the victim here? In fact I have deflected time and time again away from my situation and tried to keep you and others back on track – “do tasers kill people” – not “do police abuse there power” etc etc

    Things that are “random” tend not to repeat themselves ceaselessly; a fact of science that I think even you will admit to be truth.

    There is no truth in science – it is ALL THEORY – the THEORY OF EVOLUTION, the BIG BANG THEORY etc etc. Certainly we learn things that seem to be “Fact” because they happen over and over again but that is why scientist document their experiments – so they can be repeated and checked by others. Simple numbers tell you that the taser has been used thousands of times with no lasting effect. So your point of “random” science fails in both ways.

    Oh your diggin yourself in deep with the knife scenerio. First off – you put a whole lot of words in that I never said. I did say that clearly the person had been stabbed to death. Where we disagree is in the assumption that the weapon that killed this person is the knife in question. You ASSUME it is and I ASSUME it may not be. That is the problem with your complete debate on this taser situation. You see two events that happened in a situation and ASSUME that because A happened, then B happened, that A must have caused B.

  141. Genelle,

    A shoelace holding a shoe together does not make one “armed”. Be real here.

    I AM being real here – I didn’t just make that or any of the other scenerios up – they are real life situations that have happened to law enforcement officers in the past.

    Ok – great so you looked up the definition of “unarmed”, but I also asked to define “weapon” because anything can become a weapon in a matter of seconds in a domestic abuse case – the most dangerous type of call an officer goes to. Clearly you missed this point too!

  142. Please consider this my letter of resignation. No, I am not giving up my part in this discussion because I think I would “lose” it if I continued. I have finally come to the realization that you can’t be reasoned with, and that to waste my time trying to do so would be an endless exercise in frustration and exasperation. But, for the sake of signing off, let’s go through the arguments of your last response one by one, one last time (at least, one last time on my end).

    Okay. So you think that someone who is handcuffed in the back of a police car must have committed a crime to do so. This is wrong because a person has not officially been *proven* to have committed a crime until they are convicted by a jury in a trial. Until that point, they are *accused* of committing a crime. However, this is irrelevant because Brett Elder was not a proven criminal. In order to have been a proven criminal, he would have had to survive the night. I’m forcing myself not to dignify your attack on my knowledge of the law with an answer. Really. That kind of approach to “discourse” (“discourse” used in the loosest sense of the term here) is so juvenile I can barely express it in words, except perhaps to say that it belongs on elementary school playgrounds, and not in a mature discussion. Can’t you just hear a young child shouting it at another kid now? “*You* don’t know *anything* about it, dummy!”

    My comment about being assassinated via shoelace was me ridiculing the notion that a person can be “armed” by wearing tennis shoes or holding the top of a coffee cup. No, I was not actually saying that Elder tried to kill the officer with his shoelace. I wonder, though, if a person *did* try to strangle a police officer with a shoelace attack from the front… would the officer just accidentally burst into laughter? How awkward of a situation would that be? And even if the person attacking the officer was miraculously successful, would they not be kind of embarrassed to admit that to their friends? “Awesome job, man. How’d you kill the cop?” “I, uh… I strangled him with a shoelace. It, uh… it wasn’t as lame as it sounds. Really.”

    This portion of your response is my favorite part. The part where I ask you to provide me with five realistic scenarios where Elder still ended up dead by the end of the night and it was not the result of being Tased. You respond by… not even *trying* to provide those five scenarios. And then the coup de grace. You splutter, “Your argument/opinion is based purely on emotions and not on the facts that this article has or has not provided us or any of the facts me or other contributors to this thread have provided.”

    I guess I should have seen this coming. I appeal to your sense of ethics in an attempt to keep you from smearing the memory of a dead teenager with vague assumptions about and attacks on his character, and you decide to respond by saying that this one example of an “emotional” appeal proves my lack of factual or logical evidence. What I could never imagine, however, was that you could have the audacity to make this attack on me while refusing to so much as spend more than a lone sentence answering the academically standard “five examples” challenge that I presented to you. And this lone sentence you gave (“I already did – you just don’t accept them,”) is backed up by neither examples nor evidence. Rather than elaborating on your “proof,” or even hinting at so much as one logical scenario that would fit into these conditions (which came from *your own* original argument, that Elder’s death might not have been the fault of the Taser), you immediately launched into a totally unrelated subject and attacked my mode of argumentation. Illogical and lacking in factual evidence indeed.

    Wow. This next part. I’m temporarily lost for words. I think this was the point where I decided my next post was going to be my last one. Here is the part where you attack my *diction* for being *academic.* Truthfully, I had to re-read it a few times to let it sink in. But it was still there, undeniable as ever. You became upset with me because I used… advanced vocabulary. *So* upset, as a matter of fact, that you referred to it as “crappy factless dribble.” You sure showed me. You used an adjective usually reserved for Nickelodeon programs, then a non-existent word, and then a synonym for “slobber.” What’s that phrase they use? You are a scholar and a gentleman as ever.

    You meanwhile insinuated that the use of intellectual vocabulary automatically negates or makes impossible a simultaneous use of factual evidence. I think most attorneys, scientists, politicians, Ph.D.’s, and high school debaters would disagree with you. Furthermore, my invitation of a factual and logical examination of this debate was made impossible when you refused to even provide me with five simple illustrations of scenarios that would support your theory.

    My reference to your personal “situation” was nothing more or less than an attempt to bring into perspective any attacks on the character of a dead person. But beyond that, I would say that in the arguments I am sure you will continue to have on this blog, you should probably avoid condescendingly pointing opponents in the direction of websites to teach them about the trials and tribulations of their local police, especially while you simultaneously claim to “deflect time and time again away from your situation.” Those two actions seem to me to be a compromising combination.

    Okay, here’s my second favorite moment in your response. You say, “There is no truth in science.” I was so blown away when I read this sentence. I’m sure the expression on my face was probably hilarious- I imagine my eyes bugging cartoonishly out of my head and my jaw dropping to the floor. I wish I could write an entire manifesto on scientific truth here. Instead, I will attempt to cut it down to one word: gravity. The law of gravity is a scientific law. Scientific laws are “independently and sufficiently verified descriptions of a direct link between cause and effect of a phenomenon, deduced from experiments and/or observations. Also called laws of science, scientific laws are considered established and universally applicable (to certain class of things or phenomenon under appropriate conditions) but not necessarily definitive,” (BusinessDictionary.com). So riddle me this. If “there is no truth in science,” then how do we experience the phenomena of scientific law, the purpose of which is to record a perpetually occurring truth of nature? And yes, before you turn your caps lock on and copy the words “not necessarily definitive” from that definition, I realize that scientific laws are not etched in stone, and I will be more than happy to eat my words when and if the law of gravity stops occurring and people start “falling up,” a la Shel Silverstein.

    Regrettably, though, in this particular discussion, science and your “There is no truth in science” thesis are largely irrelevant. We were not discussing the nature of scientific law and truth, fascinating as they may be to me, and much as you may believe they do not exist.

    In this instance, I tried to focus our attention on one basic truth: that there have been 334 instances where a person was Tased, and, moments or minutes later, their lives ended (there’s my “factless”-ness for you). Now here’s where you argue, (basically), that correlation does not imply causation- the fact that just because two things occur together in sequence, it does not mean that one necessarily caused the other. This is a basic fact that was taught to us early on in an AP Psychology class I took, and I’m certainly not refuting it. I simply implied that there *is* a correlation that exists between, in multiple instances, a Taser attack and a death. And that, because of this correlation, it would be irresponsible and a blind and lazy submission to the status quo, to refuse to take this weapon out of violent, public situations until it has proved itself to be entirely non-lethal.

    I really do wish that I could tolerate continuing this discussion with you. I’m sure you would (eventually) try to meet my challenge and put the weight of some empirical evidence behind your theory. But, honestly, being attacked for an absence of logic by a person who won’t even respond to a simple request of five logical scenarios that back his/her entire original thesis, is just too bizarre and disorienting a situation to put myself in again. I am confident that I will get an e-mail soon enough notifying me of your response to this little collection of “crappy factless dribble.” I will read it with interest, and even look forward to doing so, but attempting to steer this discussion into waters that are neither convoluted nor infantile by responding to your next post is too taxing and vast a prospect for me to face. I hope you understand.

    Sincerely,
    Jane

  143. Please consider this my letter of resignation. No, I am not giving up my part in this discussion because I think I would “lose” it if I continued. I have finally come to the realization that you can’t be reasoned with, and that to waste my time trying to do so would be an endless exercise in frustration and exasperation. But, for the sake of signing off, let’s go through the arguments of your last response one by one, one last time (at least, one last time on my end).

    Okay. So you think that someone who is handcuffed in the back of a police car must have committed a crime to do so. This is wrong because a person has not officially been *proven* to have committed a crime until they are convicted by a jury in a trial. Until that point, they are *accused* of committing a crime. However, this is irrelevant because Brett Elder was not a proven criminal. In order to have been a proven criminal, he would have had to survive the night. I’m forcing myself not to dignify your attack on my knowledge of the law with an answer. Really. That kind of approach to “discourse” (“discourse” used in the loosest sense of the term here) is so juvenile I can barely express it in words, except perhaps to say that it belongs on elementary school playgrounds, and not in a mature discussion. Can’t you just hear a young child shouting it at another kid now? “*You* don’t know *anything* about it, dummy!”

    My comment about being assassinated via shoelace was me ridiculing the notion that a person can be “armed” by wearing tennis shoes or holding the top of a coffee cup. No, I was not actually saying that Elder tried to kill the officer with his shoelace. I wonder, though, if a person *did* try to strangle a police officer with a shoelace attack from the front… would the officer just accidentally burst into laughter? How awkward of a situation would that be? And even if the person attacking the officer was miraculously successful, would they not be kind of embarrassed to admit that to their friends? “Awesome job, man. How’d you kill the cop?” “I, uh… I strangled him with a shoelace. It, uh… it wasn’t as lame as it sounds. Really.”

    This portion of your response is my favorite part. The part where I ask you to provide me with five realistic scenarios where Elder still ended up dead by the end of the night and it was not the result of being Tased. You respond by… not even *trying* to provide those five scenarios. And then the coup de grace. You splutter, “Your argument/opinion is based purely on emotions and not on the facts that this article has or has not provided us or any of the facts me or other contributors to this thread have provided.”

    I guess I should have seen this coming. I appeal to your sense of ethics in an attempt to keep you from smearing the memory of a dead teenager with vague assumptions about and attacks on his character, and you decide to respond by saying that this one example of an “emotional” appeal proves my lack of factual or logical evidence. What I could never imagine, however, was that you could have the audacity to make this attack on me while refusing to so much as spend more than a lone sentence answering the academically standard “five examples” challenge that I presented to you. And this lone sentence you gave (“I already did – you just don’t accept them,”) is backed up by neither examples nor evidence. Rather than elaborating on your “proof,” or even hinting at so much as one logical scenario that would fit into these conditions (which came from *your own* original argument, that Elder’s death might not have been the fault of the Taser), you immediately launched into a totally unrelated subject and attacked my mode of argumentation. Illogical and lacking in factual evidence indeed.

    Wow. This next part. I’m temporarily lost for words. I think this was the point where I decided my next post was going to be my last one. Here is the part where you attack my *diction* for being *academic.* Truthfully, I had to re-read it a few times to let it sink in. But it was still there, undeniable as ever. You became upset with me because I used… advanced vocabulary. *So* upset, as a matter of fact, that you referred to it as “crappy factless dribble.” You sure showed me. You used an adjective usually reserved for Nickelodeon programs, then a non-existent word, and then a synonym for “slobber.” What’s that phrase they use? You are a scholar and a gentleman as ever.

    You meanwhile insinuated that the use of intellectual vocabulary automatically negates or makes impossible a simultaneous use of factual evidence. I think most attorneys, scientists, politicians, Ph.D.’s, and high school debaters would disagree with you. Furthermore, my invitation of a factual and logical examination of this debate was made impossible when you refused to even provide me with five simple illustrations of scenarios that would support your theory.

    My reference to your personal “situation” was nothing more or less than an attempt to bring into perspective any attacks on the character of a dead person. But beyond that, I would say that in the arguments I am sure you will continue to have on this blog, you should probably avoid condescendingly pointing opponents in the direction of websites to teach them about the trials and tribulations of their local police, especially while you simultaneously claim to “deflect time and time again away from your situation.” Those two actions seem to me to be a compromising combination.

    Okay, here’s my second favorite moment in your response. You say, “There is no truth in science.” I was so blown away when I read this sentence. I’m sure the expression on my face was probably hilarious- I imagine my eyes bugging cartoonishly out of my head and my jaw dropping to the floor. I wish I could write an entire manifesto on scientific truth here. Instead, I will attempt to cut it down to one word: gravity. The law of gravity is a scientific law. Scientific laws are “independently and sufficiently verified descriptions of a direct link between cause and effect of a phenomenon, deduced from experiments and/or observations. Also called laws of science, scientific laws are considered established and universally applicable (to certain class of things or phenomenon under appropriate conditions) but not necessarily definitive,” (BusinessDictionary.com). So riddle me this. If “there is no truth in science,” then how do we experience the phenomena of scientific law, the purpose of which is to record a perpetually occurring truth of nature? And yes, before you turn your caps lock on and copy the words “not necessarily definitive” from that definition, I realize that scientific laws are not etched in stone, and I will be more than happy to eat my words when and if the law of gravity stops occurring and people start “falling up,” a la Shel Silverstein.

    Regrettably, though, in this particular discussion, science and your “There is no truth in science” thesis are largely irrelevant. We were not discussing the nature of scientific law and truth, fascinating as they may be to me, and much as you may believe they do not exist.

    In this instance, I tried to focus our attention on one basic truth: that there have been 334 instances where a person was Tased, and, moments or minutes later, their lives ended (there’s my “factless”-ness for you). Now here’s where you argue, (basically), that correlation does not imply causation- the fact that just because two things occur together in sequence, it does not mean that one necessarily caused the other. This is a basic fact that was taught to us early on in an AP Psychology class I took, and I’m certainly not refuting it. I simply implied that there *is* a correlation that exists between, in multiple instances, a Taser attack and a death. And that, because of this correlation, it would be irresponsible and a blind and lazy submission to the status quo, to refuse to take this weapon out of violent, public situations until it has proved itself to be entirely non-lethal.

    I really do wish that I could tolerate continuing this discussion with you. I’m sure you would (eventually) try to meet my challenge and put the weight of some empirical evidence behind your theory. But, honestly, being attacked for an absence of logic by a person who won’t even respond to a simple request of five logical scenarios that back his/her entire original thesis, is just too bizarre and disorienting a situation to put myself in again. I am confident that I will get an e-mail soon enough notifying me of your response to this little collection of “crappy factless dribble.” I will read it with interest, and even look forward to doing so, but attempting to steer this discussion into waters that are neither convoluted nor infantile by responding to your next post is too taxing and vast a prospect for me to face. I hope you understand.

    Sincerely,
    Jane

  144. This is wrong because a person has not officially been *proven* to have committed a crime until they are convicted by a jury in a trial. Until that point, they are *accused* of committing a crime.

    This is not true because half of the trial part is sentencing. If I, or a full time peace officer sees someone commit a crime then the only thing left is sentencing.

    Brett Elder was not a proven criminal.

    Again you are wrong because he committed a felony in the presence of law enforcement by trying to punch them. Don't believe the police? Even his aunt said the tried to punch the officers.

    “I, uh… I strangled him with a shoelace. It, uh… it wasn’t as lame as it sounds. Really.”

    Talk about no dignity for life! Go visit ANY jail or prison as a civilian. Most of them have a wall of shanks made from metal, toothbrushes, rolled up newspaper and yes plastic lids from coffee cups. They will also have a variety of other confiscated items like strangulation devices and single-shot home made guns that use ground up match heads as the explosive. Again, you have exposed how little you know about law enforcement and what criminals are capable of doing.

    You became upset with me

    I did? You can read my emotions through a computer and tell what I am feeling? REALLY?. What am I feeling now? One of my favorite quotes comes to mind: "We see things as we are not as they are"

    So riddle me this. If “there is no truth in science,” then how do we experience the phenomena of scientific law

    EXACLTY! Why do we call it the PHENOMENA of scientific law. PHENOMENA! We use science in an effort to PREDICT or CONTROL the desired outcome of an event or scenerio. It doesn't mean that that event is consistent or even constant. We hypothesize and outcome and test it. In say one thousand cases we may have identicle results. This does not confirm anything as TRUTH or FACT because on the 1,001 try, we could have completely different results from the previous 1,000. This mearly confirms a THEORY.

    Now, I thank you Jane and Genelle for the debate and I will continue do discuss – not argue – the issue as long as you would like. I am not trying to "win" this discussion because as I said before – you are entitled to your own opinions – as am I.

    Let's see if the autopsy confirms anything.

  145. This is wrong because a person has not officially been *proven* to have committed a crime until they are convicted by a jury in a trial. Until that point, they are *accused* of committing a crime.

    This is not true because half of the trial part is sentencing. If I, or a full time peace officer sees someone commit a crime then the only thing left is sentencing.

    Brett Elder was not a proven criminal.

    Again you are wrong because he committed a felony in the presence of law enforcement by trying to punch them. Don’t believe the police? Even his aunt said the tried to punch the officers.

    “I, uh… I strangled him with a shoelace. It, uh… it wasn’t as lame as it sounds. Really.”

    Talk about no dignity for life! Go visit ANY jail or prison as a civilian. Most of them have a wall of shanks made from metal, toothbrushes, rolled up newspaper and yes plastic lids from coffee cups. They will also have a variety of other confiscated items like strangulation devices and single-shot home made guns that use ground up match heads as the explosive. Again, you have exposed how little you know about law enforcement and what criminals are capable of doing.

    You became upset with me

    I did? You can read my emotions through a computer and tell what I am feeling? REALLY?. What am I feeling now? One of my favorite quotes comes to mind: “We see things as we are not as they are”

    So riddle me this. If “there is no truth in science,” then how do we experience the phenomena of scientific law

    EXACLTY! Why do we call it the PHENOMENA of scientific law. PHENOMENA! We use science in an effort to PREDICT or CONTROL the desired outcome of an event or scenerio. It doesn’t mean that that event is consistent or even constant. We hypothesize and outcome and test it. In say one thousand cases we may have identicle results. This does not confirm anything as TRUTH or FACT because on the 1,001 try, we could have completely different results from the previous 1,000. This mearly confirms a THEORY.

    Now, I thank you Jane and Genelle for the debate and I will continue do discuss – not argue – the issue as long as you would like. I am not trying to “win” this discussion because as I said before – you are entitled to your own opinions – as am I.

    Let’s see if the autopsy confirms anything.

  146. : A 87 year old man was butchered by 2 SD police thugs in his own home after he came back from a hospital visit where he was diagnosed with pneumonia, 3rd stage renal disease and dementia. Police were called by a caretaker who tried to prevent the man to go outside to smoke a cigarette in his own yard. He supposedly threatened the caretaker with a "piece of metal". It was for sure not a knife, fork or screw driver because in that case it would have been spelled out. It might have been a bed pan or a pot. The caretaker's motivation for calling police was probably not because he/she felt in danger because she could have left at any time. To trained physically fit policeman entered that mans house, already armed with a bean bag shot gun. After he supposedly refused to drop a shard of glass and because he was supposedly agitated and hostile they shot him with a taser gun and four rounds of bean bags shot at very close distance, one of them penetrating him (this means the guy had a big hole, several inches in diameter in his body). The taser shot alone at such an old man in his condition could have been easily fatal. But the police thugs felt in such great danger from this old man in his own house that they also had to empty a magazine of bean bags at him. The coroner ruled the case a homicide and our district attorney did not indict them and claimed that they were fully justified in self defense. I would have been agitated and hostile if police would break into my house and threaten my with a shot gun and shoot me with a taser. It could happen to anybody but as long as it happens to an old Mexican man, probably without any relatives or at least for sure without any influential relatives, who cares.
    Obviously the care taker tried to prevent the man from doing an unhealthy thing of smoking a cigarette when he has pneumonia. Everybody has however has the right to hurt himself by bad habits, especially in his own home. She has to live with her decision to call the police thugs which ultimately butchered him. Every police force has its bad sheep which give the rest of the force a bad reputation but they should be weeded out as soon as it is obvious that they are bad. But when a coroner determines a case as homicide the district attorney has the duty to indict and not give them a medal. What would have been the situation if that guy would have been Dumanis' father or the father of the major.
    I wrote to the district attorney's office and asked for a copy of that letter sent to the SD police department, justifying those policemen. I did not get any response.

    In yesterday's newspaper I read a similarly disturbing news that a man with a knife in his hand was pursued by police, running for 13 minutes uphill Avocado Boulevard, having been shot with a taser and with many bean bags. Finally at the top, according to a witness, completely exhausted and stumbling he was shot by 4 El Cajon police officers outside El Cajon's city limit, in a hail of bullets. The eye witness testified that he didn't feel that the police officers or anybody else was in imminent danger. The man who was hot hasn't threatened anybody and nobody knew why he was running on the street with a knife in his hand but in the US running with a knife in one' hand one can be executed without a trial or even for wanting to smoke a cigarette in one's own house. I am and everybody should be concerned about one's personal safety from thugs in the police force which are longing to finally pull the trigger of a gun.

  147. : A 87 year old man was butchered by 2 SD police thugs in his own home after he came back from a hospital visit where he was diagnosed with pneumonia, 3rd stage renal disease and dementia. Police were called by a caretaker who tried to prevent the man to go outside to smoke a cigarette in his own yard. He supposedly threatened the caretaker with a “piece of metal”. It was for sure not a knife, fork or screw driver because in that case it would have been spelled out. It might have been a bed pan or a pot. The caretaker’s motivation for calling police was probably not because he/she felt in danger because she could have left at any time. To trained physically fit policeman entered that mans house, already armed with a bean bag shot gun. After he supposedly refused to drop a shard of glass and because he was supposedly agitated and hostile they shot him with a taser gun and four rounds of bean bags shot at very close distance, one of them penetrating him (this means the guy had a big hole, several inches in diameter in his body). The taser shot alone at such an old man in his condition could have been easily fatal. But the police thugs felt in such great danger from this old man in his own house that they also had to empty a magazine of bean bags at him. The coroner ruled the case a homicide and our district attorney did not indict them and claimed that they were fully justified in self defense. I would have been agitated and hostile if police would break into my house and threaten my with a shot gun and shoot me with a taser. It could happen to anybody but as long as it happens to an old Mexican man, probably without any relatives or at least for sure without any influential relatives, who cares.
    Obviously the care taker tried to prevent the man from doing an unhealthy thing of smoking a cigarette when he has pneumonia. Everybody has however has the right to hurt himself by bad habits, especially in his own home. She has to live with her decision to call the police thugs which ultimately butchered him. Every police force has its bad sheep which give the rest of the force a bad reputation but they should be weeded out as soon as it is obvious that they are bad. But when a coroner determines a case as homicide the district attorney has the duty to indict and not give them a medal. What would have been the situation if that guy would have been Dumanis’ father or the father of the major.
    I wrote to the district attorney’s office and asked for a copy of that letter sent to the SD police department, justifying those policemen. I did not get any response.

