Don't Blame The Taser, Doctor Bro... Or Else We Sue

from the cause-of-death dept

There have been a number of reported deaths of people soon after those individuals were subdued by law enforcement using a Taser stun gun. More and more medical examiners have included the Taser shocks as part of the "cause of death." However, Taser, the company, is not at all pleased. As an anonymous reader sends in, it's even gone so far as to get judges to change the "cause of death," overruling the local medical examiners. It appears that the company has taken the exceptionally aggressive step of suing some of the doctors who list a Taser shock as one of the causes of death. It then uses research and "experts" paid for by Taser to make the claim that a Taser cannot lead to death -- preferring the basically made up diagnosis of "excited delirium." Somehow, it seems that Taser attacks seem to cause a disproportionate amount of "excited delirium." Either way, in suing to have the final diagnosis overturned, the company is clearly intimidating doctors, who may now be afraid that listing a Taser as a cause of death (no matter what the evidence) will lead to a courtroom battle.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 4:37am

    Taser should be sued back until they are out of business.

     

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    Kevin, May 5th, 2008 @ 4:40am

    Yup...

    Welcome to the Ministry of Truth. All you need is money and you can make people say anything that you want.

    The reality is that tasers are dangerous. If you have certain pre-existing conditions (known or unknown) you can run into complications from tasers, possibly leading to death. Let's face it, you're running a boatload of electricity through someone, there's bound to be the occasional problem. It's entirely possible that a taser hit in an otherwise healthy individual could cause problems too.

    The key to understanding tasers though is that they are "less than lethal" force. They're not supposed to be a "safe" or "harmless" way of subduing people. They're supposed to be an alternative to shooting someone with a gun and bullet, which in my understanding has a far higher incidence of negative side effects than tasering does.

    Is it torture to use a taser? No doubt it hurts being tagged by one. Is it more humane than shooting someone? I'd say absolutely. Can it be abused to torture someone? You bet. Does the fact that it's "less lethal" tend to lead to it being used more indiscriminantly than it should be? Probably so, but the issue there is training, not necessarily the device.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 5:07am

    When I was in the navy we were told that anything over 100 volts could kill you, and not necessarily instantaneously. There was a student who received a mild shock from 300 volts in the lab. During the night his heart stopped and he died. After that anytime you got shocked you got to spend 24 hours under observation at the hospital. I don't know if he had any kind of pre-existing condition, but whatever he got was a hell of a lot less than the jolt from a taser.

    Having said that I agree that it's better than shooting someone. I saw a thing on TV where the cops had to tase a naked guy THREE TIMES before they were finally able to subdue him. He was trying to break into a day care center buck naked in broad daylight, so god knows what the hell he thought he was doing.

     

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    puppyfan, May 5th, 2008 @ 5:12am

    there are hundreds of people alive after being tased for actions that would otherwise have been on the receiving end of deadly force, which the would have been justified, in my jurisdiction the use of cameras providing audio and video of each taser discharge has led to a more restrained use of the taser. Just to let people know also in my jurisdiction each officer carrying a taser is required to be tased before he/she can carry one

     

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    TX CHL Instructor (profile), May 5th, 2008 @ 5:12am

    Training...

    Ah, there's the rub. How much are you going to train with something that costs more than $10/round to fire?

    The Irving, TX "taser specialist" called out to try to prevent a suicide a couple of years back missed a relative easy shot, and I'd bet money the root cause was lack of sufficient training. I use that example in my CHL classes. Probably should write it up for my blog.

     

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    Haywood, May 5th, 2008 @ 5:16am

    Likely a death sentence for me

    I'm pretty sure my pacemaker wouldn't stand that. On the other hand if it did, I might be better off than most; having an on board jump starter.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), May 5th, 2008 @ 5:52am

    Re: Likely a death sentence for me

    You'll just have to tell them to shoot you. =p

     

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    Albert Menduni, May 5th, 2008 @ 5:54am

    Pacemaker protection

    Actually pacemakers are designed to tolerate a high voltage dc shock because patients with pacemakers are more likely to need cardiac shock during a resuscitation. Also pacemakers will provide a clocked pulse to the heart to keep it firing, if the taser pulse has damaged the heart's natural pacemaker. But being a heart patient by definition probably means you're at higher risk for death from any exciting event.

