Thursday, March 05, 2009


Stolen Big Island Taser is not non-lethal

by Larry Geller

The Advertiser reported today that a burglar broke into the home of a Hilo police officer and took his semi-automatic pistol, a Taser weapon, and a container of pepper spray.

The article didn't ask why those weapons were not securely locked up, or if disciplinary action against the cop was warranted.

It also made a huge mistake in describing the X26 Taser as a non-lethal weapon:

All four county police departments in Hawai'i use Tasers, which incapacitate suspects with a nonlethal, 50,000-volt jolt of electricity. Some Tasers have a video camera in the handle, which activates when the device is fired. Police departments review the video.

Information on Taser-caused deaths is readily available. A quick Google search yielded this information, for example:

According to an Amnesty International report in December, 334 people shocked with Tasers by law enforcement died in the United States between June 2001 and August 2008.

California, which logged 55 Taser-related deaths, and Florida, with 52, had the highest number of deaths during that seven-year span. [NBC Los Angeles, 2/17/2009]

If at least 334 people have been killed by Tasers, they cannot accurately be described as non-lethal.

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Larry, did you see about tracing that taser?

Just because they died afterwards doesn't mean the Taser was responsible!

In how may cases has a Taser been legally shown to be the cause of death exactly?...take your time before replying...

Do your own googling.

You'll find reports where the medical examiner or coroner performing the autopsy has listed Tasers as a primary cause of death and has classified the death as a homicide. You'll see videos of people being tased who later died. In the case of the Brooklyn man who was tased and fell to his death we could argue, but the myth that no one has died as a result of being tased is just that, a myth.

I like the police report where they mention not to approach the suspect!

You think he might be armed and dangerous with all the stuff he stole?

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