    In yesterday’s newspaper I read a similarly disturbing news that a man with a knife in his hand was pursued by police, running for 13 minutes uphill Avocado Boulevard, having been shot with a taser and with many bean bags. Finally at the top, according to a witness, completely exhausted and stumbling he was shot by 4 El Cajon police officers outside El Cajon’s city limit, in a hail of bullets. The eye witness testified that he didn’t feel that the police officers or anybody else was in imminent danger. The man who was hot hasn’t threatened anybody and nobody knew why he was running on the street with a knife in his hand but in the US running with a knife in one’ hand one can be executed without a trial or even for wanting to smoke a cigarette in one’s own house. I am and everybody should be concerned about one’s personal safety from thugs in the police force which are longing to finally pull the trigger of a gun.

  148. Horst,

    Sad stories indeed, but we are debating whether or not a taser was responsible for the death of the boy – not "thugs in the police force"

  149. Tasers are lethal weapons. The companies who make them should take responsibility for their marketing them as harmless, and cops should give them up because they already have a lethal weapon: it's called a gun. They also have access to other non-lethal weapons/means of restraining a suspect (Reserve, note I called them "suspects" not "criminals" being that people detained by police are NOT criminals til the courts have said so.):

    a brain (say the right things to diffuse a situation)
    assumed power of 'The State' (automatic respect or fear, special laws that make it worse to kill a cop than a civilian, etc.)
    self-defense training
    batons
    mace
    dogs
    handcuffs
    more, for crowd control, etc

    Something else that is problematic regarding the taser that hasn't been mentioned here is the **increase** in in-custody deaths due to tasering. Here's the link: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/hea

  150. Tasers are lethal weapons. The companies who make them should take responsibility for their marketing them as harmless, and cops should give them up because they already have a lethal weapon: it's called a gun. They also have access to other non-lethal weapons/means of restraining a suspect (Reserve, note I called them "suspects" not "criminals" being that people detained by police are NOT criminals til the courts have said so.):

    a brain (say the right things to diffuse a situation)
    assumed power of 'The State' (automatic respect or fear, special laws that make it worse to kill a cop than a civilian, etc.)
    self-defense training
    batons
    mace
    dogs
    handcuffs
    more, for crowd control, etc

    Something else that is problematic regarding the taser that hasn't been mentioned here is the **increase** in in-custody deaths due to tasering. Here's the link: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/hea

  151. Tasers are lethal weapons. The companies who make them should take responsibility for their marketing them as harmless, and cops should give them up because they already have a lethal weapon: it's called a gun. They also have access to other non-lethal weapons/means of restraining a suspect (Reserve, note I called them "suspects" not "criminals" being that people detained by police are NOT criminals til the courts have said so.):

    a brain (say the right things to diffuse a situation)
    assumed power of 'The State' (automatic respect or fear, special laws that make it worse to kill a cop than a civilian, etc.)
    self-defense training
    batons
    mace
    dogs
    handcuffs
    more, for crowd control, etc

    Something else that is problematic regarding the taser that hasn't been mentioned here is the **increase** in in-custody deaths due to tasering. Here's the link: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/hea

  152. Horst,

    Sad stories indeed, but we are debating whether or not a taser was responsible for the death of the boy – not “thugs in the police force”

  153. Tasers are lethal weapons. The companies who make them should take responsibility for their marketing them as harmless, and cops should give them up because they already have a lethal weapon: it’s called a gun. They also have access to other non-lethal weapons/means of restraining a suspect (Reserve, note I called them “suspects” not “criminals” being that people detained by police are NOT criminals til the courts have said so.):

    a brain (say the right things to diffuse a situation)
    assumed power of ‘The State’ (automatic respect or fear, special laws that make it worse to kill a cop than a civilian, etc.)
    self-defense training
    batons
    mace
    dogs
    handcuffs
    more, for crowd control, etc

    Something else that is problematic regarding the taser that hasn’t been mentioned here is the **increase** in in-custody deaths due to tasering. Here’s the link: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/health&id=6620623

  154. Reserve Officer-

    Thanks for serving and protecting.

    Stop trying to talk sense into this crowd…they refuse to believe the overwhelming majority of police officers simply use the least amount of necessary force to diffuse difficult situations. Without the taser, the officer involved in this would have likely had to use physical force, his club, or even worse his gun.

    His death is tragic, he didn't deserve to die and it is unfortunate he was out of control, punched at the officers and the use of the taser was required to restrain him.

    Just FYI – and I'm not sure if it was mentioned earlier…all law enforcement officers must go through training in my area for use of the taser. Part of the training is being tased themselves. It goes without saying it is very uncomfortable…gives you an appreciation for its effectiveness and helps to set a realistic high standard for when to choose to use it.

    Some of us get it. Many of these guys and girls here don't.

    Thanks again.

  155. Reserve Officer-

    Thanks for serving and protecting.

    Stop trying to talk sense into this crowd…they refuse to believe the overwhelming majority of police officers simply use the least amount of necessary force to diffuse difficult situations. Without the taser, the officer involved in this would have likely had to use physical force, his club, or even worse his gun.

    His death is tragic, he didn’t deserve to die and it is unfortunate he was out of control, punched at the officers and the use of the taser was required to restrain him.

    Just FYI – and I’m not sure if it was mentioned earlier…all law enforcement officers must go through training in my area for use of the taser. Part of the training is being tased themselves. It goes without saying it is very uncomfortable…gives you an appreciation for its effectiveness and helps to set a realistic high standard for when to choose to use it.

    Some of us get it. Many of these guys and girls here don’t.

    Thanks again.

  156. Brian and Reserve Officer,

    As a former US Air Force Security Forces member, I have gone through training for all forms of Non-Lethal force.

    The argument at hand is valid, and I see both sides of it. From the law enforcement side things can get hairy, and wen this happens you may have to rely on use of Non-Deadly force. However I have been on the other side of this as well. I live in a small town. Approximately 5500 people. We have over 27 cops on duty.

    I own a house in a quiet neighbor hood and enjoy the fact that it seems safe. However after a disturbing situation that took place late last year I no longer feel safe, not from other people in town but from the law enforcement officers in my town.

    I was dating a girl for almost 2 years, and upon finding out she was cheating on me, I called her and told her i wanted nothing else to do with her. I also informed her that she was no longer welcome at my house. This was at 7pm. I went out with one of my friends and didn't return home till 2:30 am. After being home for about a half hour, my now ex began pounding on my back door. I informed her through the door that if she didn't leave I was going to call the police.

    I waited several minutes and the pounding continued. However I didn't even need to call the police, because a neighbor already had. An officer then began to knock on my door. I came to the door and opened it with my security chain still on. With the door open only 2 inches the officer informed me that I needed to exit my house. I informed him that I didn't feel comfortable doing so because my ex was out there. I explained the situation and offered him a written statement that i would pass through the door.

    The officer and his partner then drew their stun guns and ordered me to leave my residence. At this point i knew my rights were being violated. I informed the officers that I would not leave unless they had a warrant. I closed my door, and began to retreat into my residence. Less then 10 seconds after i closed the door, the officers had broken a window on my door, fired a stun gun at me and opened my door. The two officers then tased my on my floor 4 times.

    Mind you I was unarmed and had no record of any criminal activity or of violence. The court sided with the officers because one of them cut themselves on a piece of glass while illegally entering my home. I am in the process of suing the city and appealing the courts original decision.

    The point of this is that some law enforcement agencies out there push the limits, the counties encourage it because they get more money for the more crimes they say they have. After my one experience with the police in my town, every night I have at least 2 officers parked outside of my house.

    So what if there were no long-term effects from being tased. How many other officers are willing to violate someone's constitutional rights and get away with it? Yes tasers have saved lives, but only when used right.

  157. Brian and Reserve Officer,

    As a former US Air Force Security Forces member, I have gone through training for all forms of Non-Lethal force.

    The argument at hand is valid, and I see both sides of it. From the law enforcement side things can get hairy, and wen this happens you may have to rely on use of Non-Deadly force. However I have been on the other side of this as well. I live in a small town. Approximately 5500 people. We have over 27 cops on duty.

    I own a house in a quiet neighbor hood and enjoy the fact that it seems safe. However after a disturbing situation that took place late last year I no longer feel safe, not from other people in town but from the law enforcement officers in my town.

    I was dating a girl for almost 2 years, and upon finding out she was cheating on me, I called her and told her i wanted nothing else to do with her. I also informed her that she was no longer welcome at my house. This was at 7pm. I went out with one of my friends and didn’t return home till 2:30 am. After being home for about a half hour, my now ex began pounding on my back door. I informed her through the door that if she didn’t leave I was going to call the police.

    I waited several minutes and the pounding continued. However I didn’t even need to call the police, because a neighbor already had. An officer then began to knock on my door. I came to the door and opened it with my security chain still on. With the door open only 2 inches the officer informed me that I needed to exit my house. I informed him that I didn’t feel comfortable doing so because my ex was out there. I explained the situation and offered him a written statement that i would pass through the door.

    The officer and his partner then drew their stun guns and ordered me to leave my residence. At this point i knew my rights were being violated. I informed the officers that I would not leave unless they had a warrant. I closed my door, and began to retreat into my residence. Less then 10 seconds after i closed the door, the officers had broken a window on my door, fired a stun gun at me and opened my door. The two officers then tased my on my floor 4 times.

    Mind you I was unarmed and had no record of any criminal activity or of violence. The court sided with the officers because one of them cut themselves on a piece of glass while illegally entering my home. I am in the process of suing the city and appealing the courts original decision.

    The point of this is that some law enforcement agencies out there push the limits, the counties encourage it because they get more money for the more crimes they say they have. After my one experience with the police in my town, every night I have at least 2 officers parked outside of my house.

    So what if there were no long-term effects from being tased. How many other officers are willing to violate someone’s constitutional rights and get away with it? Yes tasers have saved lives, but only when used right.

  158. Chris-

    I hope you are successful in your lawsuit.

    Based on your post, the officers were clearly "trigger happy" with the taser. I hope the individuals involved and the local police department are forced to learn something from this.

    Very weak and unjustifiable excuse — Perhaps it had to do with them responding to what they believed was a domestic disturbance and being the male — you were the victim of male discrimination? I'll bet they jumped to conclusions and believed you were the threat and not your ex-girlfiend. Unfortunate, and good luck to you — sounds to me like you have a strong case against the city and in your appeal.

    However, your situation is different from the one being discussed on this particular blog. The young man was fighting, he ignored police officers to stop, and was physically aggresive and punched at the police officers when they attempted to break up this fight.

    Take care,

    Brian

  159. Chris-

    I hope you are successful in your lawsuit.

    Based on your post, the officers were clearly “trigger happy” with the taser. I hope the individuals involved and the local police department are forced to learn something from this.

    Very weak and unjustifiable excuse — Perhaps it had to do with them responding to what they believed was a domestic disturbance and being the male — you were the victim of male discrimination? I’ll bet they jumped to conclusions and believed you were the threat and not your ex-girlfiend. Unfortunate, and good luck to you — sounds to me like you have a strong case against the city and in your appeal.

    However, your situation is different from the one being discussed on this particular blog. The young man was fighting, he ignored police officers to stop, and was physically aggresive and punched at the police officers when they attempted to break up this fight.

    Take care,

    Brian

  160. This big 300 keeps coming up, compared to what? 400? 3000? 30000? and how many of those cases would an officer have used a gun if it were not for a tazzer? arguments can be made to sound terrible because nobody wants to put in the whole idea. 300 out of 3000 is high, but if the tazzer has been used 30000 times in 9 years or w/e 300 is fairly low (1%). I have no idea abotu the numbers, and i do not care enough to look them up.

  161. http://www.forcescience.org/fsinews/2004/12/shoul

    another article…

    From Force Science News

    A first-of-its-kind, case-by-case study of in-custody deaths associated with TASER use has confirmed that the popular electronic control devices are by no means the dangerous and often deadly weapons that Amnesty International, the ACLU and media reports frequently suggest.

    Self-described as “kind of a nerd” who approaches tedious research as recreation, Chief Howard Williams of the San Marcos (TX) PD patiently tracked down and analyzed 213 cases in which suspects in the U.S. died after being TASERed. The search took more than a year and cost thousands from his own pocket, but in the end Williams has documented what TASER supporters have long believed:

    These devices are “safe weapons. At least they are as safe as weapons can be.”

    During the scope of his investigation, which covered cases from 1983 through 2005, Williams concluded that a TASER can be confirmed as the direct cause of or a significant contributing factor in only 2 deaths, he told Force Science News. “That’s less than 1% of the deaths that critics of Taser technology attribute to it.”

    Since his study formally ended, he has identified and preliminarily probed some 216 additional post-TASERing fatalities that occurred from 2006 to the present. But he has found no data that would change his initial findings or cast doubt on TASER safety.

    Critics of TASER have failed to “separate evidence from conjecture or to analyze cases” one by one, Williams says. Instead, they’ve drawn misleading assumptions “based simply on the number of deaths, or on a misunderstanding of how the devices work, or on speculation of potential problems with the use of electromuscular disruption technology.”

    In contrast, he says his study objectively analyzes “the credible evidence”—including “what medical experts know about sudden death, the technical operations of conducted energy weapons, the physiological effects of TASER devices, and the facts of each case—to determine the true role” of TASERs in suspects’ fatalities.

    Williams’ discoveries are reported in a 212-page book, TASER Electronic Control Devices and Sudden In-custody Death: Separating Evidence from Conjecture, issued recently by Charles C. Thomas Publishers [Call (800) 258-8980 or order a copy online]

    “Given all the headlines, the controversy and the lawsuits generated by TASER-related deaths, it’s ironic that a lone police official steps up to conduct this kind of vital research rather than it being a priority mandate by a major governmental entity,” says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. “Sadly, this speaks to the lack of interest at the state and federal level for funding research into practical, street-level enforcement issues.

    “Chief Williams’ study will not be the final scientific statement on the ramifications of TASER use. But it presents the clearest picture to date regarding a core controversy that in the past has produced far more heat than light.”

    Williams first got interested in exploring the “death by TASER” issue, which he considers “the most significant law enforcement controversy of the last decade,” when he was struck by the contrast between what he saw of TASER use on the street and what he read in the media and from activist groups about it.

    On one hand were officers’ success stories—incidents that might otherwise have escalated to baton beatings or shootings being resolved earlier and less violently, fewer on-the-job injuries by officers, fewer ER trips by subdued suspects thanks to TASER deployment. On the other hand were alarming allegations by Amnesty and other groups, strongly implying if not charging outright that TASERs were responsible for scores of offender deaths and calling for moratoriums on the “dangerous” devices’ use.

    Williams tells his CJ students at Texas State University, where he’s an adjunct faculty member, “You do not have to trust what anyone tells you. Research it yourself.” So he took his own advice and started looking into TASER-related deaths, determined to see what the evidence revealed.

    Searching out leads on the Internet and through media databases at Texas State, he compiled a comprehensive list of reported fatalities. Then through freedom of information requests, he pursued each case and got police reports, autopsy results and other official records wherever possible and supplemented these with whatever news coverage he could garner. He amassed stacks of information 2 to 3 feet high on his desk at home and waded through them item by item, tabulating and analyzing.

    Each of the 213 cases he verified is described in narrative detail in his book and includes the name, age, race and gender of the deceased; the date of the incident and the death; the agency involved; the cause of death, plus contributing factors; and the role of the TASER device deployed. Unique to Williams’ study, these accounts in themselves make fascinating reading and represent a prodigious amount of research.

    But the payoff, of course, is the conclusions Williams draws from his analyses. These include the following highlights:

    Early generation fatalities. The first 42 of Williams’ case studies represent deaths that occurred before 2000 and followed the use of first- and second-generation TASER weapons (the TASER TF-76, the Tasertron and the Air TASER 34000, which “relied mainly on pain compliance”) against aggressive or resistive subjects.

    A TASER device cannot be confirmed as a cause of death or even as a significant contributing factor in any of these “Group 1” cases, Williams reports.

    By the study’s definition, TASER can be “confirmed” as a direct cause of death only in instances where the subject likely would have survived had the weapon not been used.

    Later generation fatalities. The other 171 deaths, considered “Group 2” events, followed the application of third- and fourth-generation weapons (Advanced TASER M26 and the TASER X26, which depend on “electromuscular disruption technology”).

    In this category, TASER can be confirmed as a cause of death in only 1 case and confirmed as a significant contributing factor in only 1 other, Williams concludes.

    “The evidence makes the case that TASER devices are not instruments of death,” Williams asserts. “The only conclusion the evidence supports is that they are safe weapons.”

    Case details. The sole case of confirmed death-by-TASER involved extreme circumstances in subduing a 29-year-old black male prisoner in South Carolina named Maurice Cunningham. After a night of hallucinating that snakes were around him, Cunningham escaped his cell in a sheriff’s facility, stabbed 2 officers in the eye with a pencil and tried to gouge out the eyes of a third officer.

    He was shocked 5 times with a TASER, for a cumulative total of 35 seconds, but “he ripped the probes out and continued to fight,” Williams reports. After an ineffective use of chemical spray, he was zapped with a second TASER, the probes hitting in his left arm and thigh. Williams notes: “The deputy held the trigger for 2 minutes 49 seconds,” before Cunningham collapsed and was soon after pronounced dead.

    “[T]he coroner listed Cunningham’s cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia due to TASER shocks,” Williams writes. “Pathologists found that [his] heart suffered damage at a cellular level purportedly from the electrical current [and] concluded that the probes…completed a circuit in his body that disrupted the electrical system that controls the heart.”

    The single case in which Williams classified TASER as a significant contributing cause of death also represents an anomaly of circumstances. This offender was Jerry Pickens, a 55-year-old white male who hostilely confronted sheriff’s deputies in his front yard in Louisiana when they arrived to investigate a family dispute.

    Against their orders, Pickens tried to re-enter his residence. They TASERed him, and he stiffened and fell, striking his head on the driveway. He was declared brain-dead at the hospital and died 3 days later when doctors pulled the plug on life support. The coroner ruled that he died of a brain hemorrhage from the fall. “Clearly,” Williams writes, “the fall…was caused by application of the TASER.”

    Predisposing factors. Williams reports that subjects who die in custody or during an arrest after a TASER is used against them tend to share certain characteristics that seem to “predispose” them to an increased risk of sudden death quite apart from any TASER involvement.

    These include: obesity, coronary problems, illicit drug use, mental illness, too much or too little psychotropic medication, alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, diabetes and hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, dehydration, head injuries (current or historic) and vigorous physical activity that may trigger ventricular fibrillation.

    For example, nearly 70% of Group 1 subjects and more than 72% of those in Group 2 were users of illicit drugs (most often cocaine). Nearly 40% in Group 2 showed evidence of heart disease.

    In all, Williams found, a coroner or medical examiner observed at least 1 predisposing factor in nearly 88% of the cases studied. In more than 35%, at least 2 such factors were confirmed.

    Williams pointed out to Force Science News that the prevalence of predisposing factors is roughly the same among subjects who die after being TASERed and those who die suddenly in custody without any TASER involvement—further indication that the use of the electronic weapon “is not creating any special risk.”

    On the other hand, he notes, “[T]he risk of sudden death following violent exertion, such as a struggle with police or straining against restraints, increases manifold for people with predisposing factors.”

    TASER failures. Interestingly, Williams documents a high rate of TASER failure associated with post-TASERing deaths; either the electronic application did not stop the individual or stopped him only temporarily and “some other form of force had to be used to get the subject under control.” Among Group 1 cases, “the TASER pulse was ineffective in subduing the target” some 71% of the time. In Group 2, the ineffective rate was nearly 60%.

    This may suggest the exceptionally high level of agitation and violent determination in subjects who end up dying as compared to other offenders who are TASERed, where the effectiveness level is much higher.

    Moreover, the vast majority of subjects in both Groups 1 and 2 did not fatally collapse within 5 to 15 seconds after the application of a TASER device, “an indication that the current from the TASER pulses did not affect their hearts’ rhythm” as critics often conjecture, Williams says.

    Media/activist shortcomings. TASER critics and the media have emphasized that the number of deaths after use of electronic devices is rising, and they conclude that this increase is occurring because TASERs cause deaths. Fallacious thinking, Williams insists.

    “First, there is no evidence that the total number of custody deaths is rising,” he states. Deaths after TASER use are rising, but that’s because the number of police agencies in the U.S. equipping officers with TASERs has increased more than 10 fold since 2001.

    What activists and the media seize upon, he says, is a correlation between TASER use and sudden death. “[T]his is an unscientific linking of 2 events” just because one follows another, Williams writes, not a true cause-and-effect relationship. “The sun rises after the cock crows, but that doesn’t mean there’s a causal relationship,” he offers as comparison.

    Indeed, he notes, other studies have shown “a much higher correlation between sudden death and heart disease, sudden death and the use of…drugs, and sudden death and bizarre behavior than between sudden death and the use of a TASER… [T]ens of thousands of people who have been shocked with a TASER device survived without ill effects.”

    Williams points out that investigators “usually need several days or weeks to determine the facts, complete the investigation, and determine whether a TASER pulse, or any other factor, played a role in an unexpected death.”

    Typically, the media prominently play initial stories of post-TASERing deaths, but the public gets “little sense of the results of the investigations or of the coroners’ findings.” News reports presented one case he cites in his study “as being related to the discharge of a TASER device, but tests proved that the device was not properly charged and could not have delivered a shock.”

    Often results indicating that TASERing was not a death factor are buried in little-read sections of newspapers or totally ignored by tv news. Williams tells of one particularly egregious example of post-investigation reporting in which the headline read: “Cocaine Blamed for TASER Death.”

    “Trying to educate the media is hopeless,” Williams told FSN. Like TASER's activist critics, “too many in the media have an agenda. That’s obvious when you read their articles.”

    In the future, Williams is hopeful that a central database will be created at the federal level to collect meaningful information on in-custody deaths, similar to the reporting that exists for crime records. This would make possible a more comprehensive ongoing analysis of the role played by the TASER and other factors in suspect fatalities.

    Meanwhile, he continues gathering information on his own in anticipation of eventually revising and updating his study. He’d like to hear from people who have observations or contributions regarding his work—including critics.

    “I’m open to debate and discussion,” he says. “If anyone can show me I’m wrong, I’d welcome it. I’m a Little League umpire, so I’m used to criticism.”

  162. http://www.forcescience.org/fsinews/2004/12/shoul

    another article…

    From Force Science News

    A first-of-its-kind, case-by-case study of in-custody deaths associated with TASER use has confirmed that the popular electronic control devices are by no means the dangerous and often deadly weapons that Amnesty International, the ACLU and media reports frequently suggest.