     

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    Overcast, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:03am

    The key to understanding tasers though is that they are "less than lethal" force.

    Then how do they kill people?

     

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    comboman, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    Re: Yup...

    Does the fact that it's "less lethal" tend to lead to it being used more indiscriminantly than it should be? Probably so, but the issue there is training, not necessarily the device.

    Are police more likely to use a Taser because the Taser company lies to them and says Tasers cannot cause death? Yes. Is that a training issue? No, it's a fraud issue.

     

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    You never know, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Hmmmmmmm, They can always fall back on the old stand by, Just shoot the guy.

     

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    Paul, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:37am

    Thats like saying....

    guns don't kill people, coincidental systematic organ failure after being shot kills them.

     

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    Jake, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:39am

    Re: Training...

    That PD needs to raise the bar on its marksmanship qualifications quite considerably; most tasers have a maximum range of what, 25 feet? Even if it's one of the older models without a laser spot-projector, if he can't hit a man-sized target at that range with a taser then I don't want to think about what he'd be like with a firearm.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:44am

    Re:

    Voltage is not the problem, current or amps is. You can take a 100,000 volts if the current is extremely low, less than .001mA. 12 volts at 60 amp will kill you, if you're grounded.

    The Taser is safe when used properly. It should never be used lightly, any more than deadly force - a gun - would be.

     

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    Tired of the whining (profile), May 5th, 2008 @ 6:53am

    Why do you get tased?

    Police officers don't see a person walking down the street and tase them. They get used by police officers attempting to subdue a suspect who is resisting... if you're concerned about potential repercussions of being tased, COMPLY.

    Do "innocent" people get tased? Nope. It happens when they're being idiots and refuse to cooperate with a police officer discharging his duty; which means they have committed a crime. Do cops use them too often? Possibly. Is it because people are idiots? Absolutely.

    However, I'd rather see someone get tased then subdued by force. Would we have had a Rodney King if the officers involved had been armed with Tasers? Probably not. Would you rather be shocked by a "less than lethal" amount of electricity or "subdued" by 5 baton-wielding cops?

    As for "excited delirium", well I expect that getting shocked can cause unexpected death. But even still, it's not a question of the "effectiveness" of the taser... it becomes a question of departmental procedure. Instead of throwing a tased suspect in to the drunk tank, they should follow the Navy's lead and throw them in to medical observation.

    For those of you that argue the taser gets used too often, I would look at the circumstances they are used in. For every "questionable" use, there are at least 50 in which the suspect and officers avoided potential harm. And frankly I'll happily trade a couple of Darwinian rejects who think it's ok to fight authority for a few less officer funerals each year.

     

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    Frank, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:55am

    What are the options?

    Ok so here's how I see it, if I can't use a taser when absolutely necessary, then I have only one other option... BANG! Of course then the SIU has to get called in and investigations have to be done which in the end costs more. Tasers should never be used indiscriminately but neither should the kneejerk reaction of banning them happen. If that happens we get classic billy club beatdowns back to the arena. Anyone up for a fight? I think I'd rather get nailed with a Taser than with a round from a pistol or a smack upside the head with a billy club... Give me a break. "Ban, ban ban", "sue, sue sue"... How about acting like a responsible adult and don't get yourself into a situation where a taser is necessary and you won't have any worries!

     

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    Gurney, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:01am

    Re: Why do you get tased?

    Do "innocent" people get tased? Nope.

    You mean like the gentleman on the London bus in a diabetic coma that was tasered twice? He was not innocent?

     

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    Alimas, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:15am

    Re: Why do you get tased?

    " Do "innocent" people get tased? Nope. "

    I guess innocent until proven guilty just doesn't exist in your world, eh?

     

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    Alimas, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:17am

    Re: Why do you get tased?

    And actually, I'd much rather they came at me with batons. Easier to resist and protect myself than it is with a taser.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:23am

    So WHAT if Tasers kill people?

    The key phrase being LESS lethal, not NON lethal. There is a reason why professionals (eg law enforcement and militaries) use the phrase.

    I hope you guys who are screaming "burn Taser!" realise just how many people got tased when they otherwise would have been shot.

    Only thing to do now is acknowledge that its possible in some rare instances that a taser could make things worse for a person, leading to death and act accordingly.

    By that, some cops need to stop being so tase-happy. Most of them aren't bad, but others are waay too eager to use a taser.

    And again remember, LESS-lethal not NON-lethal. They've been saying it for years. A handful at the start called them NON-lethal, but they've been classified as LESS-lethal for well over a decade.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:27am

    Re:

    Okay, if I EVER for ANY reason try to break into a daycare center buck naked in broad daylight, PLEASE TASE ME AS MANY TIMES AS NECESSARY.

     

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    JB, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:33am

    Would They Still Be Alive?

    Would the person still be alive if they had not been tasered? If the answer is yes, then the taser did contribute to their death, even if there was an underlying cause such as a pre-existing condition. The person could live for years with the pre-existing condition if not for being tasered. Of course this is my logic, which is often not consistent with legal "logic". Somehow the company has been able to get the pre-existing condition blamed 100% for the death.

    Additional Commentary:
    Too many times the police use a taser as punishment instead of the intended use. it is not their job to issue punishments.

     

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    WG, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:40am

    Comments

    First of all, thank you AC for the comment about Current, that was my first note for the uninformed public.

    Secondly, the older version of the (projetile) taser has a relatively inaccurate targeting (especially on a moving target) as opposed to lets say a 9mm or even a standard paintball gun. Taser accuracy is effected by distance and even wind. They have a drop rate of about an inch for every yard, separation rate of about the same and are safely accurate up to 15 yards. It takes quite a bit of training for proper accuracy (and yes, officers who carry a taser do train extensively with them)

    Third, in most jurisdictions, officers are encouraged to be tased before they are certified, and most do, but not all.

    Fourth, Less-than-leathal is that for the Majority of the population, it is not lethal. it i " weapons intended to be UNLIKELY to kill or to cause GREAT bodily injury to a living target" it is in a similar class to pepper spray, or the rubber bullet. Both of these "non-lethal" weapons have caused deaths in the past, as well as other non-leathal weapons such as the Fork, a toothpick, and the hockey puck. All of these items would not be considered lethal weapons, but they have still caused deaths in the past.

    For a point of knowlede reference, I have shot a tazer, and my brother is a police officer certified in carrying one.

     

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    Anti-Taser, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:45am

    COPS ARE PUSSYS

    Police use Tasers as a crutch! If a couple of officers cant physically subdue a drunk then join the post office and deliver mail...

     

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    Stop the whining (profile), May 5th, 2008 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Why do you get tased?

    Probable cause (a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime) is certainly in operation when a police officer witnesses a suspect resist arrest. That's not an "innocent until proven guilty" situation.

    To Gurney: Your "diabetic coma victim" is one of those "questionable" cases I mentioned. At face value, I would agree this was probably an inappropriate use of a taser. However, the decision to tase him was made with all due diligence, while following the documented procedures. Considering the police force was operating in a heightened security environment (an environment in which 4 seperate bombings occurred over the next week), it's a level of response I can find acceptable if not appropriate.

    Second guessing someone's actions years later, after you know all the facts is easy.

     

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    Reality Check, May 5th, 2008 @ 8:06am

    Tasers

    I have an idea; how about not doing anything that might get you "TASED". That the simplest solution in my mind. That would most likely keep you alive a little longer.
    Just a thought.

     

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    Jim, May 5th, 2008 @ 8:50am

    Re: Yup...

    I agree that a Taser is less lethal than a firearm. There is still a big problem with Tasers and their use by law enforcement. They are supposed to be a non-lethal alternative during situations that threaten an officer with injury or death. However, since they are dubbed as "non-lethal", we are instead seeing more and more situations where Tasers are being used by law enforcement for passification; situations where the person being tasered offered no danger to the officer.