    Self-described as “kind of a nerd” who approaches tedious research as recreation, Chief Howard Williams of the San Marcos (TX) PD patiently tracked down and analyzed 213 cases in which suspects in the U.S. died after being TASERed. The search took more than a year and cost thousands from his own pocket, but in the end Williams has documented what TASER supporters have long believed:

    These devices are “safe weapons. At least they are as safe as weapons can be.”

    During the scope of his investigation, which covered cases from 1983 through 2005, Williams concluded that a TASER can be confirmed as the direct cause of or a significant contributing factor in only 2 deaths, he told Force Science News. “That’s less than 1% of the deaths that critics of Taser technology attribute to it.”

    Since his study formally ended, he has identified and preliminarily probed some 216 additional post-TASERing fatalities that occurred from 2006 to the present. But he has found no data that would change his initial findings or cast doubt on TASER safety.

    Critics of TASER have failed to “separate evidence from conjecture or to analyze cases” one by one, Williams says. Instead, they’ve drawn misleading assumptions “based simply on the number of deaths, or on a misunderstanding of how the devices work, or on speculation of potential problems with the use of electromuscular disruption technology.”

    In contrast, he says his study objectively analyzes “the credible evidence”—including “what medical experts know about sudden death, the technical operations of conducted energy weapons, the physiological effects of TASER devices, and the facts of each case—to determine the true role” of TASERs in suspects’ fatalities.

    Williams’ discoveries are reported in a 212-page book, TASER Electronic Control Devices and Sudden In-custody Death: Separating Evidence from Conjecture, issued recently by Charles C. Thomas Publishers [Call (800) 258-8980 or order a copy online]

    “Given all the headlines, the controversy and the lawsuits generated by TASER-related deaths, it’s ironic that a lone police official steps up to conduct this kind of vital research rather than it being a priority mandate by a major governmental entity,” says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. “Sadly, this speaks to the lack of interest at the state and federal level for funding research into practical, street-level enforcement issues.

    “Chief Williams’ study will not be the final scientific statement on the ramifications of TASER use. But it presents the clearest picture to date regarding a core controversy that in the past has produced far more heat than light.”

    Williams first got interested in exploring the “death by TASER” issue, which he considers “the most significant law enforcement controversy of the last decade,” when he was struck by the contrast between what he saw of TASER use on the street and what he read in the media and from activist groups about it.

    On one hand were officers’ success stories—incidents that might otherwise have escalated to baton beatings or shootings being resolved earlier and less violently, fewer on-the-job injuries by officers, fewer ER trips by subdued suspects thanks to TASER deployment. On the other hand were alarming allegations by Amnesty and other groups, strongly implying if not charging outright that TASERs were responsible for scores of offender deaths and calling for moratoriums on the “dangerous” devices’ use.

    Williams tells his CJ students at Texas State University, where he’s an adjunct faculty member, “You do not have to trust what anyone tells you. Research it yourself.” So he took his own advice and started looking into TASER-related deaths, determined to see what the evidence revealed.

    Searching out leads on the Internet and through media databases at Texas State, he compiled a comprehensive list of reported fatalities. Then through freedom of information requests, he pursued each case and got police reports, autopsy results and other official records wherever possible and supplemented these with whatever news coverage he could garner. He amassed stacks of information 2 to 3 feet high on his desk at home and waded through them item by item, tabulating and analyzing.

    Each of the 213 cases he verified is described in narrative detail in his book and includes the name, age, race and gender of the deceased; the date of the incident and the death; the agency involved; the cause of death, plus contributing factors; and the role of the TASER device deployed. Unique to Williams’ study, these accounts in themselves make fascinating reading and represent a prodigious amount of research.

    But the payoff, of course, is the conclusions Williams draws from his analyses. These include the following highlights:

    Early generation fatalities. The first 42 of Williams’ case studies represent deaths that occurred before 2000 and followed the use of first- and second-generation TASER weapons (the TASER TF-76, the Tasertron and the Air TASER 34000, which “relied mainly on pain compliance”) against aggressive or resistive subjects.

    A TASER device cannot be confirmed as a cause of death or even as a significant contributing factor in any of these “Group 1” cases, Williams reports.

    By the study’s definition, TASER can be “confirmed” as a direct cause of death only in instances where the subject likely would have survived had the weapon not been used.

    Later generation fatalities. The other 171 deaths, considered “Group 2” events, followed the application of third- and fourth-generation weapons (Advanced TASER M26 and the TASER X26, which depend on “electromuscular disruption technology”).

    In this category, TASER can be confirmed as a cause of death in only 1 case and confirmed as a significant contributing factor in only 1 other, Williams concludes.

    “The evidence makes the case that TASER devices are not instruments of death,” Williams asserts. “The only conclusion the evidence supports is that they are safe weapons.”

    Case details. The sole case of confirmed death-by-TASER involved extreme circumstances in subduing a 29-year-old black male prisoner in South Carolina named Maurice Cunningham. After a night of hallucinating that snakes were around him, Cunningham escaped his cell in a sheriff’s facility, stabbed 2 officers in the eye with a pencil and tried to gouge out the eyes of a third officer.

    He was shocked 5 times with a TASER, for a cumulative total of 35 seconds, but “he ripped the probes out and continued to fight,” Williams reports. After an ineffective use of chemical spray, he was zapped with a second TASER, the probes hitting in his left arm and thigh. Williams notes: “The deputy held the trigger for 2 minutes 49 seconds,” before Cunningham collapsed and was soon after pronounced dead.

    “[T]he coroner listed Cunningham’s cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia due to TASER shocks,” Williams writes. “Pathologists found that [his] heart suffered damage at a cellular level purportedly from the electrical current [and] concluded that the probes…completed a circuit in his body that disrupted the electrical system that controls the heart.”

    The single case in which Williams classified TASER as a significant contributing cause of death also represents an anomaly of circumstances. This offender was Jerry Pickens, a 55-year-old white male who hostilely confronted sheriff’s deputies in his front yard in Louisiana when they arrived to investigate a family dispute.

    Against their orders, Pickens tried to re-enter his residence. They TASERed him, and he stiffened and fell, striking his head on the driveway. He was declared brain-dead at the hospital and died 3 days later when doctors pulled the plug on life support. The coroner ruled that he died of a brain hemorrhage from the fall. “Clearly,” Williams writes, “the fall…was caused by application of the TASER.”

    Predisposing factors. Williams reports that subjects who die in custody or during an arrest after a TASER is used against them tend to share certain characteristics that seem to “predispose” them to an increased risk of sudden death quite apart from any TASER involvement.

    These include: obesity, coronary problems, illicit drug use, mental illness, too much or too little psychotropic medication, alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, diabetes and hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, dehydration, head injuries (current or historic) and vigorous physical activity that may trigger ventricular fibrillation.

    For example, nearly 70% of Group 1 subjects and more than 72% of those in Group 2 were users of illicit drugs (most often cocaine). Nearly 40% in Group 2 showed evidence of heart disease.

    In all, Williams found, a coroner or medical examiner observed at least 1 predisposing factor in nearly 88% of the cases studied. In more than 35%, at least 2 such factors were confirmed.

    Williams pointed out to Force Science News that the prevalence of predisposing factors is roughly the same among subjects who die after being TASERed and those who die suddenly in custody without any TASER involvement—further indication that the use of the electronic weapon “is not creating any special risk.”

    On the other hand, he notes, “[T]he risk of sudden death following violent exertion, such as a struggle with police or straining against restraints, increases manifold for people with predisposing factors.”

    TASER failures. Interestingly, Williams documents a high rate of TASER failure associated with post-TASERing deaths; either the electronic application did not stop the individual or stopped him only temporarily and “some other form of force had to be used to get the subject under control.” Among Group 1 cases, “the TASER pulse was ineffective in subduing the target” some 71% of the time. In Group 2, the ineffective rate was nearly 60%.

    This may suggest the exceptionally high level of agitation and violent determination in subjects who end up dying as compared to other offenders who are TASERed, where the effectiveness level is much higher.

    Moreover, the vast majority of subjects in both Groups 1 and 2 did not fatally collapse within 5 to 15 seconds after the application of a TASER device, “an indication that the current from the TASER pulses did not affect their hearts’ rhythm” as critics often conjecture, Williams says.

    Media/activist shortcomings. TASER critics and the media have emphasized that the number of deaths after use of electronic devices is rising, and they conclude that this increase is occurring because TASERs cause deaths. Fallacious thinking, Williams insists.

    “First, there is no evidence that the total number of custody deaths is rising,” he states. Deaths after TASER use are rising, but that’s because the number of police agencies in the U.S. equipping officers with TASERs has increased more than 10 fold since 2001.

    What activists and the media seize upon, he says, is a correlation between TASER use and sudden death. “[T]his is an unscientific linking of 2 events” just because one follows another, Williams writes, not a true cause-and-effect relationship. “The sun rises after the cock crows, but that doesn’t mean there’s a causal relationship,” he offers as comparison.

    Indeed, he notes, other studies have shown “a much higher correlation between sudden death and heart disease, sudden death and the use of…drugs, and sudden death and bizarre behavior than between sudden death and the use of a TASER… [T]ens of thousands of people who have been shocked with a TASER device survived without ill effects.”

    Williams points out that investigators “usually need several days or weeks to determine the facts, complete the investigation, and determine whether a TASER pulse, or any other factor, played a role in an unexpected death.”

    Typically, the media prominently play initial stories of post-TASERing deaths, but the public gets “little sense of the results of the investigations or of the coroners’ findings.” News reports presented one case he cites in his study “as being related to the discharge of a TASER device, but tests proved that the device was not properly charged and could not have delivered a shock.”

    Often results indicating that TASERing was not a death factor are buried in little-read sections of newspapers or totally ignored by tv news. Williams tells of one particularly egregious example of post-investigation reporting in which the headline read: “Cocaine Blamed for TASER Death.”

    “Trying to educate the media is hopeless,” Williams told FSN. Like TASER's activist critics, “too many in the media have an agenda. That’s obvious when you read their articles.”

    In the future, Williams is hopeful that a central database will be created at the federal level to collect meaningful information on in-custody deaths, similar to the reporting that exists for crime records. This would make possible a more comprehensive ongoing analysis of the role played by the TASER and other factors in suspect fatalities.

    Meanwhile, he continues gathering information on his own in anticipation of eventually revising and updating his study. He’d like to hear from people who have observations or contributions regarding his work—including critics.

    “I’m open to debate and discussion,” he says. “If anyone can show me I’m wrong, I’d welcome it. I’m a Little League umpire, so I’m used to criticism.”

  163. http://www.forcescience.org/fsinews/2004/12/shoul

    another article…

    From Force Science News

    A first-of-its-kind, case-by-case study of in-custody deaths associated with TASER use has confirmed that the popular electronic control devices are by no means the dangerous and often deadly weapons that Amnesty International, the ACLU and media reports frequently suggest.

    Self-described as “kind of a nerd” who approaches tedious research as recreation, Chief Howard Williams of the San Marcos (TX) PD patiently tracked down and analyzed 213 cases in which suspects in the U.S. died after being TASERed. The search took more than a year and cost thousands from his own pocket, but in the end Williams has documented what TASER supporters have long believed:

    These devices are “safe weapons. At least they are as safe as weapons can be.”

    During the scope of his investigation, which covered cases from 1983 through 2005, Williams concluded that a TASER can be confirmed as the direct cause of or a significant contributing factor in only 2 deaths, he told Force Science News. “That’s less than 1% of the deaths that critics of Taser technology attribute to it.”

    Since his study formally ended, he has identified and preliminarily probed some 216 additional post-TASERing fatalities that occurred from 2006 to the present. But he has found no data that would change his initial findings or cast doubt on TASER safety.

    Critics of TASER have failed to “separate evidence from conjecture or to analyze cases” one by one, Williams says. Instead, they’ve drawn misleading assumptions “based simply on the number of deaths, or on a misunderstanding of how the devices work, or on speculation of potential problems with the use of electromuscular disruption technology.”

    In contrast, he says his study objectively analyzes “the credible evidence”—including “what medical experts know about sudden death, the technical operations of conducted energy weapons, the physiological effects of TASER devices, and the facts of each case—to determine the true role” of TASERs in suspects’ fatalities.

    Williams’ discoveries are reported in a 212-page book, TASER Electronic Control Devices and Sudden In-custody Death: Separating Evidence from Conjecture, issued recently by Charles C. Thomas Publishers [Call (800) 258-8980 or order a copy online]

    “Given all the headlines, the controversy and the lawsuits generated by TASER-related deaths, it’s ironic that a lone police official steps up to conduct this kind of vital research rather than it being a priority mandate by a major governmental entity,” says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. “Sadly, this speaks to the lack of interest at the state and federal level for funding research into practical, street-level enforcement issues.

    “Chief Williams’ study will not be the final scientific statement on the ramifications of TASER use. But it presents the clearest picture to date regarding a core controversy that in the past has produced far more heat than light.”

    Williams first got interested in exploring the “death by TASER” issue, which he considers “the most significant law enforcement controversy of the last decade,” when he was struck by the contrast between what he saw of TASER use on the street and what he read in the media and from activist groups about it.

    On one hand were officers’ success stories—incidents that might otherwise have escalated to baton beatings or shootings being resolved earlier and less violently, fewer on-the-job injuries by officers, fewer ER trips by subdued suspects thanks to TASER deployment. On the other hand were alarming allegations by Amnesty and other groups, strongly implying if not charging outright that TASERs were responsible for scores of offender deaths and calling for moratoriums on the “dangerous” devices’ use.

    Williams tells his CJ students at Texas State University, where he’s an adjunct faculty member, “You do not have to trust what anyone tells you. Research it yourself.” So he took his own advice and started looking into TASER-related deaths, determined to see what the evidence revealed.

    Searching out leads on the Internet and through media databases at Texas State, he compiled a comprehensive list of reported fatalities. Then through freedom of information requests, he pursued each case and got police reports, autopsy results and other official records wherever possible and supplemented these with whatever news coverage he could garner. He amassed stacks of information 2 to 3 feet high on his desk at home and waded through them item by item, tabulating and analyzing.

    Each of the 213 cases he verified is described in narrative detail in his book and includes the name, age, race and gender of the deceased; the date of the incident and the death; the agency involved; the cause of death, plus contributing factors; and the role of the TASER device deployed. Unique to Williams’ study, these accounts in themselves make fascinating reading and represent a prodigious amount of research.

    But the payoff, of course, is the conclusions Williams draws from his analyses. These include the following highlights:

    Early generation fatalities. The first 42 of Williams’ case studies represent deaths that occurred before 2000 and followed the use of first- and second-generation TASER weapons (the TASER TF-76, the Tasertron and the Air TASER 34000, which “relied mainly on pain compliance”) against aggressive or resistive subjects.

    A TASER device cannot be confirmed as a cause of death or even as a significant contributing factor in any of these “Group 1” cases, Williams reports.

    By the study’s definition, TASER can be “confirmed” as a direct cause of death only in instances where the subject likely would have survived had the weapon not been used.

    Later generation fatalities. The other 171 deaths, considered “Group 2” events, followed the application of third- and fourth-generation weapons (Advanced TASER M26 and the TASER X26, which depend on “electromuscular disruption technology”).

    In this category, TASER can be confirmed as a cause of death in only 1 case and confirmed as a significant contributing factor in only 1 other, Williams concludes.

    “The evidence makes the case that TASER devices are not instruments of death,” Williams asserts. “The only conclusion the evidence supports is that they are safe weapons.”

    Case details. The sole case of confirmed death-by-TASER involved extreme circumstances in subduing a 29-year-old black male prisoner in South Carolina named Maurice Cunningham. After a night of hallucinating that snakes were around him, Cunningham escaped his cell in a sheriff’s facility, stabbed 2 officers in the eye with a pencil and tried to gouge out the eyes of a third officer.

    He was shocked 5 times with a TASER, for a cumulative total of 35 seconds, but “he ripped the probes out and continued to fight,” Williams reports. After an ineffective use of chemical spray, he was zapped with a second TASER, the probes hitting in his left arm and thigh. Williams notes: “The deputy held the trigger for 2 minutes 49 seconds,” before Cunningham collapsed and was soon after pronounced dead.

    “[T]he coroner listed Cunningham’s cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia due to TASER shocks,” Williams writes. “Pathologists found that [his] heart suffered damage at a cellular level purportedly from the electrical current [and] concluded that the probes…completed a circuit in his body that disrupted the electrical system that controls the heart.”

    The single case in which Williams classified TASER as a significant contributing cause of death also represents an anomaly of circumstances. This offender was Jerry Pickens, a 55-year-old white male who hostilely confronted sheriff’s deputies in his front yard in Louisiana when they arrived to investigate a family dispute.

    Against their orders, Pickens tried to re-enter his residence. They TASERed him, and he stiffened and fell, striking his head on the driveway. He was declared brain-dead at the hospital and died 3 days later when doctors pulled the plug on life support. The coroner ruled that he died of a brain hemorrhage from the fall. “Clearly,” Williams writes, “the fall…was caused by application of the TASER.”

    Predisposing factors. Williams reports that subjects who die in custody or during an arrest after a TASER is used against them tend to share certain characteristics that seem to “predispose” them to an increased risk of sudden death quite apart from any TASER involvement.

    These include: obesity, coronary problems, illicit drug use, mental illness, too much or too little psychotropic medication, alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, diabetes and hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, dehydration, head injuries (current or historic) and vigorous physical activity that may trigger ventricular fibrillation.

    For example, nearly 70% of Group 1 subjects and more than 72% of those in Group 2 were users of illicit drugs (most often cocaine). Nearly 40% in Group 2 showed evidence of heart disease.

    In all, Williams found, a coroner or medical examiner observed at least 1 predisposing factor in nearly 88% of the cases studied. In more than 35%, at least 2 such factors were confirmed.

    Williams pointed out to Force Science News that the prevalence of predisposing factors is roughly the same among subjects who die after being TASERed and those who die suddenly in custody without any TASER involvement—further indication that the use of the electronic weapon “is not creating any special risk.”

    On the other hand, he notes, “[T]he risk of sudden death following violent exertion, such as a struggle with police or straining against restraints, increases manifold for people with predisposing factors.”

    TASER failures. Interestingly, Williams documents a high rate of TASER failure associated with post-TASERing deaths; either the electronic application did not stop the individual or stopped him only temporarily and “some other form of force had to be used to get the subject under control.” Among Group 1 cases, “the TASER pulse was ineffective in subduing the target” some 71% of the time. In Group 2, the ineffective rate was nearly 60%.

    This may suggest the exceptionally high level of agitation and violent determination in subjects who end up dying as compared to other offenders who are TASERed, where the effectiveness level is much higher.

    Moreover, the vast majority of subjects in both Groups 1 and 2 did not fatally collapse within 5 to 15 seconds after the application of a TASER device, “an indication that the current from the TASER pulses did not affect their hearts’ rhythm” as critics often conjecture, Williams says.

    Media/activist shortcomings. TASER critics and the media have emphasized that the number of deaths after use of electronic devices is rising, and they conclude that this increase is occurring because TASERs cause deaths. Fallacious thinking, Williams insists.

    “First, there is no evidence that the total number of custody deaths is rising,” he states. Deaths after TASER use are rising, but that’s because the number of police agencies in the U.S. equipping officers with TASERs has increased more than 10 fold since 2001.

    What activists and the media seize upon, he says, is a correlation between TASER use and sudden death. “[T]his is an unscientific linking of 2 events” just because one follows another, Williams writes, not a true cause-and-effect relationship. “The sun rises after the cock crows, but that doesn’t mean there’s a causal relationship,” he offers as comparison.

    Indeed, he notes, other studies have shown “a much higher correlation between sudden death and heart disease, sudden death and the use of…drugs, and sudden death and bizarre behavior than between sudden death and the use of a TASER… [T]ens of thousands of people who have been shocked with a TASER device survived without ill effects.”

    Williams points out that investigators “usually need several days or weeks to determine the facts, complete the investigation, and determine whether a TASER pulse, or any other factor, played a role in an unexpected death.”

    Typically, the media prominently play initial stories of post-TASERing deaths, but the public gets “little sense of the results of the investigations or of the coroners’ findings.” News reports presented one case he cites in his study “as being related to the discharge of a TASER device, but tests proved that the device was not properly charged and could not have delivered a shock.”

    Often results indicating that TASERing was not a death factor are buried in little-read sections of newspapers or totally ignored by tv news. Williams tells of one particularly egregious example of post-investigation reporting in which the headline read: “Cocaine Blamed for TASER Death.”

    “Trying to educate the media is hopeless,” Williams told FSN. Like TASER's activist critics, “too many in the media have an agenda. That’s obvious when you read their articles.”

    In the future, Williams is hopeful that a central database will be created at the federal level to collect meaningful information on in-custody deaths, similar to the reporting that exists for crime records. This would make possible a more comprehensive ongoing analysis of the role played by the TASER and other factors in suspect fatalities.

    Meanwhile, he continues gathering information on his own in anticipation of eventually revising and updating his study. He’d like to hear from people who have observations or contributions regarding his work—including critics.

    “I’m open to debate and discussion,” he says. “If anyone can show me I’m wrong, I’d welcome it. I’m a Little League umpire, so I’m used to criticism.”

  164. This big 300 keeps coming up, compared to what? 400? 3000? 30000? and how many of those cases would an officer have used a gun if it were not for a tazzer? arguments can be made to sound terrible because nobody wants to put in the whole idea. 300 out of 3000 is high, but if the tazzer has been used 30000 times in 9 years or w/e 300 is fairly low (1%). I have no idea abotu the numbers, and i do not care enough to look them up.

  165. http://www.forcescience.org/fsinews/2004/12/should-cops-stop-using-tasers-the-force-science-research-center-weighs-in-on-the-controversy/

    another article…

    From Force Science News

    A first-of-its-kind, case-by-case study of in-custody deaths associated with TASER use has confirmed that the popular electronic control devices are by no means the dangerous and often deadly weapons that Amnesty International, the ACLU and media reports frequently suggest.

    Self-described as “kind of a nerd” who approaches tedious research as recreation, Chief Howard Williams of the San Marcos (TX) PD patiently tracked down and analyzed 213 cases in which suspects in the U.S. died after being TASERed. The search took more than a year and cost thousands from his own pocket, but in the end Williams has documented what TASER supporters have long believed:

    These devices are “safe weapons. At least they are as safe as weapons can be.”

    During the scope of his investigation, which covered cases from 1983 through 2005, Williams concluded that a TASER can be confirmed as the direct cause of or a significant contributing factor in only 2 deaths, he told Force Science News. “That’s less than 1% of the deaths that critics of Taser technology attribute to it.”

    Since his study formally ended, he has identified and preliminarily probed some 216 additional post-TASERing fatalities that occurred from 2006 to the present. But he has found no data that would change his initial findings or cast doubt on TASER safety.

    Critics of TASER have failed to “separate evidence from conjecture or to analyze cases” one by one, Williams says. Instead, they’ve drawn misleading assumptions “based simply on the number of deaths, or on a misunderstanding of how the devices work, or on speculation of potential problems with the use of electromuscular disruption technology.”

    In contrast, he says his study objectively analyzes “the credible evidence”—including “what medical experts know about sudden death, the technical operations of conducted energy weapons, the physiological effects of TASER devices, and the facts of each case—to determine the true role” of TASERs in suspects’ fatalities.

    Williams’ discoveries are reported in a 212-page book, TASER Electronic Control Devices and Sudden In-custody Death: Separating Evidence from Conjecture, issued recently by Charles C. Thomas Publishers [Call (800) 258-8980 or order a copy online]

    “Given all the headlines, the controversy and the lawsuits generated by TASER-related deaths, it’s ironic that a lone police official steps up to conduct this kind of vital research rather than it being a priority mandate by a major governmental entity,” says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. “Sadly, this speaks to the lack of interest at the state and federal level for funding research into practical, street-level enforcement issues.

    “Chief Williams’ study will not be the final scientific statement on the ramifications of TASER use. But it presents the clearest picture to date regarding a core controversy that in the past has produced far more heat than light.”

    Williams first got interested in exploring the “death by TASER” issue, which he considers “the most significant law enforcement controversy of the last decade,” when he was struck by the contrast between what he saw of TASER use on the street and what he read in the media and from activist groups about it.

    On one hand were officers’ success stories—incidents that might otherwise have escalated to baton beatings or shootings being resolved earlier and less violently, fewer on-the-job injuries by officers, fewer ER trips by subdued suspects thanks to TASER deployment. On the other hand were alarming allegations by Amnesty and other groups, strongly implying if not charging outright that TASERs were responsible for scores of offender deaths and calling for moratoriums on the “dangerous” devices’ use.

    Williams tells his CJ students at Texas State University, where he’s an adjunct faculty member, “You do not have to trust what anyone tells you. Research it yourself.” So he took his own advice and started looking into TASER-related deaths, determined to see what the evidence revealed.

    Searching out leads on the Internet and through media databases at Texas State, he compiled a comprehensive list of reported fatalities. Then through freedom of information requests, he pursued each case and got police reports, autopsy results and other official records wherever possible and supplemented these with whatever news coverage he could garner. He amassed stacks of information 2 to 3 feet high on his desk at home and waded through them item by item, tabulating and analyzing.

    Each of the 213 cases he verified is described in narrative detail in his book and includes the name, age, race and gender of the deceased; the date of the incident and the death; the agency involved; the cause of death, plus contributing factors; and the role of the TASER device deployed. Unique to Williams’ study, these accounts in themselves make fascinating reading and represent a prodigious amount of research.

    But the payoff, of course, is the conclusions Williams draws from his analyses. These include the following highlights:

    Early generation fatalities. The first 42 of Williams’ case studies represent deaths that occurred before 2000 and followed the use of first- and second-generation TASER weapons (the TASER TF-76, the Tasertron and the Air TASER 34000, which “relied mainly on pain compliance”) against aggressive or resistive subjects.

    A TASER device cannot be confirmed as a cause of death or even as a significant contributing factor in any of these “Group 1” cases, Williams reports.

    By the study’s definition, TASER can be “confirmed” as a direct cause of death only in instances where the subject likely would have survived had the weapon not been used.

    Later generation fatalities. The other 171 deaths, considered “Group 2” events, followed the application of third- and fourth-generation weapons (Advanced TASER M26 and the TASER X26, which depend on “electromuscular disruption technology”).

    In this category, TASER can be confirmed as a cause of death in only 1 case and confirmed as a significant contributing factor in only 1 other, Williams concludes.

    “The evidence makes the case that TASER devices are not instruments of death,” Williams asserts. “The only conclusion the evidence supports is that they are safe weapons.”

    Case details. The sole case of confirmed death-by-TASER involved extreme circumstances in subduing a 29-year-old black male prisoner in South Carolina named Maurice Cunningham. After a night of hallucinating that snakes were around him, Cunningham escaped his cell in a sheriff’s facility, stabbed 2 officers in the eye with a pencil and tried to gouge out the eyes of a third officer.

    He was shocked 5 times with a TASER, for a cumulative total of 35 seconds, but “he ripped the probes out and continued to fight,” Williams reports. After an ineffective use of chemical spray, he was zapped with a second TASER, the probes hitting in his left arm and thigh. Williams notes: “The deputy held the trigger for 2 minutes 49 seconds,” before Cunningham collapsed and was soon after pronounced dead.

    “[T]he coroner listed Cunningham’s cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia due to TASER shocks,” Williams writes. “Pathologists found that [his] heart suffered damage at a cellular level purportedly from the electrical current [and] concluded that the probes…completed a circuit in his body that disrupted the electrical system that controls the heart.”

    The single case in which Williams classified TASER as a significant contributing cause of death also represents an anomaly of circumstances. This offender was Jerry Pickens, a 55-year-old white male who hostilely confronted sheriff’s deputies in his front yard in Louisiana when they arrived to investigate a family dispute.

    Against their orders, Pickens tried to re-enter his residence. They TASERed him, and he stiffened and fell, striking his head on the driveway. He was declared brain-dead at the hospital and died 3 days later when doctors pulled the plug on life support. The coroner ruled that he died of a brain hemorrhage from the fall. “Clearly,” Williams writes, “the fall…was caused by application of the TASER.”

    Predisposing factors. Williams reports that subjects who die in custody or during an arrest after a TASER is used against them tend to share certain characteristics that seem to “predispose” them to an increased risk of sudden death quite apart from any TASER involvement.

    These include: obesity, coronary problems, illicit drug use, mental illness, too much or too little psychotropic medication, alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, diabetes and hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, dehydration, head injuries (current or historic) and vigorous physical activity that may trigger ventricular fibrillation.

    For example, nearly 70% of Group 1 subjects and more than 72% of those in Group 2 were users of illicit drugs (most often cocaine). Nearly 40% in Group 2 showed evidence of heart disease.

    In all, Williams found, a coroner or medical examiner observed at least 1 predisposing factor in nearly 88% of the cases studied. In more than 35%, at least 2 such factors were confirmed.

    Williams pointed out to Force Science News that the prevalence of predisposing factors is roughly the same among subjects who die after being TASERed and those who die suddenly in custody without any TASER involvement—further indication that the use of the electronic weapon “is not creating any special risk.”

    On the other hand, he notes, “[T]he risk of sudden death following violent exertion, such as a struggle with police or straining against restraints, increases manifold for people with predisposing factors.”

    TASER failures. Interestingly, Williams documents a high rate of TASER failure associated with post-TASERing deaths; either the electronic application did not stop the individual or stopped him only temporarily and “some other form of force had to be used to get the subject under control.” Among Group 1 cases, “the TASER pulse was ineffective in subduing the target” some 71% of the time. In Group 2, the ineffective rate was nearly 60%.

    This may suggest the exceptionally high level of agitation and violent determination in subjects who end up dying as compared to other offenders who are TASERed, where the effectiveness level is much higher.

    Moreover, the vast majority of subjects in both Groups 1 and 2 did not fatally collapse within 5 to 15 seconds after the application of a TASER device, “an indication that the current from the TASER pulses did not affect their hearts’ rhythm” as critics often conjecture, Williams says.

    Media/activist shortcomings. TASER critics and the media have emphasized that the number of deaths after use of electronic devices is rising, and they conclude that this increase is occurring because TASERs cause deaths. Fallacious thinking, Williams insists.

    “First, there is no evidence that the total number of custody deaths is rising,” he states. Deaths after TASER use are rising, but that’s because the number of police agencies in the U.S. equipping officers with TASERs has increased more than 10 fold since 2001.

    What activists and the media seize upon, he says, is a correlation between TASER use and sudden death. “[T]his is an unscientific linking of 2 events” just because one follows another, Williams writes, not a true cause-and-effect relationship. “The sun rises after the cock crows, but that doesn’t mean there’s a causal relationship,” he offers as comparison.

    Indeed, he notes, other studies have shown “a much higher correlation between sudden death and heart disease, sudden death and the use of…drugs, and sudden death and bizarre behavior than between sudden death and the use of a TASER… [T]ens of thousands of people who have been shocked with a TASER device survived without ill effects.”

    Williams points out that investigators “usually need several days or weeks to determine the facts, complete the investigation, and determine whether a TASER pulse, or any other factor, played a role in an unexpected death.”

    Typically, the media prominently play initial stories of post-TASERing deaths, but the public gets “little sense of the results of the investigations or of the coroners’ findings.” News reports presented one case he cites in his study “as being related to the discharge of a TASER device, but tests proved that the device was not properly charged and could not have delivered a shock.”

    Often results indicating that TASERing was not a death factor are buried in little-read sections of newspapers or totally ignored by tv news. Williams tells of one particularly egregious example of post-investigation reporting in which the headline read: “Cocaine Blamed for TASER Death.”

    “Trying to educate the media is hopeless,” Williams told FSN. Like TASER’s activist critics, “too many in the media have an agenda. That’s obvious when you read their articles.”

    In the future, Williams is hopeful that a central database will be created at the federal level to collect meaningful information on in-custody deaths, similar to the reporting that exists for crime records. This would make possible a more comprehensive ongoing analysis of the role played by the TASER and other factors in suspect fatalities.

    Meanwhile, he continues gathering information on his own in anticipation of eventually revising and updating his study. He’d like to hear from people who have observations or contributions regarding his work—including critics.

    “I’m open to debate and discussion,” he says. “If anyone can show me I’m wrong, I’d welcome it. I’m a Little League umpire, so I’m used to criticism.”

  166. "Yeah, but the headlines said BLAH BLAH BLAH"

    "Yeah, but Cops are mean and out to get everybody" BLAH BLAH BLAH

    Bottomline, the activists against the use of TASERs get all worked up and upset because this is an effective tool when used Law Enforcement.

    It doesn't matter how many lives these devices have SAVED…How many injuries to both Police Officers or Subjects have been AVOIDED…What matters is the one half of one percent of it's use that resulted in inuries or death that can MAYBE / KIND OF/ SORT OF be partially to blame.

    It is designed to keep both the safety of the Officer and the non-compliant/out of control accused/subject (whatever you want to call him or her).

    It gives law enforcement an advantage/edge and that is what is behind the beef some have with it. Sorry to be calling a spade a spade.

  167. I just didn't want the post above to be the last post on this thread because it is so dumb.

  168. I just didn't want the post above to be the last post on this thread because it does nothing to argue any of the points or facts above. It is nothing but an ad hominem argument.

    Can't dispute or challenge the facts, so just call the other person dumb, fat, lazy, racist, whatever.

  169. “Yeah, but the headlines said BLAH BLAH BLAH”

    “Yeah, but Cops are mean and out to get everybody” BLAH BLAH BLAH

    Bottomline, the activists against the use of TASERs get all worked up and upset because this is an effective tool when used Law Enforcement.

    It doesn’t matter how many lives these devices have SAVED…How many injuries to both Police Officers or Subjects have been AVOIDED…What matters is the one half of one percent of it’s use that resulted in inuries or death that can MAYBE / KIND OF/ SORT OF be partially to blame.

    It is designed to keep both the safety of the Officer and the non-compliant/out of control accused/subject (whatever you want to call him or her).

    It gives law enforcement an advantage/edge and that is what is behind the beef some have with it. Sorry to be calling a spade a spade.

  170. I just didn’t want the post above to be the last post on this thread because it is so dumb.

  171. I just didn’t want the post above to be the last post on this thread because it does nothing to argue any of the points or facts above. It is nothing but an ad hominem argument.

    Can’t dispute or challenge the facts, so just call the other person dumb, fat, lazy, racist, whatever.

  172. To: Reserve Deputy,

    I wouldn't worry to much about all these people that try to bash you over you defending the use of a taser. Just like the war in Iraq, I don't think any one has the right to say "lets go to war" without going down and enlisting themselves. They do not have the job you do there for will never understand what it feels like to drive up into volatile situations on an everyday basis. My agency arms us security officers with tasers also. I have seen men and women alike hopped up on whatever drug there on and engage in fights in our patrolled night clubs where the taser has no affect and the subject continued to attack with a broken beer bottle in hand. Continue to do what you do best. Protect and serve, without bias. One thing I've always found funny, everyone hates Law Enforcement, UNTIL THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN A SITUATION WHERE THEIR THE VICTIM!

    Message to the bashers,
    If you ever find yourself being defended by a cop because the assailant has a weapon of any sorts, ask yourself, should the officer use a gun or a taser to defend you against the 12 year old that's about to send you to death over close to nothing. Because that's what is a proven fact. More teens carry illegal guns now and when they rob you and find nothing on you….they are killing more just to not leave any witnesses behind. People are dieing because their broke and have nothing to give to their assailant. A FACT.

  173. To: Reserve Deputy,

    I wouldn’t worry to much about all these people that try to bash you over you defending the use of a taser. Just like the war in Iraq, I don’t think any one has the right to say “lets go to war” without going down and enlisting themselves. They do not have the job you do there for will never understand what it feels like to drive up into volatile situations on an everyday basis. My agency arms us security officers with tasers also. I have seen men and women alike hopped up on whatever drug there on and engage in fights in our patrolled night clubs where the taser has no affect and the subject continued to attack with a broken beer bottle in hand. Continue to do what you do best. Protect and serve, without bias. One thing I’ve always found funny, everyone hates Law Enforcement, UNTIL THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN A SITUATION WHERE THEIR THE VICTIM!

    Message to the bashers,
    If you ever find yourself being defended by a cop because the assailant has a weapon of any sorts, ask yourself, should the officer use a gun or a taser to defend you against the 12 year old that’s about to send you to death over close to nothing. Because that’s what is a proven fact. More teens carry illegal guns now and when they rob you and find nothing on you….they are killing more just to not leave any witnesses behind. People are dieing because their broke and have nothing to give to their assailant. A FACT.

  174. So I guess this is primarily addressed to Security Officer Garcia, but it kind of applies to all those who are continuing this defense of the taser. I’m mostly just doing a line-by-line answer on Sec. Off. Garcia’s most recent arguments.

    Why should someone who is not a police officer not have the same right to discuss this issue as someone who is? What exactly makes a police officer more qualified to speak on this topic than anyone else? The rest of us may not “drive up into volatile situations on an everyday basis,” but that doesn’t mean that we don’t feel the repercussions of police actions, especially regarding the use of the taser. Furthermore, this Iraq war reference makes no sense. In this debate, it’s actually those who are defending the taser who have never experienced being hit by it in an uncontrolled situation (like when it’s not being done by another officer and you can’t make a safety signal any time you need to) who are most like pro-militants who don’t join the army.

    Also, by saying that you’ve seen instances where people weren’t affected by being tased, you’ve given yet another viable reason why tasers should be taken off the streets. You can’t exactly say that they save lives every single day when it seems like people not being hurt or stopped by tasers happens on a pretty regular, casual-reference-worthy basis.

    Finally, I fail to see what facts you actually provided in this argument. You merely stated that crime exists, a fact that we were all already aware of. Just because crime exists doesn’t mean that a weapon that sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t work, and sometimes kills should be used to play Russian roulette with people’s lives.

    The study that Reserve Officer provided was conducted by one single individual, who was a police officer to boot. So overlooking the fact that the man who conducted the study had everything to gain by misrepresenting figures and facts, this study hardly has any credibility because it has not been duplicated with similar results dozens of times over. (Yes, dozens of times over. Scientists don’t decide that something’s true after one independent investigation by a potentially biased source.)

    It’s very interesting that no one has listed those five examples of ways that the kid could have died outside of the taser shot. It’s also a rather poor reflection on the quality of this debate. I’m probably going to regret re-entering this discussion, but it was becoming kind of ludicrous. How can any of you defend the idea that there are other scenarios that apply to the child’s death while simultaneously shamelessly ignoring a request for five (*just* five) scenarios which would realistically fit in? I suppose it is, after all, much easier to ignore those arguments which you’ve lost or conceded and instead bemoan the way the big, bad public treats the poor, innocent police officers.

  175. So I guess this is primarily addressed to Security Officer Garcia, but it kind of applies to all those who are continuing this defense of the taser. I’m mostly just doing a line-by-line answer on Sec. Off. Garcia’s most recent arguments.

    Why should someone who is not a police officer not have the same right to discuss this issue as someone who is? What exactly makes a police officer more qualified to speak on this topic than anyone else? The rest of us may not “drive up into volatile situations on an everyday basis,” but that doesn’t mean that we don’t feel the repercussions of police actions, especially regarding the use of the taser. Furthermore, this Iraq war reference makes no sense. In this debate, it’s actually those who are defending the taser who have never experienced being hit by it in an uncontrolled situation (like when it’s not being done by another officer and you can’t make a safety signal any time you need to) who are most like pro-militants who don’t join the army.

    Also, by saying that you’ve seen instances where people weren’t affected by being tased, you’ve given yet another viable reason why tasers should be taken off the streets. You can’t exactly say that they save lives every single day when it seems like people not being hurt or stopped by tasers happens on a pretty regular, casual-reference-worthy basis.

    Finally, I fail to see what facts you actually provided in this argument. You merely stated that crime exists, a fact that we were all already aware of. Just because crime exists doesn’t mean that a weapon that sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t work, and sometimes kills should be used to play Russian roulette with people’s lives.

    The study that Reserve Officer provided was conducted by one single individual, who was a police officer to boot. So overlooking the fact that the man who conducted the study had everything to gain by misrepresenting figures and facts, this study hardly has any credibility because it has not been duplicated with similar results dozens of times over. (Yes, dozens of times over. Scientists don’t decide that something’s true after one independent investigation by a potentially biased source.)

    It’s very interesting that no one has listed those five examples of ways that the kid could have died outside of the taser shot. It’s also a rather poor reflection on the quality of this debate. I’m probably going to regret re-entering this discussion, but it was becoming kind of ludicrous. How can any of you defend the idea that there are other scenarios that apply to the child’s death while simultaneously shamelessly ignoring a request for five (*just* five) scenarios which would realistically fit in? I suppose it is, after all, much easier to ignore those arguments which you’ve lost or conceded and instead bemoan the way the big, bad public treats the poor, innocent police officers.

  176. Tasers don't kill people, guns do. Please tell me if you would rather a police officer use a Taser or a gun to stop an out-of-control kid. Which is the safer choice? Perhaps a "study" should be done.

    A taser is an effective tool for law enforcement, gives law enforcement officers a huge advantage when needed, and is safer for both the suspect and the officer.

    You know there have been rare occasions where a seat belt actually killed someone…they are still overwhelming safer to use one.

  177. Tasers don’t kill people, guns do. Please tell me if you would rather a police officer use a Taser or a gun to stop an out-of-control kid. Which is the safer choice? Perhaps a “study” should be done.

    A taser is an effective tool for law enforcement, gives law enforcement officers a huge advantage when needed, and is safer for both the suspect and the officer.

    You know there have been rare occasions where a seat belt actually killed someone…they are still overwhelming safer to use one.

  178. First, there are multiple other ways to subdue people besides using a taser or a gun. It's not as if the police have no other options before them for handling situations like this one. But I've already said my piece on that.

    Secondly, even if we were to pretend that only one in a million people hit by a taser is killed by it, we would still have the responsibility to take it off the streets at least temporarily. The job of the police is to prevent, not incite violence, and to arrest potential criminals, not to enforce a punishment on them. Brett Edler was given the death penalty. Even worse, he was given the death penalty without so much as a joke of a trial. He was murdered by the state for being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong officer shooting the wrong taser. His death was utterly random. That is not justice. That is not effective or "overwhelmingly safe." At least if he had been killed by wearing a seat belt it would have been a terrible accident which was not knowingly carried out by someone. The police forces in America continue to use tasers knowing that the next person they shoot could be that one in a hundred, or one in a thousand, or one in a million, who will die for nothing at all.

  179. First, there are multiple other ways to subdue people besides using a taser or a gun. It’s not as if the police have no other options before them for handling situations like this one. But I’ve already said my piece on that.

    Secondly, even if we were to pretend that only one in a million people hit by a taser is killed by it, we would still have the responsibility to take it off the streets at least temporarily. The job of the police is to prevent, not incite violence, and to arrest potential criminals, not to enforce a punishment on them. Brett Edler was given the death penalty. Even worse, he was given the death penalty without so much as a joke of a trial. He was murdered by the state for being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong officer shooting the wrong taser. His death was utterly random. That is not justice. That is not effective or “overwhelmingly safe.” At least if he had been killed by wearing a seat belt it would have been a terrible accident which was not knowingly carried out by someone. The police forces in America continue to use tasers knowing that the next person they shoot could be that one in a hundred, or one in a thousand, or one in a million, who will die for nothing at all.

  180. ugh, jane…. still stuck on "Five Scenerios" eh?

    Techically you have 300+ scenerios in which people died after being tazed where it was not proved that the actual act of being tazed killed them. Those ARE your "5 scenerios"

    In no particular order:

    1) Heart attack – caused by stress from fighting with family members AND police prior to tazing (sheesh! the police in this case were on scene for 9 minutes before they tazed the kid. I think that pretty much shoots your "multiple other ways to subdue people besides using a taser or a gun. It’s not as if the police have no other options before them for handling situations like this one." The police exercised those multiple options already only to be met by the kids fists.)

    2) Brain or Aortic Aneurysm (sp?) that could have ruptured from same stressful situations above – prior to tazing

    3) Heat exhaustion/dehydration brought on by fighting for an extended amount of time.

    4) Exercise induced asthma (which would explain his vomiting)

    5) Excited Delirium

    6) Long term and immediate effects of drug and alcohol use. I add this because they are a factor in over 70% of the taser cases including this one.

    Now as for your remark that:

    "The study that Reserve Officer provided was conducted by one single individual, who was a police officer to boot. So overlooking the fact that the man who conducted the study had everything to gain by misrepresenting figures and facts, this study hardly has any credibility because it has not been duplicated with similar results dozens of times over. (Yes, dozens of times over. Scientists don’t decide that something’s true after one independent investigation by a potentially biased source.)"

    Studies have been done numerous times and reached the same conclusions as the study that I cited. You assume that I am saying "stop studying because studies so far have proven them safe" which is not what I am saying. Also, to discredit the study because it was done by a police officer is short cited on your part. It is clear that you assume the worst of character when it comes to a person that is a police officer, thus your remark that "he had everything to gain by misrepresenting the facts". You are immediately assuming this police officer is a biased, immoral, untrustworthy person and that is where you are wrong. You are assuming that that officer thinks along the lines of "hey, this badge gives me the authority to bully, and take from, and beat and taze and mace anyone that I want to – all protected by the shield of law enforcement". You have missed the whole point of me describing how police officers have procedures to protect themselves from accusations of abuse as well as protecting those in their care from being abused. While everyone has their own reason for joining law enforcement, I can guarantee you that you will never have an officer answer to the question why they joined.. "so I can shoot and kill someone" I can guarantee you that most of the officers will answer "to give something back to the community"

    I feel sorry for you Jane if you trust nobody, if you feel that everyone on the planet is out to take something away from you be it your rights or property, if you feel that you can not trust anyone. That is a sad existence.