     

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    Jim, May 5th, 2008 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    Just to let people know also in my jurisdiction each officer carrying a taser is required to be tased before he/she can carry one

    This situation isn't necessarily the best idea. It may give the officers respect for the pain that they are given the authority to inflict, but I can see how it would empower some people in the process. The whole "I had to go through it, so you can deal with it too" mentality.

    Plus there is a certain amount of risk involved in being hit with a taser, as this article and comments point out. Why are you ricking the safety of your officers to prove a point?

     

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    tasers do kill, May 5th, 2008 @ 8:57am

    tasers

    You are all missing the point. The Taser group is suing because doctors are listing Tasers as a contributor to some deaths. No one can dispute that this is, in fact, the case. Tasers can cause death. And yes, sometimes they are used on innocent people causing death. So maybe, if this is the case, the offending officers and the Taser manufacurer should be co-defendants in a civil suit.

     

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    Lloyd Prendergast, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:02am

    I have been threatened with tasing,

    OK, I live in NY. We have an inapropriate amount of idoit cops. Now, about two years ago (post 911, but that is no excuse.) while entering the subway, I was searched which I didn't mind. The problem began when he finds a NAIL CLIPPER(actually a toenail clipper so it was larger than normal) in a small case along with some other things, for which he decided he wanted to question me about because it was possibly a CONCEALED WEAPON!!!!!! I objected vocally, loudly and continually because it was bullshit. He then decided he would threaten me with tasing if I didn't shut up. I still didn't shut up, I'm not into compliing with BS. Another officer came over to assist and rightfully told me I could go about my business, which I did because I needed to get to work.

    My point, some times its officer, some its the "perpetrator". Me, I don't feel I was wrong in any way, but I almost got tased. I bet a bunch of you will jump to the officers side with blah,blah...but I don't feel I was wrong and I had the right to object and not comply. Obviously the other officer may of thought so too....

    read between the lines and maybe you understand why I got singled out in the first place.....

     

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    Paul Jakma, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:05am

    Ohm's Law

    The AC who left comment #15 appears not to have fully understood basic, high-school level physics - voltage and current are not independent of each other. If we presume the load is fixed, e.g. x cm of tissue, then a certain V implies a certain A and vice versa (with DC and linear electrical circuits at least).

    E.g., a googling suggests muscle is about 400 Ohm.cm, and that taser probes must land at least 10cm apart for the device to be effective. So 4000Ohm . 60A = 240kV - and that's presuming the probes impact muscle, and doesn't say anything about electrical flux across the heart.. A quick test here of dampened skin suggests something in order of 100kOhm.cm resistivity, implying that potentially MV's are needed to drive 60A through skin (course, skin tissue wouldn't be such for long at such levels of current!).

    Anyway, arguing the point around DC is irrelevant to a degree, because the Taser discharges 19Hz cycle pulses. I only know enough to know that working out the fields produced by AC is more complex than DC (e.g. skin effects in AC), and that AC pulses might differ in their impact on human physiology from continuous DC.

    IEEE Spectrum had a good article "How The Taser Works", with less ill-informed speculation than either the AC or I have provided:

    http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/dec07/5731/2

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:11am

    Good and Bad

    The taser is a very useful device that when used correctly can save lives and prevent officers and suspects from being injured more then might otherwise be the case. A recent article http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=492335 demonstrates that contrary to claims by the creators, Tasers can cause ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. The situation gets even worse when the subject has lots of adrenaline. Adrenaline increased the effects of the taser and heart interactions which means that someone who is fighting hard and or is scared for their life, has an increased chance of having heart complications when a taser is used.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:15am

    dont know if this has been said yet, Its not that taser is bad casue it sometimes casues death, i would rather people be subdued with a taser than a gun. its that they are going out of their way to cover up taser as a casue of death. thats the thing they are doign that is wrong. Glock dosnt sue doctors when they list gunshot wounds as casue of death......

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re:

    The official numbers are 6 milliamps across the heart will kill you. 4 milliamps can cause problems. Most tasers run at 2.1 milliamps and not commonly across the heart. Not likely to cause problems unless you already have one.