  181. The scenarios which you provided, first, are broad speculations which could never be concluded certainly. All of those medical conditions have also occurred to individuals who were not exerting themselves by running or fighting.

    Secondly, they hardly apply to this individual, Officer Peterson, who, during a planned tasing experience, “fell hard on her neck and fast into the rabbit hole — traumatic internal disc disruption, steroid injections, surgical reconstruction, temporomandibular derangement, persistent dizziness, cognitive defects, numbness, vertigo.” (This is from an article published by The Las Vegas Sun at http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/23/cops-…. Peterson and two other officers have sued Taser International Inc., which “failed to adequately warn the police department of the potential for injury and minimized the risks of being shocked, which officers had been assured was not only safe but advisable.” The article goes on to say, “The changes Metro made in Taser training policies — which include ceasing the practice of shocking officers during training — may speak louder than any public defense the police, or Taser, have made for the device.”

    So what we have established from this story is that there have been multiple instances where a person who was not exerting themselves in any form or fashion, but was actually literally kneeling on the ground, was still severely and permanently injured from a taser attack. In fact, some of these officers say that they were not adequately warned about the dangers of the taser hit. I wonder how many people who are hit by tasers in real-life situations are given any warning at all, even one which minimizes the risks of being tased.

    Furthermore, this particular city has actually stopped requiring police to be tased as part of their training because they are concerned that more officers will be severely injured. And yet they continue to use the taser, the purportedly non-lethal and only temporarily harmful weapon, on regular citizens.

    This is the kind of irresponsibility I’m talking about.

    Never mind that even some police officers have said that the taser is not a safe way to “subdue” people. Never mind that the one study that has “proven” the safety of tasers was conducted by one individual, who was, yes, a police officer. Never mind that a sheriff named Bill Young has said, “It is my professional opinion that Taser intentionally downplayed the risk of Taser M26 shocks to sell its product to police officers.” (That quotation was also given in the article.)

    Never mind all of these facts, because taking tasers off the streets would be too hard and too inconvenient and would require too much paperwork. Your defense of the notion that we should allow the police to continue using a weapon which has been implicated at the very least in the deaths and in the maimings of hundreds of people, for no better reason than because to do so would be a lot *easier* than the alternative, is not only illogical, unethical, unprofessional, and undemocratic. It’s just lazy.

    You’ve also suggested that there are other studies out there which have proven the safety of tasers. Even if they do exist, I’m not likely to buy into them when it seems even police officers *sitting on the ground* while being tased as part of a routine training are in danger of becoming permanently wounded and disfigured.

    Finally, yes. I admit it openly. I find the notion of a person whose job includes using a particular weapon, who also happens to “conduct a study” entirely on their own to prove the safe nature of that weapon, to be a little bit less than legitimate. I am not assuming that all police officers get a kick out of tasing people, (in fact, as you can see from the article, there are actually multiple police officers who themselves have said that it is an unsafe weapon), but I am more than willing to say that scientific or investigative studies should be performed by sources which have no potential bias at all. Would we appoint Dick Cheney to head an investigation into torture under the Bush administration? Would we appoint Al Capone to head a movement to arrest all the gangsters in America? The very notion is ludicrous. It’s not that I don’t trust people. I simply don’t believe in putting Bugs Bunny in charge of a Wabbit Hunt.

  182. Reserve Officer,

    There you go again attacking people personally.

    Anyway, the point is you are purposefully looking the other way regarding these tasers. Don't you *want* to know if tasers can cause death? Do you even care? You are really going to try and say that in 300+ cases, these citizens (I forget the demeaning names you used to describe them, but I call them citizens) just so happened to have a heart attack or a brain aneurysm or died from exhaustion or asthma immediately following being tased?

    Whether it is POSSIBLE or not, can you at least admit it isn't concrete? Can you say with 100% certainty that all of those people died of other causes? If you can't, then you are agreeing with us, only you are saying you don't care about the truth and we shouldn't either. If you can, then I'd like to see your proof.

    Thanks.

  183. The scenarios which you provided, first, are broad speculations which could never be concluded certainly. All of those medical conditions have also occurred to individuals who were not exerting themselves by running or fighting.

    Secondly, they hardly apply to this individual, Officer Peterson, who, during a planned tasing experience, “fell hard on her neck and fast into the rabbit hole — traumatic internal disc disruption, steroid injections, surgical reconstruction, temporomandibular derangement, persistent dizziness, cognitive defects, numbness, vertigo.” (This is from an article published by The Las Vegas Sun at http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/23/cops-…. Peterson and two other officers have sued Taser International Inc., which “failed to adequately warn the police department of the potential for injury and minimized the risks of being shocked, which officers had been assured was not only safe but advisable.” The article goes on to say, “The changes Metro made in Taser training policies — which include ceasing the practice of shocking officers during training — may speak louder than any public defense the police, or Taser, have made for the device.”

    So what we have established from this story is that there have been multiple instances where a person who was not exerting themselves in any form or fashion, but was actually literally kneeling on the ground, was still severely and permanently injured from a taser attack. In fact, some of these officers say that they were not adequately warned about the dangers of the taser hit. I wonder how many people who are hit by tasers in real-life situations are given any warning at all, even one which minimizes the risks of being tased.

    Furthermore, this particular city has actually stopped requiring police to be tased as part of their training because they are concerned that more officers will be severely injured. And yet they continue to use the taser, the purportedly non-lethal and only temporarily harmful weapon, on regular citizens.

    This is the kind of irresponsibility I’m talking about.

    Never mind that even some police officers have said that the taser is not a safe way to “subdue” people. Never mind that the one study that has “proven” the safety of tasers was conducted by one individual, who was, yes, a police officer. Never mind that a sheriff named Bill Young has said, “It is my professional opinion that Taser intentionally downplayed the risk of Taser M26 shocks to sell its product to police officers.” (That quotation was also given in the article.)

    Never mind all of these facts, because taking tasers off the streets would be too hard and too inconvenient and would require too much paperwork. Your defense of the notion that we should allow the police to continue using a weapon which has been implicated at the very least in the deaths and in the maimings of hundreds of people, for no better reason than because to do so would be a lot *easier* than the alternative, is not only illogical, unethical, unprofessional, and undemocratic. It’s just lazy.

    You’ve also suggested that there are other studies out there which have proven the safety of tasers. Even if they do exist, I’m not likely to buy into them when it seems even police officers *sitting on the ground* while being tased as part of a routine training are in danger of becoming permanently wounded and disfigured.

    Finally, yes. I admit it openly. I find the notion of a person whose job includes using a particular weapon, who also happens to “conduct a study” entirely on their own to prove the safe nature of that weapon, to be a little bit less than legitimate. I am not assuming that all police officers get a kick out of tasing people, (in fact, as you can see from the article, there are actually multiple police officers who themselves have said that it is an unsafe weapon), but I am more than willing to say that scientific or investigative studies should be performed by sources which have no potential bias at all. Would we appoint Dick Cheney to head an investigation into torture under the Bush administration? Would we appoint Al Capone to head a movement to arrest all the gangsters in America? The very notion is ludicrous. It’s not that I don’t trust people. I simply don’t believe in putting Bugs Bunny in charge of a Wabbit Hunt.

  184. The scenarios which you provided, first, are broad speculations which could never be concluded certainly. All of those medical conditions have also occurred to individuals who were not exerting themselves by running or fighting.

    Secondly, they hardly apply to this individual, Officer Peterson, who, during a planned tasing experience, “fell hard on her neck and fast into the rabbit hole — traumatic internal disc disruption, steroid injections, surgical reconstruction, temporomandibular derangement, persistent dizziness, cognitive defects, numbness, vertigo.” (This is from an article published by The Las Vegas Sun at http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/23/cops-…. Peterson and two other officers have sued Taser International Inc., which “failed to adequately warn the police department of the potential for injury and minimized the risks of being shocked, which officers had been assured was not only safe but advisable.” The article goes on to say, “The changes Metro made in Taser training policies — which include ceasing the practice of shocking officers during training — may speak louder than any public defense the police, or Taser, have made for the device.”

    So what we have established from this story is that there have been multiple instances where a person who was not exerting themselves in any form or fashion, but was actually literally kneeling on the ground, was still severely and permanently injured from a taser attack. In fact, some of these officers say that they were not adequately warned about the dangers of the taser hit. I wonder how many people who are hit by tasers in real-life situations are given any warning at all, even one which minimizes the risks of being tased.

    Furthermore, this particular city has actually stopped requiring police to be tased as part of their training because they are concerned that more officers will be severely injured. And yet they continue to use the taser, the purportedly non-lethal and only temporarily harmful weapon, on regular citizens.

    This is the kind of irresponsibility I’m talking about.

    Never mind that even some police officers have said that the taser is not a safe way to “subdue” people. Never mind that the one study that has “proven” the safety of tasers was conducted by one individual, who was, yes, a police officer. Never mind that a sheriff named Bill Young has said, “It is my professional opinion that Taser intentionally downplayed the risk of Taser M26 shocks to sell its product to police officers.” (That quotation was also given in the article.)

    Never mind all of these facts, because taking tasers off the streets would be too hard and too inconvenient and would require too much paperwork. Your defense of the notion that we should allow the police to continue using a weapon which has been implicated at the very least in the deaths and in the maimings of hundreds of people, for no better reason than because to do so would be a lot *easier* than the alternative, is not only illogical, unethical, unprofessional, and undemocratic. It’s just lazy.

    You’ve also suggested that there are other studies out there which have proven the safety of tasers. Even if they do exist, I’m not likely to buy into them when it seems even police officers *sitting on the ground* while being tased as part of a routine training are in danger of becoming permanently wounded and disfigured.

    Finally, yes. I admit it openly. I find the notion of a person whose job includes using a particular weapon, who also happens to “conduct a study” entirely on their own to prove the safe nature of that weapon, to be a little bit less than legitimate. I am not assuming that all police officers get a kick out of tasing people, (in fact, as you can see from the article, there are actually multiple police officers who themselves have said that it is an unsafe weapon), but I am more than willing to say that scientific or investigative studies should be performed by sources which have no potential bias at all. Would we appoint Dick Cheney to head an investigation into torture under the Bush administration? Would we appoint Al Capone to head a movement to arrest all the gangsters in America? The very notion is ludicrous. It’s not that I don’t trust people. I simply don’t believe in putting Bugs Bunny in charge of a Wabbit Hunt.

  185. ugh, jane…. still stuck on “Five Scenerios” eh?

    Techically you have 300+ scenerios in which people died after being tazed where it was not proved that the actual act of being tazed killed them. Those ARE your “5 scenerios”

    In no particular order:

    1) Heart attack – caused by stress from fighting with family members AND police prior to tazing (sheesh! the police in this case were on scene for 9 minutes before they tazed the kid. I think that pretty much shoots your “multiple other ways to subdue people besides using a taser or a gun. It’s not as if the police have no other options before them for handling situations like this one.” The police exercised those multiple options already only to be met by the kids fists.)

    2) Brain or Aortic Aneurysm (sp?) that could have ruptured from same stressful situations above – prior to tazing

    3) Heat exhaustion/dehydration brought on by fighting for an extended amount of time.

    4) Exercise induced asthma (which would explain his vomiting)

    5) Excited Delirium

    6) Long term and immediate effects of drug and alcohol use. I add this because they are a factor in over 70% of the taser cases including this one.

    Now as for your remark that:

    “The study that Reserve Officer provided was conducted by one single individual, who was a police officer to boot. So overlooking the fact that the man who conducted the study had everything to gain by misrepresenting figures and facts, this study hardly has any credibility because it has not been duplicated with similar results dozens of times over. (Yes, dozens of times over. Scientists don’t decide that something’s true after one independent investigation by a potentially biased source.)”

    Studies have been done numerous times and reached the same conclusions as the study that I cited. You assume that I am saying “stop studying because studies so far have proven them safe” which is not what I am saying. Also, to discredit the study because it was done by a police officer is short cited on your part. It is clear that you assume the worst of character when it comes to a person that is a police officer, thus your remark that “he had everything to gain by misrepresenting the facts”. You are immediately assuming this police officer is a biased, immoral, untrustworthy person and that is where you are wrong. You are assuming that that officer thinks along the lines of “hey, this badge gives me the authority to bully, and take from, and beat and taze and mace anyone that I want to – all protected by the shield of law enforcement”. You have missed the whole point of me describing how police officers have procedures to protect themselves from accusations of abuse as well as protecting those in their care from being abused. While everyone has their own reason for joining law enforcement, I can guarantee you that you will never have an officer answer to the question why they joined.. “so I can shoot and kill someone” I can guarantee you that most of the officers will answer “to give something back to the community”

    I feel sorry for you Jane if you trust nobody, if you feel that everyone on the planet is out to take something away from you be it your rights or property, if you feel that you can not trust anyone. That is a sad existence.

  186. Reserve Officer,

    There you go again attacking people personally.

    Anyway, the point is you are purposefully looking the other way regarding these tasers. Don’t you *want* to know if tasers can cause death? Do you even care? You are really going to try and say that in 300+ cases, these citizens (I forget the demeaning names you used to describe them, but I call them citizens) just so happened to have a heart attack or a brain aneurysm or died from exhaustion or asthma immediately following being tased?

    Whether it is POSSIBLE or not, can you at least admit it isn’t concrete? Can you say with 100% certainty that all of those people died of other causes? If you can’t, then you are agreeing with us, only you are saying you don’t care about the truth and we shouldn’t either. If you can, then I’d like to see your proof.

    Thanks.

  187. The scenarios which you provided, first, are broad speculations which could never be concluded certainly. All of those medical conditions have also occurred to individuals who were not exerting themselves by running or fighting.

    Secondly, they hardly apply to this individual, Officer Peterson, who, during a planned tasing experience, “fell hard on her neck and fast into the rabbit hole — traumatic internal disc disruption, steroid injections, surgical reconstruction, temporomandibular derangement, persistent dizziness, cognitive defects, numbness, vertigo.” (This is from an article published by The Las Vegas Sun at http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/23/cops-raise-taser-safety-claims/). Peterson and two other officers have sued Taser International Inc., which “failed to adequately warn the police department of the potential for injury and minimized the risks of being shocked, which officers had been assured was not only safe but advisable.” The article goes on to say, “The changes Metro made in Taser training policies — which include ceasing the practice of shocking officers during training — may speak louder than any public defense the police, or Taser, have made for the device.”

    So what we have established from this story is that there have been multiple instances where a person who was not exerting themselves in any form or fashion, but was actually literally kneeling on the ground, was still severely and permanently injured from a taser attack. In fact, some of these officers say that they were not adequately warned about the dangers of the taser hit. I wonder how many people who are hit by tasers in real-life situations are given any warning at all, even one which minimizes the risks of being tased.

    Furthermore, this particular city has actually stopped requiring police to be tased as part of their training because they are concerned that more officers will be severely injured. And yet they continue to use the taser, the purportedly non-lethal and only temporarily harmful weapon, on regular citizens.

    This is the kind of irresponsibility I’m talking about.

    Never mind that even some police officers have said that the taser is not a safe way to “subdue” people. Never mind that the one study that has “proven” the safety of tasers was conducted by one individual, who was, yes, a police officer. Never mind that a sheriff named Bill Young has said, “It is my professional opinion that Taser intentionally downplayed the risk of Taser M26 shocks to sell its product to police officers.” (That quotation was also given in the article.)

    Never mind all of these facts, because taking tasers off the streets would be too hard and too inconvenient and would require too much paperwork. Your defense of the notion that we should allow the police to continue using a weapon which has been implicated at the very least in the deaths and in the maimings of hundreds of people, for no better reason than because to do so would be a lot *easier* than the alternative, is not only illogical, unethical, unprofessional, and undemocratic. It’s just lazy.

    You’ve also suggested that there are other studies out there which have proven the safety of tasers. Even if they do exist, I’m not likely to buy into them when it seems even police officers *sitting on the ground* while being tased as part of a routine training are in danger of becoming permanently wounded and disfigured.

    Finally, yes. I admit it openly. I find the notion of a person whose job includes using a particular weapon, who also happens to “conduct a study” entirely on their own to prove the safe nature of that weapon, to be a little bit less than legitimate. I am not assuming that all police officers get a kick out of tasing people, (in fact, as you can see from the article, there are actually multiple police officers who themselves have said that it is an unsafe weapon), but I am more than willing to say that scientific or investigative studies should be performed by sources which have no potential bias at all. Would we appoint Dick Cheney to head an investigation into torture under the Bush administration? Would we appoint Al Capone to head a movement to arrest all the gangsters in America? The very notion is ludicrous. It’s not that I don’t trust people. I simply don’t believe in putting Bugs Bunny in charge of a Wabbit Hunt.

  188. Finally, yes. I admit it openly. I find the notion of a person whose job includes using a particular weapon, who also happens to “conduct a study” entirely on their own to prove the safe nature of that weapon, to be a little bit less than legitimate.

    This study was not to PROVE the safe nature of the weapon, it was to determine whether it is a safe alternative to other more extreme/permanent/dangerous tactics to subdue someone. The author of the study did not say prior to his study that tasers were safe and he would find the statistics to back it up – that wouldn't be a study then would it? No. He said that based on his personal experience he sees one thing, yet media and other sources are saying quite the contrary about the same issue so he gathered and studied case information and came to the conclusion from this study that tasers are safe.

    "Would we appoint Dick Cheney to head an investigation into torture under the Bush administration?"

    Why not? Innocent until proven guilty by trial as you have cried all along about taser incidents. Cheney hasn't been convicted of anything – or even formally accused of committing any crimes of torture – yet you ASSUME that he is guilty because that is what you read in the news and on AI.

    Anyhoo – back on track. Like i have said all along, tasers – IN MY OPINION – are safe. I never said don't continue to study the harmful effects – if any.

  189. Finally, yes. I admit it openly. I find the notion of a person whose job includes using a particular weapon, who also happens to “conduct a study” entirely on their own to prove the safe nature of that weapon, to be a little bit less than legitimate.

    This study was not to PROVE the safe nature of the weapon, it was to determine whether it is a safe alternative to other more extreme/permanent/dangerous tactics to subdue someone. The author of the study did not say prior to his study that tasers were safe and he would find the statistics to back it up – that wouldn’t be a study then would it? No. He said that based on his personal experience he sees one thing, yet media and other sources are saying quite the contrary about the same issue so he gathered and studied case information and came to the conclusion from this study that tasers are safe.

    “Would we appoint Dick Cheney to head an investigation into torture under the Bush administration?”

    Why not? Innocent until proven guilty by trial as you have cried all along about taser incidents. Cheney hasn’t been convicted of anything – or even formally accused of committing any crimes of torture – yet you ASSUME that he is guilty because that is what you read in the news and on AI.

    Anyhoo – back on track. Like i have said all along, tasers – IN MY OPINION – are safe. I never said don’t continue to study the harmful effects – if any.

  190. Your complete silence regarding the permanent maiming of the police officers referenced in the Las Vegas Sun article says more than enough. In fact, not a single argument which I made regarding that article was so much as mentioned by you. You only focused on mundane and ultimately meaningless arguments. It doesn't even matter that the man who conducted the lone study in defense of tasers was himself a police officer. It doesn't matter that you don't find the Bush administration to have been "proven guilty," or that you honestly think Dick Cheney would not be a biased source in an investigation of torture.

    None of these things ultimately matter because there is actual, verifiable evidence that there have been both murders and severe, permanent injuries which resulted from being tased, many of which could *not* have been the fault of other medical conditions, because those who were hit by the taser were actually kneeling on the ground while it happened. If being hit by the taser while kneeling on the ground can cause traumatic internal disc disruption, cognitive defects, and can require surgical reconstruction, can you honestly be that surprised that someone who experienced all that with an elevated heart rate died as a result?

    And after all this, you have never once disputed the argument that even if only one in a million people were ever murdered or maimed because of being hit by a taser, (which is hardly true), it would still be the responsiblity of police departments and voting citizens to ensure that that uncontrollable weapon, which was made or shot in such a way that it caused the random death of a human being for no justifiable reason, was taken off of the streets. To not do so would be the height of irresponsibility and would also be a textbook case of criminal legligence.

    I don't really understand how you can argue that tasers are safe, most especially after the testimonies of police officers openly saying that the taser's dangers have been downplayed to make police departments buy them and officers be unsuspectingly permanently injured during routine trainings. But regardless of your reasoning behind this opinion, it is just that. An opinion, which has been proven undeniably to be inaccurate by legitimate evidence and professional testimonies.

    By this point in time, I've seen no valid or reasonable evidence or persuasive argumentation whatsoever in defense of the use of tasers. I doubt Officer Peterson or Brett Elder's family have, either.

  191. Your complete silence regarding the permanent maiming of the police officers referenced in the Las Vegas Sun article says more than enough. In fact, not a single argument which I made regarding that article was so much as mentioned by you. You only focused on mundane and ultimately meaningless arguments. It doesn’t even matter that the man who conducted the lone study in defense of tasers was himself a police officer. It doesn’t matter that you don’t find the Bush administration to have been “proven guilty,” or that you honestly think Dick Cheney would not be a biased source in an investigation of torture.

    None of these things ultimately matter because there is actual, verifiable evidence that there have been both murders and severe, permanent injuries which resulted from being tased, many of which could *not* have been the fault of other medical conditions, because those who were hit by the taser were actually kneeling on the ground while it happened. If being hit by the taser while kneeling on the ground can cause traumatic internal disc disruption, cognitive defects, and can require surgical reconstruction, can you honestly be that surprised that someone who experienced all that with an elevated heart rate died as a result?

    And after all this, you have never once disputed the argument that even if only one in a million people were ever murdered or maimed because of being hit by a taser, (which is hardly true), it would still be the responsiblity of police departments and voting citizens to ensure that that uncontrollable weapon, which was made or shot in such a way that it caused the random death of a human being for no justifiable reason, was taken off of the streets. To not do so would be the height of irresponsibility and would also be a textbook case of criminal legligence.

    I don’t really understand how you can argue that tasers are safe, most especially after the testimonies of police officers openly saying that the taser’s dangers have been downplayed to make police departments buy them and officers be unsuspectingly permanently injured during routine trainings. But regardless of your reasoning behind this opinion, it is just that. An opinion, which has been proven undeniably to be inaccurate by legitimate evidence and professional testimonies.

    By this point in time, I’ve seen no valid or reasonable evidence or persuasive argumentation whatsoever in defense of the use of tasers. I doubt Officer Peterson or Brett Elder’s family have, either.

  192. "Your complete silence regarding the permanent maiming of the police officers referenced in the Las Vegas Sun article says more than enough. In fact, not a single argument which I made regarding that article was so much as mentioned by you."

    Uh-no sorry my "silence" does not mean I agree with you. Odd how you hardly mention the studies that I posted already.

    "It doesn’t matter that you don’t find the Bush administration to have been “proven guilty,” or that you honestly think Dick Cheney would not be a biased source in an investigation of torture."

    How does this relate to this post and why do you keep bringing this up?

    Whether I approve or disapprove of the Bush administrations stance/policies on torture is irrelevant.

    Has anyone in the Bush administration been found guilty by a court of law for Illegal torture? No. I assume that you don't approve of the Bush administration and therefore you rush to quick judgment that he/they "must be" guilty when there has been no trial, yet on the other hand you throw a hissy when I refer to someone who is handcuffed in the back of a squad car after being caught committing a crime as a "scumbag criminal"- you present a hypocritical and illogical case here. One the one hand you claim that the Bush administration (and Cheney) has been proven guilty of torture when they have not been found guilty in a court of law. Then on the other, you claim that I am infringing on the rights of a person that has been arrested for being caught in the commission of a crime because I called them a "scumbag criminal"

    "testimonies of police officers openly saying that the taser’s dangers have been downplayed to make police departments buy them and officers be unsuspectingly permanently injured during routine trainings."

    For every police officer who claims this I can offer you many more that will claim the taser is a safe and effective way to diffuse a situation before it goes really bad.

    Again, read what I have said all along in this post. I am not saying don't continue to study the effects of tasers, the design of the taser, and a protocol for when it should and shouldn't be used. I am saying that by banning it completely until "proof" of it's safety (or lack of) can be offered is insane. That is why I offered up the fast food issue, the cigarette issue, the alcohol issue, the family gun vs family pool issue… ALL PROVEN STATS, yet we are still free to eat, smoke, drink, and swim. Someone else in the post offered up the fact that more people are killed by elevators EACH YEAR than the cases of "taser deaths" in the last 10 years that you site – yet we get on them every day and nobody is calling to ban the use of elevators, nobody is calling for a ban of elevators until a congressional hearing/study on elevators can be performed!

    "proven undeniably to be inaccurate by legitimate evidence and professional testimonies"

    If this were true – then there would be no need for this post would there? Clearly there is still controversy. Funny how my opinion is "just an opinion" – which is true, but your opinion is "proven undeniably to be accurate by legitimate evidence and professional testimonies." Somehow all the pro-taser articles presented by me and others fail to fall into your category of "legitimate evidence and professional testimonies" . Why… simply because we choose to believe (as fact) what we want to believe and you choose to believe that tasers have murdered people.

    Now with regards to the officer who suffered "traumatic internal disc disruption, cognitive defects, and can require surgical reconstruction".

    We have already addressed the issue that injuries can occur when a subject falls from being tased so this is nothing new. If you notice in this article, it said that in this case the officers where "daisy chained". This means that they were lined up side by side, held each others hands, had one electrode hooked at each end of the chain of people, allowing for one taser shock to travel from person to person. The problem with the "daisy chain" technique is two-fold. First there is nobody there to catch the person being tased and ease them safely to the ground. Second, the people on either side will actually pull the center person toward the ground with greater force than the person would experience had they been tased alone. It is for these reasons exactly that the "daisy chain" technique is no longer used and why there are two spotters, one on each side of the subject being tased. Does this make the officers injuries or their opinions less valid? Of course not. But like all new technologies, we continue to learn even though the product/service has gone through thorough testing before being released to the public.

  193. “Your complete silence regarding the permanent maiming of the police officers referenced in the Las Vegas Sun article says more than enough. In fact, not a single argument which I made regarding that article was so much as mentioned by you.”

    Uh-no sorry my “silence” does not mean I agree with you. Odd how you hardly mention the studies that I posted already.

    “It doesn’t matter that you don’t find the Bush administration to have been “proven guilty,” or that you honestly think Dick Cheney would not be a biased source in an investigation of torture.”

    How does this relate to this post and why do you keep bringing this up?

    Whether I approve or disapprove of the Bush administrations stance/policies on torture is irrelevant.

    Has anyone in the Bush administration been found guilty by a court of law for Illegal torture? No. I assume that you don’t approve of the Bush administration and therefore you rush to quick judgment that he/they “must be” guilty when there has been no trial, yet on the other hand you throw a hissy when I refer to someone who is handcuffed in the back of a squad car after being caught committing a crime as a “scumbag criminal”- you present a hypocritical and illogical case here. One the one hand you claim that the Bush administration (and Cheney) has been proven guilty of torture when they have not been found guilty in a court of law. Then on the other, you claim that I am infringing on the rights of a person that has been arrested for being caught in the commission of a crime because I called them a “scumbag criminal”

    “testimonies of police officers openly saying that the taser’s dangers have been downplayed to make police departments buy them and officers be unsuspectingly permanently injured during routine trainings.”

    For every police officer who claims this I can offer you many more that will claim the taser is a safe and effective way to diffuse a situation before it goes really bad.

    Again, read what I have said all along in this post. I am not saying don’t continue to study the effects of tasers, the design of the taser, and a protocol for when it should and shouldn’t be used. I am saying that by banning it completely until “proof” of it’s safety (or lack of) can be offered is insane. That is why I offered up the fast food issue, the cigarette issue, the alcohol issue, the family gun vs family pool issue… ALL PROVEN STATS, yet we are still free to eat, smoke, drink, and swim. Someone else in the post offered up the fact that more people are killed by elevators EACH YEAR than the cases of “taser deaths” in the last 10 years that you site – yet we get on them every day and nobody is calling to ban the use of elevators, nobody is calling for a ban of elevators until a congressional hearing/study on elevators can be performed!

    “proven undeniably to be inaccurate by legitimate evidence and professional testimonies”

    If this were true – then there would be no need for this post would there? Clearly there is still controversy. Funny how my opinion is “just an opinion” – which is true, but your opinion is “proven undeniably to be accurate by legitimate evidence and professional testimonies.” Somehow all the pro-taser articles presented by me and others fail to fall into your category of “legitimate evidence and professional testimonies” . Why… simply because we choose to believe (as fact) what we want to believe and you choose to believe that tasers have murdered people.

    Now with regards to the officer who suffered “traumatic internal disc disruption, cognitive defects, and can require surgical reconstruction”.

    We have already addressed the issue that injuries can occur when a subject falls from being tased so this is nothing new. If you notice in this article, it said that in this case the officers where “daisy chained”. This means that they were lined up side by side, held each others hands, had one electrode hooked at each end of the chain of people, allowing for one taser shock to travel from person to person. The problem with the “daisy chain” technique is two-fold. First there is nobody there to catch the person being tased and ease them safely to the ground. Second, the people on either side will actually pull the center person toward the ground with greater force than the person would experience had they been tased alone. It is for these reasons exactly that the “daisy chain” technique is no longer used and why there are two spotters, one on each side of the subject being tased. Does this make the officers injuries or their opinions less valid? Of course not. But like all new technologies, we continue to learn even though the product/service has gone through thorough testing before being released to the public.

  194. You first claimed that I ignored the evidence which you’ve provided just as you’ve ignored the evidence which I’ve presented. However, I did answer the one study which you provided, by saying first, that it was only one study, whereas there should be a vast number of studies made before tasers are assumed to be safe, second, that the study was only conducted by one person, where it should have been conducted by multiple individuals, third, that the individual who conducted the study was potentially biased and therefore the study had no scientific value, fourth, that the study was disproven entirely not only by the hundreds of instances where people have died from being tased, but also by the examples given of police officers who were also severely maimed after being tased, and fifth and finally, that even if by some miracle of the heavens the statistics worked in your favor on this issue, we would still have an ethical and a democratic obligation to ensure that the “non-lethal” weapons the police use are actually, genuinely non-lethal long before they are put on the streets.

    By the way, this particular argument is yet another one which you have completely neglected throughout this debate. Why should anyone who is engaging in a discussion with you go to the trouble of perpetually answering or accounting for every argument which you make (which I and others have attempted to do consistently) when you yourself only ever address those arguments which you have answers to?

    Like this torture issue. I stated that it does not matter and is ultimately irrelevant. In fact, my exact words as you quoted them were “It doesn’t matter that…” Yet you pretended that I was trying to continue that discussion, taking the opportunity to waste time and space arguing with me over an issue which I rejected a continued discussion of.

    You claim to be able to prove that there are many police officers who believe that tasers are safe. But where is the evidence here? I have provided the testimonies of three officers from the Las Vegas Sun article alone who have spoken out against the taser. The only source you have cited is yourself.

    Furthermore, you argued that because there are other things in the world which are dangerous, it “is insane” to shelf the taser for being dangerous as well. However, the difference between hamburgers and tasers is that government officials are not armed with any of these random objects which you’ve listed, while they *are* armed with tasers, a weapon which they claim to be non-lethal, despite the fact that it has been implicated at the very least with the deaths of over 300 people. We voluntarily choose to swim and to use elevators, knowing that there are some dangers in their uses. That choice is taken out of our hands when it comes to tasers, when police officers use a weapon with totally unpredictable effects on us, knowingly attacking us with something that may only immobilize us, or that may kill us instantaneously. The element of voluntary choice is the most critical element here.

    Whether you or I view our positions on the use of tasers as opinions, as beliefs, or as verifiable observations, is again, largely irrelevant. However, I will stand by my argument that your “belief” in the safety of tasers is not backed up by any legitimate evidence whatsoever, whereas there are hundreds of examples of deaths and severe injuries which have a direct link to tasers.

    Finally, the only argument which you provided against the evidence which I gave was that the reason for the officer’s injury was due to the “daisy chain” which she was a part of. In fact, you even openly admit that most police officers are now tased where they can be easily caught by others before hitting the ground. This actually reinforces my argument that police officers are being hypocritical in their use of the taser. Why should officers experience the taser with two “spotters” next to them and in highly safe, controlled situations when civilians who are being tased will have no such protection? There is nothing to keep a civilian who is tased from falling on their neck or on their head. Furthermore, a civilian will not be standing perfectly still, mentally preparing for the pain, or kneeling on the ground in a relaxed position when they are hit. If the tasers are so undeniably safe to use, why do the police feel it’s necessary to create special, extra precautions for their officers when they are the ones being hit? This is yet another one of the multiple arguments from the opposing side which you have completely ignored, and in choosing to do so, you have delegitimized your entire stance.

  195. Jane,

    You'll note that I actually provided two articles.

    You are failing to hold the "victim" accountable for their actions/decisions. It's simple, obey the commands of law enforcement to stop fighting (or whatever crime you are currently committing) and you will avoid being tased. So I guess I do see that as a decision as easily made as choosing to smoke or not, choosing to eat a 3 pound triple bacon cheeseburger every day for lunch.

    "We voluntarily choose to swim and to use elevators, knowing that there are some dangers in their uses."

    So you're saying that it is OK if someone dies because a malfunctioning elevator because they knew the risk that the elevator presented when they got on it? Aren't elevators inspected yearly for the very reason to make sure they are safe? Yet they are not 100% safe still. Unlike responding to a domestic assault call, there is no violent situation in the use of an elevator, no weapons, no fighting, nobody jacked on drugs or alcohol, yet you think it is OK that people die from elevators at the same rate that people MAY die from being tased during a situation where all of the above forces may be a factor?

    Sure, swimming is dangerous and yet people still die in the family swimming pool, or at a beach with a lifeguard on duty. Does this mean that we should suspend all lifeguards and look at how they are trained, meanwhile banning anyone from swimming? Should the lifeguard who had someone die on their watch be charged with murder because they failed to prevent it? This all sounds ridiculous doesn't it, but you are using the same logic in your argument against tasers. This is where you accuse me of using "vague situations" or broad generalizations etc etc.

    Doesn't the subject who is disobeying police or causing a violent situation know that there is a risk for danger to themselves? I think it's called "common sense". Dangerous situations are dangerous – simple enough.

    You want an absolutely, 100% safe outcome for everyone involved in a dangerous situation and that is unrealistic.

    "You claim to be able to prove that there are many police officers who believe that tasers are safe. But where is the evidence here?"

    Where is the evidence here? You have got to be kidding right? The evidence is in the fact that just about every major city and most suburbs or small towns endorse and carry tasers! That is your "evidence"! Heck, there is a Facebook group for the support of taser use and it alone has almost 9,820 members – not all of them law enforcement. But don't believe me… go and do your own research – beyond reading AI – and do what I have suggested. Go talk to some of your local law enforcement and ask their opinion of it's effectiveness in a dangerous situation and it's potential for injuries/death. Most of them will tell you they hope they never use it but are glad to have it as an alternative to the use of a baton or gun. It's all about the Use of Force Continuum.

    Results of a quick google search: http://www.salisburypost.com/Area/040109-taser-sihttp://www.physorg.com/news111080086.html http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/84955.ph

    Interestingly enough look what I found… http://www.wnem.com/news/19432798/detail.html

    "BAY CITY, Mich. — TV5 has learned the coroner in Bay City has ruled on the death of Brett Elder, the Bay City teen who died after being shocked by police with a Taser.

    The Assistant Medical Examiner for Oakland County told TV5 that Elder died from a two-part cause of death.

    The first being alcohol induced delirium, confirming the witness accounts that the teen had been drinking.

    The second being the application of an electro-muscular disruptive device, or the Taser employed by police to subdue Elder."

    Draw your own conclusion… was the death of Elder caused solely by the taser as you have argued all along or not? Or was it part of a larger situation (him being drunk and acting violent – the points that I have been making) that caused his death?

    Would Brett have died if he were sober and tased?

    Would Brett have died if he was drunk and not tased?

    I don't know the answers to these questions. I can only share with you my opinions and experience.

  196. Jane,

    You'll note that I actually provided two articles.

    You are failing to hold the "victim" accountable for their actions/decisions. It's simple, obey the commands of law enforcement to stop fighting (or whatever crime you are currently committing) and you will avoid being tased. So I guess I do see that as a decision as easily made as choosing to smoke or not, choosing to eat a 3 pound triple bacon cheeseburger every day for lunch.

    "We voluntarily choose to swim and to use elevators, knowing that there are some dangers in their uses."

    So you're saying that it is OK if someone dies because a malfunctioning elevator because they knew the risk that the elevator presented when they got on it? Aren't elevators inspected yearly for the very reason to make sure they are safe? Yet they are not 100% safe still. Unlike responding to a domestic assault call, there is no violent situation in the use of an elevator, no weapons, no fighting, nobody jacked on drugs or alcohol, yet you think it is OK that people die from elevators at the same rate that people MAY die from being tased during a situation where all of the above forces may be a factor?

    Sure, swimming is dangerous and yet people still die in the family swimming pool, or at a beach with a lifeguard on duty. Does this mean that we should suspend all lifeguards and look at how they are trained, meanwhile banning anyone from swimming? Should the lifeguard who had someone die on their watch be charged with murder because they failed to prevent it? This all sounds ridiculous doesn't it, but you are using the same logic in your argument against tasers. This is where you accuse me of using "vague situations" or broad generalizations etc etc.

    Doesn't the subject who is disobeying police or causing a violent situation know that there is a risk for danger to themselves? I think it's called "common sense". Dangerous situations are dangerous – simple enough.

    You want an absolutely, 100% safe outcome for everyone involved in a dangerous situation and that is unrealistic.

    "You claim to be able to prove that there are many police officers who believe that tasers are safe. But where is the evidence here?"

    Where is the evidence here? You have got to be kidding right? The evidence is in the fact that just about every major city and most suburbs or small towns endorse and carry tasers! That is your "evidence"! Heck, there is a Facebook group for the support of taser use and it alone has almost 9,820 members – not all of them law enforcement. But don't believe me… go and do your own research – beyond reading AI – and do what I have suggested. Go talk to some of your local law enforcement and ask their opinion of it's effectiveness in a dangerous situation and it's potential for injuries/death. Most of them will tell you they hope they never use it but are glad to have it as an alternative to the use of a baton or gun. It's all about the Use of Force Continuum.

    Results of a quick google search: http://www.salisburypost.com/Area/040109-taser-sihttp://www.physorg.com/news111080086.html http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/84955.ph

    Interestingly enough look what I found… http://www.wnem.com/news/19432798/detail.html

    "BAY CITY, Mich. — TV5 has learned the coroner in Bay City has ruled on the death of Brett Elder, the Bay City teen who died after being shocked by police with a Taser.

    The Assistant Medical Examiner for Oakland County told TV5 that Elder died from a two-part cause of death.

    The first being alcohol induced delirium, confirming the witness accounts that the teen had been drinking.

    The second being the application of an electro-muscular disruptive device, or the Taser employed by police to subdue Elder."

    Draw your own conclusion… was the death of Elder caused solely by the taser as you have argued all along or not? Or was it part of a larger situation (him being drunk and acting violent – the points that I have been making) that caused his death?

    Would Brett have died if he were sober and tased?

    Would Brett have died if he was drunk and not tased?

    I don't know the answers to these questions. I can only share with you my opinions and experience.

  197. Jane,

    You'll note that I actually provided two articles.

    You are failing to hold the "victim" accountable for their actions/decisions. It's simple, obey the commands of law enforcement to stop fighting (or whatever crime you are currently committing) and you will avoid being tased. So I guess I do see that as a decision as easily made as choosing to smoke or not, choosing to eat a 3 pound triple bacon cheeseburger every day for lunch.

    "We voluntarily choose to swim and to use elevators, knowing that there are some dangers in their uses."

    So you're saying that it is OK if someone dies because a malfunctioning elevator because they knew the risk that the elevator presented when they got on it? Aren't elevators inspected yearly for the very reason to make sure they are safe? Yet they are not 100% safe still. Unlike responding to a domestic assault call, there is no violent situation in the use of an elevator, no weapons, no fighting, nobody jacked on drugs or alcohol, yet you think it is OK that people die from elevators at the same rate that people MAY die from being tased during a situation where all of the above forces may be a factor?

    Sure, swimming is dangerous and yet people still die in the family swimming pool, or at a beach with a lifeguard on duty. Does this mean that we should suspend all lifeguards and look at how they are trained, meanwhile banning anyone from swimming? Should the lifeguard who had someone die on their watch be charged with murder because they failed to prevent it? This all sounds ridiculous doesn't it, but you are using the same logic in your argument against tasers. This is where you accuse me of using "vague situations" or broad generalizations etc etc.

    Doesn't the subject who is disobeying police or causing a violent situation know that there is a risk for danger to themselves? I think it's called "common sense". Dangerous situations are dangerous – simple enough.

    You want an absolutely, 100% safe outcome for everyone involved in a dangerous situation and that is unrealistic.

    "You claim to be able to prove that there are many police officers who believe that tasers are safe. But where is the evidence here?"

    Where is the evidence here? You have got to be kidding right? The evidence is in the fact that just about every major city and most suburbs or small towns endorse and carry tasers! That is your "evidence"! Heck, there is a Facebook group for the support of taser use and it alone has almost 9,820 members – not all of them law enforcement. But don't believe me… go and do your own research – beyond reading AI – and do what I have suggested. Go talk to some of your local law enforcement and ask their opinion of it's effectiveness in a dangerous situation and it's potential for injuries/death. Most of them will tell you they hope they never use it but are glad to have it as an alternative to the use of a baton or gun. It's all about the Use of Force Continuum.

    Results of a quick google search: http://www.salisburypost.com/Area/040109-taser-sihttp://www.physorg.com/news111080086.html http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/84955.ph

    Interestingly enough look what I found… http://www.wnem.com/news/19432798/detail.html

    "BAY CITY, Mich. — TV5 has learned the coroner in Bay City has ruled on the death of Brett Elder, the Bay City teen who died after being shocked by police with a Taser.

    The Assistant Medical Examiner for Oakland County told TV5 that Elder died from a two-part cause of death.

    The first being alcohol induced delirium, confirming the witness accounts that the teen had been drinking.

    The second being the application of an electro-muscular disruptive device, or the Taser employed by police to subdue Elder."

    Draw your own conclusion… was the death of Elder caused solely by the taser as you have argued all along or not? Or was it part of a larger situation (him being drunk and acting violent – the points that I have been making) that caused his death?

    Would Brett have died if he were sober and tased?

    Would Brett have died if he was drunk and not tased?

    I don't know the answers to these questions. I can only share with you my opinions and experience.

  198. You first claimed that I ignored the evidence which you’ve provided just as you’ve ignored the evidence which I’ve presented. However, I did answer the one study which you provided, by saying first, that it was only one study, whereas there should be a vast number of studies made before tasers are assumed to be safe, second, that the study was only conducted by one person, where it should have been conducted by multiple individuals, third, that the individual who conducted the study was potentially biased and therefore the study had no scientific value, fourth, that the study was disproven entirely not only by the hundreds of instances where people have died from being tased, but also by the examples given of police officers who were also severely maimed after being tased, and fifth and finally, that even if by some miracle of the heavens the statistics worked in your favor on this issue, we would still have an ethical and a democratic obligation to ensure that the “non-lethal” weapons the police use are actually, genuinely non-lethal long before they are put on the streets.

    By the way, this particular argument is yet another one which you have completely neglected throughout this debate. Why should anyone who is engaging in a discussion with you go to the trouble of perpetually answering or accounting for every argument which you make (which I and others have attempted to do consistently) when you yourself only ever address those arguments which you have answers to?

    Like this torture issue. I stated that it does not matter and is ultimately irrelevant. In fact, my exact words as you quoted them were “It doesn’t matter that…” Yet you pretended that I was trying to continue that discussion, taking the opportunity to waste time and space arguing with me over an issue which I rejected a continued discussion of.

    You claim to be able to prove that there are many police officers who believe that tasers are safe. But where is the evidence here? I have provided the testimonies of three officers from the Las Vegas Sun article alone who have spoken out against the taser. The only source you have cited is yourself.

    Furthermore, you argued that because there are other things in the world which are dangerous, it “is insane” to shelf the taser for being dangerous as well. However, the difference between hamburgers and tasers is that government officials are not armed with any of these random objects which you’ve listed, while they *are* armed with tasers, a weapon which they claim to be non-lethal, despite the fact that it has been implicated at the very least with the deaths of over 300 people. We voluntarily choose to swim and to use elevators, knowing that there are some dangers in their uses. That choice is taken out of our hands when it comes to tasers, when police officers use a weapon with totally unpredictable effects on us, knowingly attacking us with something that may only immobilize us, or that may kill us instantaneously. The element of voluntary choice is the most critical element here.

    Whether you or I view our positions on the use of tasers as opinions, as beliefs, or as verifiable observations, is again, largely irrelevant. However, I will stand by my argument that your “belief” in the safety of tasers is not backed up by any legitimate evidence whatsoever, whereas there are hundreds of examples of deaths and severe injuries which have a direct link to tasers.