    This is why they changed the name "non-lethal" to "Less than lethal" because it still can kill you, it's just not as likely.

     

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    Ray T, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    Wow, 35 comments and only one got the point of the article!

    In this case, I agree with the author - to sue a medical practicioner for indicating cause of death as having been contributed to by a TASER is beyond cynical and would probably have the effect desired, which is to eliminate such a conclusion through intimidation. Individual doctors cannot easily fight this and are subject to the advice of their insurance companies. Therefore some government agency is probably needed here to put things to rights. Otherwise, we'll end up with not being able to complain about Microsoft's bugs!

     

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    j@CorePage, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    "Excited Delirium??"

    Has anyone been to one of Taser's Tupperware-style house parties where they sell women Tasers in fashionable, outfit matching colors like hot pink or lime green? Crazy!

    _j
    Corepage | The Instant Link Page System

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:59am

    I have to agree with the other coward, most of you are missing the point of the article. They are trying to cover up the fact that the taser was a contributing factor to someone's death and they probably wouldn't have died right then if they had not been tased.

    IMHO the reaction flow-chart should be, physically restraining the suspect, taser the suspect, shoot the suspect. These days it seems like physically restraining the subject gets skipped and they start at taser the suspect.

    You can find plenty of videos on youtube of officers who are in absolutely no physical danger tasering people, sometimes multiple times. These suspects range from protesters and students to lost polish guys in airports. The polish guy died almost instantly and there was a massive cover-up on that incident too. The only reason why anyone even knows about it is because someone filmed it happening and tossed it up on youtube.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    The point of this article was not to discuss weather tasers are lethal or less than lethal. Its that TASER (the corp) is suing doctors who report that the casue of death is shock from the taser. Just becasue TASER would like to promote the image that their product is NON-lethal dosnt give them the right to sue anyone claiming otherwise. That kind of behaviour is definatly less than ethical.

     

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    Grady, May 5th, 2008 @ 10:14am

    Re: Ohm's Law

    Contrary to your belief, voltage is separate from current. If it wasn't, Ohm's law wouldn't make sense. And yes, I took high school physics, two years ago. They do effect one another. As one goes up, the other goes down. It's why we measure in Watts (Voltage times Amperes).

    You first example: "If we presume the load is fixed, e.g. x cm of tissue, then a certain V implies a certain A and vice versa (with DC and linear electrical circuits at least)." It does not work at all. You need to know the voltage or current (amps) in order to get the other. Formula: Amps = Voltage divided by Resistance. Your example translates (roughly) to x = y/5 (5 for the "fixed"). I don't do much algebra anymore, but, well, I see a LOT of answers there.

    Your second example: Look carefully, you disproved your statement by providing the amps. If they didn't act independently, then you wouldn't have to provide the amps.

     

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    Beefcake, May 5th, 2008 @ 10:18am

    Tase-happy

    Yeah, because the law enforcement community is SO disciplined we're supposed to be thankful the snotty kid in Florida was only tased and not shot for...talking out of turn?. I mean, that was a real dangerous situation there. Someone's schedule might have been disrupted.

    This fact would be plainly obvious to even the dumbest citizen if the only thing the security officer had on him at the time was a handgun-- I doubt even he would have shot the kid with a bullet. In order for Tasers to be the lesser of two evils, they must only be employed in situations when drawing and firing a handgun would also be appropriate. Law enforcement CANNOT expand the scope of that response threshold just because this weapon doesn't instantly blow someone's brains all over the floor. When it works as designed it incapacitates a person, which should never be done by the state just as a matter of convenience.

    Back to Florida, if it was a "training" issue, then why was the dipshit security guy who employed it cleared of all wrongdoing? He went so far over the line it isn't even funny, but apparently it was okay because he followed his "training".

     

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    Howard Plumley, May 5th, 2008 @ 10:19am

    Amazing - now about the topic

     

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    Wayne, May 5th, 2008 @ 10:22am

    Re: Yup...

    Kevin - Yes, tasering is preferable to a bullet but you will never hear a cop say "Please get out of the car or I will shoot you". I think its pretty clear that a taser is "potentially" lethal force and it seems like a lot of officers are using it as if it were a wip or a cattleprod. There needs to be clearer rules on how to use potentially lethal force or a lot more people will die. Did you see that video that has been floating around showing the guy who was having seisures, was brought to the police station, held in a chair by 5 officers while being repeatedly tasered? The guy was litterally begging for his life before those officers finally killed him.

     

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    Beefcake, May 5th, 2008 @ 10:31am

    Re: Why do you get tased?

    Interesting that the suspect was tased AND "avoided potential harm" in your last paragraph. Getting tased is harmful. Extremely so, in fact.

     

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    A-HA, May 5th, 2008 @ 11:21am

    Re:

    Sure! Why use tasers - shoot the perps! Dead men can't sue!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Yup...

    i dont think its the device either, if the cause of death was from a taser and a judge who knows nothing about how a taser works agrees that it wasnt the taser...well that just doesnt solve the problem.

    It is better then being shot, by far..but police use it as a means to controll the people and not used as a alternitve to shooting. of course, with the amount of money people are getting from the law who abuse this new tool makes it worth it i supposed, ill take a tas for a few hundred thousand dollars...no problem

     

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  46.  
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    barren waste, May 5th, 2008 @ 1:31pm

    Possible, but not probable

    While the taser company going after doctors is definately in bad taste I have to wonder at the rise in deaths attributed to the tasers.

    I have survived many electrocutions, including one where I took 220 for around five minutes before somebody found me and knocked me away from the electrical source. Yes, I wound up in the hospital and had burns on my hands and forearms. I have also been repeatedly "hit" by electrical fences with enough current to set a bull on it's butt. For those wondering, I grew up on a working farm and there are limitless ways to electricute yourself on farms. I've also been hit by tasers, and I'd rather be hit by the taser than the electric fence. In light of my expreinces I find the rising number of taser related deaths to be highly suspect. To put it in proportion, I have seen every single one of my friends and family get hit by the electric fence I spoke of earlier and all that resulted were some interesting curses and funny pratfalls. Yup, it knocked every one of us on our arses, but even my seventy year old grandfather wasn't phased beyond the initial shock. If fifty odd people can get hit a minimum of five times apiece, some much more, by enough current to stun a bull, yet no injury occurs, what does that say about the findings of these doctors?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anon, May 5th, 2008 @ 2:15pm

    Taser-ing is nothing short of torture, outlawed by international law. It is a human right's violation as well. Of course since we Americans see no problem with waterboarding, why would we with Taser-ing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 2:44pm

    Re: So WHAT if Tasers kill people?

    I hope you guys who are screaming "burn Taser!" realise just how many people got tased when they otherwise would have been shot.
    The problem with statement is that cops aren't using Tasers instead of guns, they're using them in addition to guns. Shootings haven't gone down, they're still shooting people when the situation warrants it but now they're also tasing people in situations that wouldn't have justified shooting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Stop the whining (profile), May 5th, 2008 @ 3:09pm

    Re:

    Really? Banned by international law? A 10 man committee made a recommendation to consider tasing torture. Without the benefit of trials, medical studies or even proper examination of evidence. They made the determination "using a taser hurts, so it's torture".

    Myself, I think that committee ought to go back and read the United Nations Conventions Against Torture. Since I know you haven't, I'll quote it for you:

    "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

    So, um... even according to the UN, in order for it to be torture there has to be pain provided as ordered by the government, WHICH IS NOT PART OF "LAWFUL SANCTIONS".

    If cops indiscriminately tased random citizens, that would be considered torture. Tazing a suspect who represents a significant risk to the officer or the general public is incidental damage as a result of a LAWFUL SANCTION.

    Good thing no one in the UN ever has a political motive. Or apparently bothers to read thier own charter. It might get in the way of a juicy headline.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    brandon, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:15pm

    Keep em...

    but make them go through the same process they have to go through every time they fire a gun when they do use the taser, with the same rules applying.

    someone who doesn't listen to a cop and refuses to get out of a car should not be tased. There are other, safer options and ALL should be exhausted before the taser is fired.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    brandon, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Possible, but not probable

    "If fifty odd people can get hit a minimum of five times apiece, some much more, by enough current to stun a bull, yet no injury occurs, what does that say about the findings of these doctors?"