    Finally, the only argument which you provided against the evidence which I gave was that the reason for the officer’s injury was due to the “daisy chain” which she was a part of. In fact, you even openly admit that most police officers are now tased where they can be easily caught by others before hitting the ground. This actually reinforces my argument that police officers are being hypocritical in their use of the taser. Why should officers experience the taser with two “spotters” next to them and in highly safe, controlled situations when civilians who are being tased will have no such protection? There is nothing to keep a civilian who is tased from falling on their neck or on their head. Furthermore, a civilian will not be standing perfectly still, mentally preparing for the pain, or kneeling on the ground in a relaxed position when they are hit. If the tasers are so undeniably safe to use, why do the police feel it’s necessary to create special, extra precautions for their officers when they are the ones being hit? This is yet another one of the multiple arguments from the opposing side which you have completely ignored, and in choosing to do so, you have delegitimized your entire stance.

  199. Jane,

    You’ll note that I actually provided two articles.

    You are failing to hold the “victim” accountable for their actions/decisions. It’s simple, obey the commands of law enforcement to stop fighting (or whatever crime you are currently committing) and you will avoid being tased. So I guess I do see that as a decision as easily made as choosing to smoke or not, choosing to eat a 3 pound triple bacon cheeseburger every day for lunch.

    “We voluntarily choose to swim and to use elevators, knowing that there are some dangers in their uses.”

    So you’re saying that it is OK if someone dies because a malfunctioning elevator because they knew the risk that the elevator presented when they got on it? Aren’t elevators inspected yearly for the very reason to make sure they are safe? Yet they are not 100% safe still. Unlike responding to a domestic assault call, there is no violent situation in the use of an elevator, no weapons, no fighting, nobody jacked on drugs or alcohol, yet you think it is OK that people die from elevators at the same rate that people MAY die from being tased during a situation where all of the above forces may be a factor?

    Sure, swimming is dangerous and yet people still die in the family swimming pool, or at a beach with a lifeguard on duty. Does this mean that we should suspend all lifeguards and look at how they are trained, meanwhile banning anyone from swimming? Should the lifeguard who had someone die on their watch be charged with murder because they failed to prevent it? This all sounds ridiculous doesn’t it, but you are using the same logic in your argument against tasers. This is where you accuse me of using “vague situations” or broad generalizations etc etc.

    Doesn’t the subject who is disobeying police or causing a violent situation know that there is a risk for danger to themselves? I think it’s called “common sense”. Dangerous situations are dangerous – simple enough.

    You want an absolutely, 100% safe outcome for everyone involved in a dangerous situation and that is unrealistic.

    “You claim to be able to prove that there are many police officers who believe that tasers are safe. But where is the evidence here?”

    Where is the evidence here? You have got to be kidding right? The evidence is in the fact that just about every major city and most suburbs or small towns endorse and carry tasers! That is your “evidence”! Heck, there is a Facebook group for the support of taser use and it alone has almost 9,820 members – not all of them law enforcement. But don’t believe me… go and do your own research – beyond reading AI – and do what I have suggested. Go talk to some of your local law enforcement and ask their opinion of it’s effectiveness in a dangerous situation and it’s potential for injuries/death. Most of them will tell you they hope they never use it but are glad to have it as an alternative to the use of a baton or gun. It’s all about the Use of Force Continuum.

    Results of a quick google search:
    http://www.salisburypost.com/Area/040109-taser-sidebar
    http://www.physorg.com/news111080086.html
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/84955.php

    Interestingly enough look what I found…
    http://www.wnem.com/news/19432798/detail.html

    “BAY CITY, Mich. — TV5 has learned the coroner in Bay City has ruled on the death of Brett Elder, the Bay City teen who died after being shocked by police with a Taser.

    The Assistant Medical Examiner for Oakland County told TV5 that Elder died from a two-part cause of death.

    The first being alcohol induced delirium, confirming the witness accounts that the teen had been drinking.

    The second being the application of an electro-muscular disruptive device, or the Taser employed by police to subdue Elder.”

    Draw your own conclusion… was the death of Elder caused solely by the taser as you have argued all along or not? Or was it part of a larger situation (him being drunk and acting violent – the points that I have been making) that caused his death?

    Would Brett have died if he were sober and tased?

    Would Brett have died if he was drunk and not tased?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions. I can only share with you my opinions and experience.

  200. Reserve Officer-

    You say you think the tasers should be studied more. Why? (I mean you seem to have no doubts whatsoever about their safety.)

  201. Genelle,

    I think elevator deaths should be studied more but I use them with a realistic sense of safety.

    Because of the fact that I am not against further studies of taser effects does not mean that I am agreeing with you that they are unsafe.

    Studies will only prove the safety of the taser – or disprove it. I can show you studies that conclude it is safe and you can show me studies that say otherwise. There is a difference between reality and opinion. My opinion is that they are safe and effective tools when used correctly.

  202. Reserve Officer-

    You say you think the tasers should be studied more. Why? (I mean you seem to have no doubts whatsoever about their safety.)

  203. Genelle,

    I think elevator deaths should be studied more but I use them with a realistic sense of safety.

    Because of the fact that I am not against further studies of taser effects does not mean that I am agreeing with you that they are unsafe.

    Studies will only prove the safety of the taser – or disprove it. I can show you studies that conclude it is safe and you can show me studies that say otherwise. There is a difference between reality and opinion. My opinion is that they are safe and effective tools when used correctly.

  204. Reserve Officer,

    You first addressed the issue of why police should be tased in ultra-controlled, extra-safe situations when civilians are tased without any warning whatsoever and in no position to ensure that long-term harm doesn’t come to them when this happens. I would think that the reason this is unjust is rather obvious. If, as you claim and have claimed, tasers are a weapon which is safe and effective the vast majority of the time they’re used, it makes no sense at all that the police should be given special circumstances and treatment when they are experiencing the taser. The fact that most police departments use the taser on their officers under very carefully controlled situations is, in and of itself, a recognition of the huge potential for danger which comes with using the weapon.

    Furthermore, the difference between choosing to smoke and “choosing” to be tased, or rather, being accused but not yet convicted of committing a crime, is that the former will almost always lead to death, as scientific studies have proven countless times over. The latter is only ever supposed to lead to temporary immobilization. The taser is *never* supposed to kill. The police do not and should not ever have the right to sentence human beings to death or to execute them without a fair trial. This is a simple enough standard for police to comply with. Furthermore, at the point when tasers, weapons which have killed people in documented cases, are used by the police to “immobilize,” they have no purpose whatsoever and the police might as well pull out their guns and murder civilians in cold blood, because they are hardly merely stunning them.

    While it is true that elevators are inspected for safety standards, civilians are not forced to ride on elevators by government officials. The police do not determine someone’s fate by making them take an action which has risks, while the police do use a weapon which fires in such a random way that it can murder people. Again, this is a very simple question of whether or not you think it’s a good idea for the police to play Russian roulette with the lives of civilians.

    Continuing on, you argued that stopping the use of tasers is equivalent to forcing people to stop swimming and blaming lifeguards. These situations have no correlation whatsoever, first, because people choose to go swimming, while police officers force the taser upon them, second, because there are signs outside of public pools warning people of the dangers they can pose, while there is no warning given before a taser is used, and third and finally, because we would indeed charge a lifeguard with murder for standing idly by while someone drowned, never even mind for being the one who shot the weapon responsible for the drowning.

    Consequently, the most ironic part of this entire debate has been the point at which you ignore my entire argument on why ignoring every argument which your opponent presents entirely defeats the purpose of a debate. Next time you post a reply, I guess I’ll just pick out some random paragraph you wrote and only ever discuss that one. At least then I won’t be pouring effort and quality argumentation into a discussion which my opponent doesn’t seem to care enough about to bother being thorough with.

    As for the links to the articles which you posted, one article only cited a few officers from a lone city department in favor of tasers, and two articles actually referred to the same exact study of tasers. Furthermore, even if we were to assume that this study is entirely credible (though the Medical News Today article which you cited directly states that “one drawback of the study that has been raised is that it only examines the after effects of the use of the weapon” and that there are many in the scientific community who are not convinced by it), the study does openly acknowledge that there are cases where severe injury directly results from being tased. The notion that “the question is 'how likely is it to cause a significant injury' and whether that risk of injury outweighs the benefits it brings” is utterly ridiculous. Whatever “benefits” are brought about from the use of the taser are immediately and completely nullified when an unjust and brutally violent action is taken against a citizen, resulting in long-term harm to them. That is it.

    Finally, you continue to act as if anyone here has suggested that Brett Elder was not involved with an altercation with police and was not potentially intoxicated. We have not said that. We have stated, though, that regardless of the surrounding situations, a civilian should never be attacked with a weapon that even has a slight potential to kill or maim them, most especially when they are attacked in this way and the police do not even know it. Being publicly intoxicated is not a death penalty offense. Neither is fighting off the police. But even if you believe that they should be, acting as though a person should be executed on the spot for such a crime is entirely rejecting all notions of democracy and justice. What laws will the police enforce when they have single-handedly nullified them all?

    You sated that I “want an absolutely, 100% safe outcome for everyone involved in a dangerous situation.” This is hardly the case. But here’s what I would like. I would like for the average 15-year-old who has gotten into a public scuffle to not be killed for it. I would like to live in a country where when my police departments tell me that a weapon they use is non-lethal, it is consistently and actually and provably non-lethal. And I don’t think that these things that I would like are “unrealistic” at all. Not only are they manageable, but they are already enforced in many other countries. If my country is the best in the world, why is it that my police can shoot me with a weapon while genuinely unsure of what that weapon will do to me?

  205. "BONK BONK BONK BONK"

    That is the sound of me beating my head on the wall.

    This time I turn in my resignation. It appears clear to me that you are not interested in learning the facts of the taser, or law enforcement procedures, whether or not you agree with me or not on this particular issue.

    I tried, but I have better things to do. Thank you for sharing your viewpoints. I am glad to have had the experience to discuss this issue with you and learn what you think about it. I am also glad that you are passionate about it – even if you disagree with me on the subject.

    Best of luck in life!

    Reserve Officer

  206. Reserve Officer,

    You first addressed the issue of why police should be tased in ultra-controlled, extra-safe situations when civilians are tased without any warning whatsoever and in no position to ensure that long-term harm doesn’t come to them when this happens. I would think that the reason this is unjust is rather obvious. If, as you claim and have claimed, tasers are a weapon which is safe and effective the vast majority of the time they’re used, it makes no sense at all that the police should be given special circumstances and treatment when they are experiencing the taser. The fact that most police departments use the taser on their officers under very carefully controlled situations is, in and of itself, a recognition of the huge potential for danger which comes with using the weapon.

    Furthermore, the difference between choosing to smoke and “choosing” to be tased, or rather, being accused but not yet convicted of committing a crime, is that the former will almost always lead to death, as scientific studies have proven countless times over. The latter is only ever supposed to lead to temporary immobilization. The taser is *never* supposed to kill. The police do not and should not ever have the right to sentence human beings to death or to execute them without a fair trial. This is a simple enough standard for police to comply with. Furthermore, at the point when tasers, weapons which have killed people in documented cases, are used by the police to “immobilize,” they have no purpose whatsoever and the police might as well pull out their guns and murder civilians in cold blood, because they are hardly merely stunning them.

    While it is true that elevators are inspected for safety standards, civilians are not forced to ride on elevators by government officials. The police do not determine someone’s fate by making them take an action which has risks, while the police do use a weapon which fires in such a random way that it can murder people. Again, this is a very simple question of whether or not you think it’s a good idea for the police to play Russian roulette with the lives of civilians.

    Continuing on, you argued that stopping the use of tasers is equivalent to forcing people to stop swimming and blaming lifeguards. These situations have no correlation whatsoever, first, because people choose to go swimming, while police officers force the taser upon them, second, because there are signs outside of public pools warning people of the dangers they can pose, while there is no warning given before a taser is used, and third and finally, because we would indeed charge a lifeguard with murder for standing idly by while someone drowned, never even mind for being the one who shot the weapon responsible for the drowning.

    Consequently, the most ironic part of this entire debate has been the point at which you ignore my entire argument on why ignoring every argument which your opponent presents entirely defeats the purpose of a debate. Next time you post a reply, I guess I’ll just pick out some random paragraph you wrote and only ever discuss that one. At least then I won’t be pouring effort and quality argumentation into a discussion which my opponent doesn’t seem to care enough about to bother being thorough with.

    As for the links to the articles which you posted, one article only cited a few officers from a lone city department in favor of tasers, and two articles actually referred to the same exact study of tasers. Furthermore, even if we were to assume that this study is entirely credible (though the Medical News Today article which you cited directly states that “one drawback of the study that has been raised is that it only examines the after effects of the use of the weapon” and that there are many in the scientific community who are not convinced by it), the study does openly acknowledge that there are cases where severe injury directly results from being tased. The notion that “the question is ‘how likely is it to cause a significant injury’ and whether that risk of injury outweighs the benefits it brings” is utterly ridiculous. Whatever “benefits” are brought about from the use of the taser are immediately and completely nullified when an unjust and brutally violent action is taken against a citizen, resulting in long-term harm to them. That is it.

    Finally, you continue to act as if anyone here has suggested that Brett Elder was not involved with an altercation with police and was not potentially intoxicated. We have not said that. We have stated, though, that regardless of the surrounding situations, a civilian should never be attacked with a weapon that even has a slight potential to kill or maim them, most especially when they are attacked in this way and the police do not even know it. Being publicly intoxicated is not a death penalty offense. Neither is fighting off the police. But even if you believe that they should be, acting as though a person should be executed on the spot for such a crime is entirely rejecting all notions of democracy and justice. What laws will the police enforce when they have single-handedly nullified them all?

    You sated that I “want an absolutely, 100% safe outcome for everyone involved in a dangerous situation.” This is hardly the case. But here’s what I would like. I would like for the average 15-year-old who has gotten into a public scuffle to not be killed for it. I would like to live in a country where when my police departments tell me that a weapon they use is non-lethal, it is consistently and actually and provably non-lethal. And I don’t think that these things that I would like are “unrealistic” at all. Not only are they manageable, but they are already enforced in many other countries. If my country is the best in the world, why is it that my police can shoot me with a weapon while genuinely unsure of what that weapon will do to me?

  207. “BONK BONK BONK BONK”

    That is the sound of me beating my head on the wall.

    This time I turn in my resignation. It appears clear to me that you are not interested in learning the facts of the taser, or law enforcement procedures, whether or not you agree with me or not on this particular issue.

    I tried, but I have better things to do. Thank you for sharing your viewpoints. I am glad to have had the experience to discuss this issue with you and learn what you think about it. I am also glad that you are passionate about it – even if you disagree with me on the subject.

    Best of luck in life!

    Reserve Officer

  208. Anti Taser people fail to realize it is not the officers first line of defense and is reserved for either desperate or last measures.

    You take the tasers out of the hands of the police, and they are left with billy clubs and guns.

    I'm not going to waste my time googling some statistics or studies, but if given the choice of being shot, hit with a billy club or tasered I would choose the taser every day of the week and twice on sunday.

    Being a law-abiding citizen and raising my kids to know right from wrong and follow lawful orders from a police officers…this is not really an issue.

    If one of a ten thousand folks that needed to be tasered in order for police to subdue them dies and the taser can be partly to blame…that is a shame. It's still safer then getting shot or repeatly hit with a billy club in order to stop resisting.

    Good Luck,

  209. Anti Taser people fail to realize it is not the officers first line of defense and is reserved for either desperate or last measures.

    You take the tasers out of the hands of the police, and they are left with billy clubs and guns.

    I’m not going to waste my time googling some statistics or studies, but if given the choice of being shot, hit with a billy club or tasered I would choose the taser every day of the week and twice on sunday.

    Being a law-abiding citizen and raising my kids to know right from wrong and follow lawful orders from a police officers…this is not really an issue.

    If one of a ten thousand folks that needed to be tasered in order for police to subdue them dies and the taser can be partly to blame…that is a shame. It’s still safer then getting shot or repeatly hit with a billy club in order to stop resisting.

    Good Luck,

  210. Tasers over Guns,

    If being tased is so much safer than being shot the vast majority of the time, it makes no sense that police officers being tased would be given special circumstances and treatment. Several officers who were tased while quite literally kneeling on the ground still suffered from severe and permanent damage. The descriptions given of injuries officers expereinced were very gruesome; they're given in this article: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/23/cops-…. How is this kind of experience any better or less harmful than the expereince of being shot or beaten?

    Furthermore, even if you assume that the over 300 people who have died as a result of being tased were all to blame for the tasing, I think you'd be hard-pressed to defend the notion that a fifteen-year-old should be killed for making a mistake which almost every person makes at some point in thier lives. The police do not exist to exact the death penalty on civilians. Particularly not when using what the public is told is a "non-lethal" weapon.

    I can respect your position that a non-lethal weapon is better than a gun in situations like this one. But when even people shot with that weapon in specially controlled situations are severely and permanently maimed by it, can we honestly call that weapon "non-lethal" and "temporary?"

  211. Tasers over Guns,

    If being tased is so much safer than being shot the vast majority of the time, it makes no sense that police officers being tased would be given special circumstances and treatment. Several officers who were tased while quite literally kneeling on the ground still suffered from severe and permanent damage. The descriptions given of injuries officers expereinced were very gruesome; they're given in this article: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/23/cops-…. How is this kind of experience any better or less harmful than the expereince of being shot or beaten?

    Furthermore, even if you assume that the over 300 people who have died as a result of being tased were all to blame for the tasing, I think you'd be hard-pressed to defend the notion that a fifteen-year-old should be killed for making a mistake which almost every person makes at some point in thier lives. The police do not exist to exact the death penalty on civilians. Particularly not when using what the public is told is a "non-lethal" weapon.

    I can respect your position that a non-lethal weapon is better than a gun in situations like this one. But when even people shot with that weapon in specially controlled situations are severely and permanently maimed by it, can we honestly call that weapon "non-lethal" and "temporary?"

  212. Tasers over Guns,

    If being tased is so much safer than being shot the vast majority of the time, it makes no sense that police officers being tased would be given special circumstances and treatment. Several officers who were tased while quite literally kneeling on the ground still suffered from severe and permanent damage. The descriptions given of injuries officers expereinced were very gruesome; they're given in this article: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/23/cops-…. How is this kind of experience any better or less harmful than the expereince of being shot or beaten?

    Furthermore, even if you assume that the over 300 people who have died as a result of being tased were all to blame for the tasing, I think you'd be hard-pressed to defend the notion that a fifteen-year-old should be killed for making a mistake which almost every person makes at some point in thier lives. The police do not exist to exact the death penalty on civilians. Particularly not when using what the public is told is a "non-lethal" weapon.

    I can respect your position that a non-lethal weapon is better than a gun in situations like this one. But when even people shot with that weapon in specially controlled situations are severely and permanently maimed by it, can we honestly call that weapon "non-lethal" and "temporary?"

  213. Tasers over Guns,

    If being tased is so much safer than being shot the vast majority of the time, it makes no sense that police officers being tased would be given special circumstances and treatment. Several officers who were tased while quite literally kneeling on the ground still suffered from severe and permanent damage. The descriptions given of injuries officers expereinced were very gruesome; they’re given in this article: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/23/cops-raise-taser-safety-claims/. How is this kind of experience any better or less harmful than the expereince of being shot or beaten?

    Furthermore, even if you assume that the over 300 people who have died as a result of being tased were all to blame for the tasing, I think you’d be hard-pressed to defend the notion that a fifteen-year-old should be killed for making a mistake which almost every person makes at some point in thier lives. The police do not exist to exact the death penalty on civilians. Particularly not when using what the public is told is a “non-lethal” weapon.

    I can respect your position that a non-lethal weapon is better than a gun in situations like this one. But when even people shot with that weapon in specially controlled situations are severely and permanently maimed by it, can we honestly call that weapon “non-lethal” and “temporary?”

  214. Are you serious, or are you kidding me?

    Your quote: "If being tased is so much safer than being shot the vast majority of the time, it makes no sense that police officers being tased would be given special circumstances and treatment".

    Hmmm Well you got me there. When the police officers are lined up and shot with a revolver they don't get any special circumstances or treatment like they do when they get tasered. Ohhh Wait… since Guns kill people, being shot isn't part of any law enforcement training. I guess that proves MY POINT and not YOURS that being shot is a thousand times more dangerous then being tasered.

    My argument was that tasers are safer then the alternative (GUNS).

    Are you honestly suggesting that being tased is no safer then being shot?

    I don't suggest a 15 year old SHOULD be killed… AND Police Officers do not exist to implement the death penalty. I do however suggest the chances for his fatal injury (whether the direct or partial result of the taser) was much much much less likely then had the officer pulled out his handgun and fired a bullet at him.

    His death was a freak and unfortunate incident. His story is the exception. You'll never read the stories of the deaths and injuries that didn't happen (because they didn't happen). We will never know how many people (both suspects and law enforcement) that were saved because an officer used a taser instead of a gun.

  215. Are you serious, or are you kidding me?

    Your quote: “If being tased is so much safer than being shot the vast majority of the time, it makes no sense that police officers being tased would be given special circumstances and treatment”.

    Hmmm Well you got me there. When the police officers are lined up and shot with a revolver they don’t get any special circumstances or treatment like they do when they get tasered. Ohhh Wait… since Guns kill people, being shot isn’t part of any law enforcement training. I guess that proves MY POINT and not YOURS that being shot is a thousand times more dangerous then being tasered.

    My argument was that tasers are safer then the alternative (GUNS).

    Are you honestly suggesting that being tased is no safer then being shot?

    I don’t suggest a 15 year old SHOULD be killed… AND Police Officers do not exist to implement the death penalty. I do however suggest the chances for his fatal injury (whether the direct or partial result of the taser) was much much much less likely then had the officer pulled out his handgun and fired a bullet at him.

    His death was a freak and unfortunate incident. His story is the exception. You’ll never read the stories of the deaths and injuries that didn’t happen (because they didn’t happen). We will never know how many people (both suspects and law enforcement) that were saved because an officer used a taser instead of a gun.

  216. The common law and Model Penal Code state that "Deadly force may never be used to prevent a misdemeanor." That is the law.

    The safety of Taser gun technology cannot be predetermined, as evidenced by the 334 deaths in the US since 2001 as a direct result of the use of taser guns by police. The results are random and subjective, and no defense in law is available where the use of a taser gun by police to prevent a misdemeanor directly results in death.

  217. The common law and Model Penal Code state that “Deadly force may never be used to prevent a misdemeanor.” That is the law.

    The safety of Taser gun technology cannot be predetermined, as evidenced by the 334 deaths in the US since 2001 as a direct result of the use of taser guns by police. The results are random and subjective, and no defense in law is available where the use of a taser gun by police to prevent a misdemeanor directly results in death.