    He's right. Because .00000008% of the population can take it, obviously the other 99.99999992% must be the same

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Clueby4, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:30pm

    Stop the turfing

    Cops do indiscriminately use tasers. Any time they use it for "compliance".

    Tasers are supposed to be used as an alternative to lethal force. More times then not it's used to "stop someone from getting lippy" or for their own amusement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Buck Naked, May 5th, 2008 @ 4:07pm

    No, the *real* cause

    "Cause of death: Subject attacked an armed police officer with intent to do harm."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 5:13pm

    I suspect the Taser folks are using this legal tactic in a twisted way to protect their trademark. Why not call the death what it is in a generic sense..."death by electroshock weapon (or stun gun)?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:27pm

    Re: No, the *real* cause

    "Cause of death: Subject irritated armed police officer who had intent to do harm."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, May 5th, 2008 @ 10:56pm

    To all you briandead idiots claiming that police only taser people who are threatening them;

    Police taser man for refusing to sign ticket
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck3iNnvnjnk

    Police taser handcuffed drunk woman in police station
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQXoczxzwYk

    Police taser woman for not wanting to be man-handled.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSG19c3elhQ

    Police taser woman as she'd held down
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si3y9gVxJtE

    Police taser man for refusing to get out of car
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UltIYWpVqXg

    Police taser woman for refusing to get out of cop car
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFH9kmKZX_o
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMpEr-MOSyk

    Polic e taser woman for refusing to get out of car
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkfkQcb45Lo

    Police taser kid for trying to get away from them
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIY3TemTpaM

    Police hold pregnant woman on ground and taser her
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGuhY2LctUQ

    Police taser unarmed 78 year old man
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4f7YsGqXjs

    Police taser woman for non-violently resisting arrest
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYscLTfINpk

    Police throw woman to ground and taser her
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWjXEf-TWIw

    Police taser handcuffed kid for skateboarding
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlPA6q1n4uw

    Police taser woman in Best Buy for being agitated
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHtYWhF7WGg

    Police taser man with his hands up, in street
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xVCZxZ8HNc

    Police taser pregnant woman for trying to break up fight
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFnl_BwOQi4

    Police taser woman for not complying fast enough
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io7eXAl9U8k

    Police taser man for not standing when told to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FRnh9f1NnU

    Police taser a woman for refusing to get out of car
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Ywp2mZdJw

    Police taser man for non-violently resisting arrest
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9V41CHIc6k

    Officer tasers 11 year old boy in school for fighting
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmNPvuoKH-g

    Police threaten passive protester with taser
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jxnjomY0n0


    Yeah, their lives were really in danger...

    It probably won't sink in since many of you are too stupid to grasp the concept, but I figure I'll try anyway;

    It's a good thing that police have something less lethal than regular guns that they can use to sudue violent suspects. It's a BAD thing that police are using it every time someone refuses to obey their orders. They're using it like a cattleprod. The taser is a device that has the potential to kill people and should not be used just because a cop doesn't feel they're getting the respect they deserve. Furthermore, the company that makes tasers shouldn't be allowed to bully doctors into keeping quiet about taser related deaths.

    If cops truly need to taser someone, then they should taser them. If they truly need to shoot someone, then they should shoot them. The cops do not need to taser a middle-aged woman for refusing to get out of her car after being stopped for going a few miles an hour over the speed limit!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    /sarcasm, May 6th, 2008 @ 5:57am

    Re: Re: Why do you get tased?

    If you were tazed, you obviously did something wrong. Cops don't make mistakes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2008 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Why do you get tased?

    Inappropriate action by officers of the law should never be 'acceptable.' You can't tell me that a man in a coma was resisting officers, and they tased him?