  218. you can talk crap about the tazer all u want fact of the mater is that they save lifes, and bones. remeber now we have peper sprtay and botans, bouth can be deadly just like the tazer but u dont see a story on how an officer saved his life by tazing some ass whipe and puting him away for god knows what, but this freaking society is so awsome that u guyz chose the bad guy all the time, lets make sure the bad guy has right, untill he breaks into your house rapes or murders your husaband your wife sister brother mother father no one thinks of that until it hapens to them then they call cops, and believe me a pearson in jail has way more rights than any man or woman walking free, cuz all their rights kick in and people like some of u just alow it. Dont give him death penalty dont this dont that. u want us to fight a war but u wanas to fight it with sunshine and rainbows while these assholes murder and rape at free will. so next time u get robed or raped or someone u love gets murderd dont call the cops call ur budys who are trying to help u take the tazer away from the cops , and see how far u get than…

  219. First of all, and I hate to get personal but, if this is how our officers spell we are screwed. Until everyone in America gets a proper education we are screwed. If all our citizens were educated to at least a twelth grade level and the culture of the coolness of dumbness crushed and a culture of pride and support in/for intelligence and education becomes the new hip then this us/ them mentality will never end.

  220. Ricksaunders, I can't agree with you more. I was shocked and appalled by what I read earlier this afternoon. I always hope that our education system is working, however the post by rossi46 proves it isn't.

    In response to rossi46, first off the question here is more or less if tasers are really helping or hurting the justice system. I feel that the introduction of tasers has hurt the ability of law enforcement from doing their job properly. I have a few examples here that I will bring up as I go.

    First, the ideal law enforcement agent is a pillar of the community. Police officers are there to uphold the laws of the local community to the best of their ability. For the most part, from the 60's to the mid 80's Police officers where part of the local community as a unwavering presence. You had beat cops that would walk the streets, highway patrolmen who would come help you change your tire or give you a ride to a phone to call a tow truck, or officers that would come help you unlock your door if you lock your keys in. Some where along the line things changed. It was no longer about the people in the community but the rules of the community. With that the police began using the squad car as a mobile sanctuary. Now your lucky if when you get pulled over your not greeted with a cop with their hands on the taser/gun before you say word one. Is that how the job should be done? No. Perfect example of this is the 16 year old tased for not standing up with a broken back.
    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/93135/teen_wit

    Just so you know I'm not taking only one random article, here are a few more places you can find this story….
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pag
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Missouri_Police_tas

    and the video….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnI_xM5ujo4

    So was this necessary? Where the cops in harms way? The answer to both of these questions is no. What point am I trying to make? Well yes this is just one example of misuse of a taser, however it shows something very true about the current mentality of law enforcement. They fear doing their job. The job of a police officer is to serve and protect. In fear that the kid was on something or going to hit them(yes a kid with a broken back will do some real harm to a cop trying to help help him). So instead of having concern for the person in front of them they used tasers to enforce what they wanted. This happens ALOT! The original article for this blog is tragic and unfortunate. Law enforcement needs to stop relying on tasers as shoot first ask questions later item, and begin to view it as a last resort. Use the baton, use their fists. The officers are less likely to do permanent damage to someone this way. Who knows what kind of medical conditions the people they are shooting at have.

    If law enforcement was doing what they were supposed to this wouldn't be an issue. Any weapon used should be treated as a lethal weapon. It is sad because for every bad thing we read about law enforcement using tasers there are 10 or so we don't hear about. But if law enforcement was forced to do their job and be part of the community and treat tasers as lethal weapons, then we will see less and less of these negative reports of law enforcement.

    On a side note to you rossi46, if you want to put something into a conversation perhaps you should learn how to write a proper paragraph. I could barely read your posting because I felt like i was reading a 5 year olds scribbling. No offense just an opinion.

  221. Ricksaunders, I can't agree with you more. I was shocked and appalled by what I read earlier this afternoon. I always hope that our education system is working, however the post by rossi46 proves it isn't.

    In response to rossi46, first off the question here is more or less if tasers are really helping or hurting the justice system. I feel that the introduction of tasers has hurt the ability of law enforcement from doing their job properly. I have a few examples here that I will bring up as I go.

    First, the ideal law enforcement agent is a pillar of the community. Police officers are there to uphold the laws of the local community to the best of their ability. For the most part, from the 60's to the mid 80's Police officers where part of the local community as a unwavering presence. You had beat cops that would walk the streets, highway patrolmen who would come help you change your tire or give you a ride to a phone to call a tow truck, or officers that would come help you unlock your door if you lock your keys in. Some where along the line things changed. It was no longer about the people in the community but the rules of the community. With that the police began using the squad car as a mobile sanctuary. Now your lucky if when you get pulled over your not greeted with a cop with their hands on the taser/gun before you say word one. Is that how the job should be done? No. Perfect example of this is the 16 year old tased for not standing up with a broken back.
    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/93135/teen_wit

    Just so you know I'm not taking only one random article, here are a few more places you can find this story….
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pag
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Missouri_Police_tas

    and the video….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnI_xM5ujo4

    So was this necessary? Where the cops in harms way? The answer to both of these questions is no. What point am I trying to make? Well yes this is just one example of misuse of a taser, however it shows something very true about the current mentality of law enforcement. They fear doing their job. The job of a police officer is to serve and protect. In fear that the kid was on something or going to hit them(yes a kid with a broken back will do some real harm to a cop trying to help help him). So instead of having concern for the person in front of them they used tasers to enforce what they wanted. This happens ALOT! The original article for this blog is tragic and unfortunate. Law enforcement needs to stop relying on tasers as shoot first ask questions later item, and begin to view it as a last resort. Use the baton, use their fists. The officers are less likely to do permanent damage to someone this way. Who knows what kind of medical conditions the people they are shooting at have.

    If law enforcement was doing what they were supposed to this wouldn't be an issue. Any weapon used should be treated as a lethal weapon. It is sad because for every bad thing we read about law enforcement using tasers there are 10 or so we don't hear about. But if law enforcement was forced to do their job and be part of the community and treat tasers as lethal weapons, then we will see less and less of these negative reports of law enforcement.

    On a side note to you rossi46, if you want to put something into a conversation perhaps you should learn how to write a proper paragraph. I could barely read your posting because I felt like i was reading a 5 year olds scribbling. No offense just an opinion.

  222. Ricksaunders, I can't agree with you more. I was shocked and appalled by what I read earlier this afternoon. I always hope that our education system is working, however the post by rossi46 proves it isn't.

    In response to rossi46, first off the question here is more or less if tasers are really helping or hurting the justice system. I feel that the introduction of tasers has hurt the ability of law enforcement from doing their job properly. I have a few examples here that I will bring up as I go.

    First, the ideal law enforcement agent is a pillar of the community. Police officers are there to uphold the laws of the local community to the best of their ability. For the most part, from the 60's to the mid 80's Police officers where part of the local community as a unwavering presence. You had beat cops that would walk the streets, highway patrolmen who would come help you change your tire or give you a ride to a phone to call a tow truck, or officers that would come help you unlock your door if you lock your keys in. Some where along the line things changed. It was no longer about the people in the community but the rules of the community. With that the police began using the squad car as a mobile sanctuary. Now your lucky if when you get pulled over your not greeted with a cop with their hands on the taser/gun before you say word one. Is that how the job should be done? No. Perfect example of this is the 16 year old tased for not standing up with a broken back.
    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/93135/teen_wit

    Just so you know I'm not taking only one random article, here are a few more places you can find this story….
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pag
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Missouri_Police_tas

    and the video….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnI_xM5ujo4

    So was this necessary? Where the cops in harms way? The answer to both of these questions is no. What point am I trying to make? Well yes this is just one example of misuse of a taser, however it shows something very true about the current mentality of law enforcement. They fear doing their job. The job of a police officer is to serve and protect. In fear that the kid was on something or going to hit them(yes a kid with a broken back will do some real harm to a cop trying to help help him). So instead of having concern for the person in front of them they used tasers to enforce what they wanted. This happens ALOT! The original article for this blog is tragic and unfortunate. Law enforcement needs to stop relying on tasers as shoot first ask questions later item, and begin to view it as a last resort. Use the baton, use their fists. The officers are less likely to do permanent damage to someone this way. Who knows what kind of medical conditions the people they are shooting at have.

    If law enforcement was doing what they were supposed to this wouldn't be an issue. Any weapon used should be treated as a lethal weapon. It is sad because for every bad thing we read about law enforcement using tasers there are 10 or so we don't hear about. But if law enforcement was forced to do their job and be part of the community and treat tasers as lethal weapons, then we will see less and less of these negative reports of law enforcement.

    On a side note to you rossi46, if you want to put something into a conversation perhaps you should learn how to write a proper paragraph. I could barely read your posting because I felt like i was reading a 5 year olds scribbling. No offense just an opinion.

  223. you can talk crap about the tazer all u want fact of the mater is that they save lifes, and bones. remeber now we have peper sprtay and botans, bouth can be deadly just like the tazer but u dont see a story on how an officer saved his life by tazing some ass whipe and puting him away for god knows what, but this freaking society is so awsome that u guyz chose the bad guy all the time, lets make sure the bad guy has right, untill he breaks into your house rapes or murders your husaband your wife sister brother mother father no one thinks of that until it hapens to them then they call cops, and believe me a pearson in jail has way more rights than any man or woman walking free, cuz all their rights kick in and people like some of u just alow it. Dont give him death penalty dont this dont that. u want us to fight a war but u wanas to fight it with sunshine and rainbows while these assholes murder and rape at free will. so next time u get robed or raped or someone u love gets murderd dont call the cops call ur budys who are trying to help u take the tazer away from the cops , and see how far u get than…

  224. First of all, and I hate to get personal but, if this is how our officers spell we are screwed. Until everyone in America gets a proper education we are screwed. If all our citizens were educated to at least a twelth grade level and the culture of the coolness of dumbness crushed and a culture of pride and support in/for intelligence and education becomes the new hip then this us/ them mentality will never end.

  225. Ricksaunders, I can’t agree with you more. I was shocked and appalled by what I read earlier this afternoon. I always hope that our education system is working, however the post by rossi46 proves it isn’t.

    In response to rossi46, first off the question here is more or less if tasers are really helping or hurting the justice system. I feel that the introduction of tasers has hurt the ability of law enforcement from doing their job properly. I have a few examples here that I will bring up as I go.

    First, the ideal law enforcement agent is a pillar of the community. Police officers are there to uphold the laws of the local community to the best of their ability. For the most part, from the 60′s to the mid 80′s Police officers where part of the local community as a unwavering presence. You had beat cops that would walk the streets, highway patrolmen who would come help you change your tire or give you a ride to a phone to call a tow truck, or officers that would come help you unlock your door if you lock your keys in. Some where along the line things changed. It was no longer about the people in the community but the rules of the community. With that the police began using the squad car as a mobile sanctuary. Now your lucky if when you get pulled over your not greeted with a cop with their hands on the taser/gun before you say word one. Is that how the job should be done? No. Perfect example of this is the 16 year old tased for not standing up with a broken back.

    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/93135/teen_with_broken_back_tasered_19_times_for_not_standing_up_when_ordered/

    Just so you know I’m not taking only one random article, here are a few more places you can find this story….

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=71096

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Missouri_Police_taser_injured_boy_19_0726.html

    and the video….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnI_xM5ujo4

    So was this necessary? Where the cops in harms way? The answer to both of these questions is no. What point am I trying to make? Well yes this is just one example of misuse of a taser, however it shows something very true about the current mentality of law enforcement. They fear doing their job. The job of a police officer is to serve and protect. In fear that the kid was on something or going to hit them(yes a kid with a broken back will do some real harm to a cop trying to help help him). So instead of having concern for the person in front of them they used tasers to enforce what they wanted. This happens ALOT! The original article for this blog is tragic and unfortunate. Law enforcement needs to stop relying on tasers as shoot first ask questions later item, and begin to view it as a last resort. Use the baton, use their fists. The officers are less likely to do permanent damage to someone this way. Who knows what kind of medical conditions the people they are shooting at have.

    If law enforcement was doing what they were supposed to this wouldn’t be an issue. Any weapon used should be treated as a lethal weapon. It is sad because for every bad thing we read about law enforcement using tasers there are 10 or so we don’t hear about. But if law enforcement was forced to do their job and be part of the community and treat tasers as lethal weapons, then we will see less and less of these negative reports of law enforcement.

    On a side note to you rossi46, if you want to put something into a conversation perhaps you should learn how to write a proper paragraph. I could barely read your posting because I felt like i was reading a 5 year olds scribbling. No offense just an opinion.

  226. There are some thin if the legitimate work as a line there. Most are sites and marketing study for the site owner rich, not you. The only thing is true legitimacy Ebay, selling things you already own……
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  227. There are some thin if the legitimate work as a line there. Most are sites and marketing study for the site owner rich, not you. The only thing is true legitimacy Ebay, selling things you already own……
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  228. There are some thin if the legitimate work as a line there. Most are sites and marketing study for the site owner rich, not you. The only thing is true legitimacy Ebay, selling things you already own……

    http://www.uninversalwork.com

  229. Against my better judgment I can't help but comment.

    RickSaunders and Chris… First off, you assume that Rossi46 speaks English as his/her native tongue. This may not be the case, so for you insult this person's intelligence based on their grammar is completely wrong. For all we know Rossi46 could speak 8 different languages fluently (probably 7 more languages than either of you know) and English just happens to be the language he/she is least versed in. And what does this person's mastery ( or lack of) over English have to do with the argument over taser safety anyhow? It doesn't!

    I wish just once someone could offer an honest debate and respect a differing viewpoint rather than hide behind cheap tactics of personal smears.

    You will notice that I was the first person to comment on this, I am not about to go back and restate my viewpoint for 4th or 5th time, but I think that rather than read this or other articles about deaths associated with an event where a taser was used and then simply conclude that the taser is a bad thing, go and talk to the local police in your community and ask what they think. All I am saying is research out those who use it and have had it used on them during training.

    I agree completely with Rossi46 in that it seems anti-taser people want to fight crime with "sunshine and rainbows", and that criminals have more rights than the average hardworking honest citizen does. How many people are homeless in this country, or without health insurance. Yet EVERY prison inmate has a warm bed each night, 24/7 access to health care and three squares a day, not to mention cable TV.

    If you approach and ask any officer, they will tell you that they hope to not be in a situation where they need to use the taser, but they are glad to have it as a less lethal option to the baton and gun.

    We don't live in Mayberry anymore. I wish it were that easy but it isn't. That is not my opinion but it is a fact of today's society.

    There are not as many beat cops because budget cuts in law enforcement funding. Patrol cops will no longer stop and help you change a tire because of there are more serious matters that need their attention – not to mention there are fewer of them because of budget cuts in law enforcement funding. None of this is the fault of the individual officer yet Chris seems to want to infer that "they are not doing their jobs like they used to".

    Again, I would suggest that you go and talk to your local police officers and learn more about what they deal with and why/how they deal with it. I guarantee you that with a little of this knowledge, you will respect them more as officers and as individuals.

  230. Against my better judgment I can’t help but comment.

    RickSaunders and Chris… First off, you assume that Rossi46 speaks English as his/her native tongue. This may not be the case, so for you insult this person’s intelligence based on their grammar is completely wrong. For all we know Rossi46 could speak 8 different languages fluently (probably 7 more languages than either of you know) and English just happens to be the language he/she is least versed in. And what does this person’s mastery ( or lack of) over English have to do with the argument over taser safety anyhow? It doesn’t!

    I wish just once someone could offer an honest debate and respect a differing viewpoint rather than hide behind cheap tactics of personal smears.

    You will notice that I was the first person to comment on this, I am not about to go back and restate my viewpoint for 4th or 5th time, but I think that rather than read this or other articles about deaths associated with an event where a taser was used and then simply conclude that the taser is a bad thing, go and talk to the local police in your community and ask what they think. All I am saying is research out those who use it and have had it used on them during training.

    I agree completely with Rossi46 in that it seems anti-taser people want to fight crime with “sunshine and rainbows”, and that criminals have more rights than the average hardworking honest citizen does. How many people are homeless in this country, or without health insurance. Yet EVERY prison inmate has a warm bed each night, 24/7 access to health care and three squares a day, not to mention cable TV.

    If you approach and ask any officer, they will tell you that they hope to not be in a situation where they need to use the taser, but they are glad to have it as a less lethal option to the baton and gun.

    We don’t live in Mayberry anymore. I wish it were that easy but it isn’t. That is not my opinion but it is a fact of today’s society.

    There are not as many beat cops because budget cuts in law enforcement funding. Patrol cops will no longer stop and help you change a tire because of there are more serious matters that need their attention – not to mention there are fewer of them because of budget cuts in law enforcement funding. None of this is the fault of the individual officer yet Chris seems to want to infer that “they are not doing their jobs like they used to”.

    Again, I would suggest that you go and talk to your local police officers and learn more about what they deal with and why/how they deal with it. I guarantee you that with a little of this knowledge, you will respect them more as officers and as individuals.

  231. Reserve Officer;

    In reference to the comments made about Rossi46. First off this is obviously a forum debating the the use of Tasers in the the US. Because of this i would expect that anyone commenting on this issue to be a US citizen. Regardless of the ability to speak any other number of languages, the fact remains that English is the primary needed for this discussion as it centers on and involves our country.

    For anyone who has attended any form of public school with an English program will tell you, the best way to get your point across is by knowing how to your argument in written form for all to be able to comprehend. Rossi46 made if not only difficult to take serious, but also hard to understand the point of view they where trying to get across.

    Enough said about that part.

    As for your other point on Tasers, I have stated from my first post that I can see both sides to this, however Tasers have been proven to be misused. If showing examples of how this is the case does not prove this point, then think about it like this. Tasers should be treated as lethal weapons. Just as much as guns are. If a cop was hit with a Taser by a criminal, he or she would be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. If your willing to charge someone like that then you need to look at the item as a deadly weapon its self.

    Pepper spray and mace are better examples of non lethal weapons. They deter just as much as Tasers only with out the same affects. If someone has an alergic reaction to the mace or pepper spray there is plenty of time to take that person to the hospital or an EMT for treatment. However Tasers can kill instantly.

    Yes the world has changed. Yes this is not Mayberry. However I feel we can still maintain some of our basic roots by putting our tax dollars back to the way they where used. Police departments are there to SERVE AND PROTECT. That means they are bound and required to help the citizens of their community. Be it changing a tire or busting a drug dealer they both are the same thing.

    Perfect example as to how my local Police department is. Less then a month ago someone broke into my garage. I called the police and filed a report. I was not home for 4 hours that day and it happened in the afternoon. When they came out for the call, I was informed that they couldn't do anything for me. I have 4 neighbors that saw the vehicle the people who broke in where in. They even got the plate number. I asked the police if they where going to talk to the neighbors and they said no. I was informed that it was not their job to investigate that far into a simple BandE.

    Is this a local only thing? Perhaps. But if you where faced with that situation how would you view the law enforcement? I bet you would think they where pretty lazy as well. I have a few friends who are cops in the other towns close by. They do their jobs and they do them well. One of them works in Appleton, WI and works the late night beat in downtown. He never sits in a car, and he hardly ever has an issue with the locals. They treat him with respect. If one town can do this, then why can't they all?

  232. "Because of this i would expect that anyone commenting on this issue to be a US citizen."

    Why do you believe that Rossi46 is not a US citizen?

    Yes, this debate does center on the tasers use in the US, but Amnesty is a world wide organization and the web has forced the democratization of information sharing. Are you saying that if you are not a US citizen, you are not entitled to have an opinion on the matter or be able to share it to the best of your abilities?

    How could you prove that anyone on this post beyond yourself is a US citizen?

    Sorry about what happened to your garage and your personal items in it. I can see why you would be frustrated at the perceived lack of importance by the police towards your situation. Unfortunately law enforcement has been forced to pick and choose what is "important" because of budget cuts. That is not because the individual officers are lazy or uncaring. Believe me when I say that ALL officers would rather work in a community where everyone respects everyone else. They are not baby sitters after all, they are police officers.

  233. Reserve Officer;

    In reference to the comments made about Rossi46. First off this is obviously a forum debating the the use of Tasers in the the US. Because of this i would expect that anyone commenting on this issue to be a US citizen. Regardless of the ability to speak any other number of languages, the fact remains that English is the primary needed for this discussion as it centers on and involves our country.

    For anyone who has attended any form of public school with an English program will tell you, the best way to get your point across is by knowing how to your argument in written form for all to be able to comprehend. Rossi46 made if not only difficult to take serious, but also hard to understand the point of view they where trying to get across.

    Enough said about that part.

    As for your other point on Tasers, I have stated from my first post that I can see both sides to this, however Tasers have been proven to be misused. If showing examples of how this is the case does not prove this point, then think about it like this. Tasers should be treated as lethal weapons. Just as much as guns are. If a cop was hit with a Taser by a criminal, he or she would be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. If your willing to charge someone like that then you need to look at the item as a deadly weapon its self.

    Pepper spray and mace are better examples of non lethal weapons. They deter just as much as Tasers only with out the same affects. If someone has an alergic reaction to the mace or pepper spray there is plenty of time to take that person to the hospital or an EMT for treatment. However Tasers can kill instantly.

    Yes the world has changed. Yes this is not Mayberry. However I feel we can still maintain some of our basic roots by putting our tax dollars back to the way they where used. Police departments are there to SERVE AND PROTECT. That means they are bound and required to help the citizens of their community. Be it changing a tire or busting a drug dealer they both are the same thing.

    Perfect example as to how my local Police department is. Less then a month ago someone broke into my garage. I called the police and filed a report. I was not home for 4 hours that day and it happened in the afternoon. When they came out for the call, I was informed that they couldn’t do anything for me. I have 4 neighbors that saw the vehicle the people who broke in where in. They even got the plate number. I asked the police if they where going to talk to the neighbors and they said no. I was informed that it was not their job to investigate that far into a simple BandE.

    Is this a local only thing? Perhaps. But if you where faced with that situation how would you view the law enforcement? I bet you would think they where pretty lazy as well. I have a few friends who are cops in the other towns close by. They do their jobs and they do them well. One of them works in Appleton, WI and works the late night beat in downtown. He never sits in a car, and he hardly ever has an issue with the locals. They treat him with respect. If one town can do this, then why can’t they all?

  234. “Because of this i would expect that anyone commenting on this issue to be a US citizen.”

    Why do you believe that Rossi46 is not a US citizen?

    Yes, this debate does center on the tasers use in the US, but Amnesty is a world wide organization and the web has forced the democratization of information sharing. Are you saying that if you are not a US citizen, you are not entitled to have an opinion on the matter or be able to share it to the best of your abilities?

    How could you prove that anyone on this post beyond yourself is a US citizen?

    Sorry about what happened to your garage and your personal items in it. I can see why you would be frustrated at the perceived lack of importance by the police towards your situation. Unfortunately law enforcement has been forced to pick and choose what is “important” because of budget cuts. That is not because the individual officers are lazy or uncaring. Believe me when I say that ALL officers would rather work in a community where everyone respects everyone else. They are not baby sitters after all, they are police officers.