    Their actions may be understandable, but officers of the law need to be held to a higher standard than that, because of the power and force of authority which they wield. What recourse does an innocent man have in the face of abuses? And if there's a blanket assumption of 'due diligence' anytime a police officer does something 'questionable,' you set a frightening standard for anyone who believes they are being mistreated or wrong by those police officers.

    Like said above: if you have fear, COMPLY. I refuse to comply with unjust demands, and you would have me assaulted for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2008 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    The present day use of "deadly force" is unacceptable 90% of the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    newtboy, May 6th, 2008 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Comments

    If something can kill, it's lethal. The designation of these weapons as "non-lethal" or "less than lethal" only applies when they are used by a police officer, if you kill someone with a taser, rubber bullet, pepper spray, batton, or ANY object it's going to be considered a lethal weapon. This doesn't seem right in a "free" society, and should be chalenged in court. There should be only one standard for everyone, if it kills, it's lethal. Period. (PS guns don't kill every time they're used either, but no one would argue they aren't lethal)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    MJ, May 6th, 2008 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Ohm's Law

    Ummmm, Grady:

    You say "voltage is separate from current", then a few sentences later, you say "They do effect one another. As one goes up, the other goes down." Unless I totally misunderstood you, those two statements contradict each other. Paul Jakma is correct to say that "voltage and current are not independent of each other".

    Your equation of x=y/5 is correct (if x is current, y is voltage, 5 is the resistance). For a certain voltage y, there is only one current x. That is exactly what Paul stated.

    "I don't do much algebra anymore, but, well, I see a LOT of answers there." eep! Maybe you should pick up the old math textbook every once in a while, so you at least keep a good handle on the basics :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, May 7th, 2008 @ 3:52pm

    Let's try this again;

    To all you people claiming that police only taser people who are threatening them;

    Police taser man for refusing to sign ticket
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck3iNnvnjnk

    Police taser handcuffed drunk woman in police station
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQXoczxzwYk

    Police taser woman for not wanting to be man-handled.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSG19c3elhQ

    Police taser woman as she'd held down
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si3y9gVxJtE

    Police taser man for refusing to get out of car
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UltIYWpVqXg

    Police taser woman for refusing to get out of cop car
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFH9kmKZX_o
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMpEr-MOSyk

    Polic e taser woman for refusing to get out of car
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkfkQcb45Lo

    Police taser kid for trying to get away from them
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIY3TemTpaM

    Police hold pregnant woman on ground and taser her
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGuhY2LctUQ

    Police taser unarmed 78 year old man
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4f7YsGqXjs

    Police taser woman for non-violently resisting arrest
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYscLTfINpk

    Police throw woman to ground and taser her
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWjXEf-TWIw

    Police taser handcuffed kid for skateboarding
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlPA6q1n4uw

    Police taser woman in Best Buy for being agitated
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHtYWhF7WGg

    Police taser man with his hands up, in street
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xVCZxZ8HNc

    Police taser pregnant woman for trying to break up fight
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFnl_BwOQi4

    Police taser woman for not complying fast enough
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io7eXAl9U8k

    Police taser man for not standing when told to
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FRnh9f1NnU

    Police taser a woman for refusing to get out of car
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Ywp2mZdJw

    Police taser man for non-violently resisting arrest
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9V41CHIc6k

    Officer tasers 11 year old boy in school for fighting
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmNPvuoKH-g

    Police threaten passive protester with taser
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jxnjomY0n0


    Yeah, their lives were really in danger...

    It probably won't sink in, but I figure I'll try anyway;

    It's a good thing that police have something less lethal than regular guns that they can use to sudue violent suspects. It's a BAD thing that police are using it every time someone refuses to obey their orders. They're using it like a cattleprod. The taser is a device that has the potential to kill people and should not be used just because a cop doesn't feel they're getting the respect they deserve. Furthermore, the company that makes tasers shouldn't be allowed to bully doctors into keeping quiet about taser related deaths.

    If cops truly need to taser someone, then they should taser them. If they truly need to shoot someone, then they should shoot them. The cops do not need to taser a middle-aged woman for refusing to get out of her car after being stopped for going a few miles an hour over the speed limit!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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