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"In summary, Tasers almost certainly can cause cardiac arrest in humans" Dr. Janusz said.
Despite these conclusions, according to a senior police officer, Taser International instructs that the exact opposite is true.
Staff Sgt. Joe Spindor, of the New Westminster Police Department, told the inquiry that he trains officers using Taser International guidelines and that he has never been informed of medical opinions on possible cardiac arrest.
"No. I've actually heard the opposite from Taser in my instruction." Spindor said.
Earlier this month doctors condemned as corporate "intimidation" a court decision ordering a chief medical examiner to remove any reference to the use of a taser as an antecedent in the deaths of three men.
Taser International filed and won a civil suit, forcing deletion all mentions of the weapons in the autopsy reports and requiring the deaths be termed "accidental".
Dr. Kerr also said that police should routinely carry defibrillators if they plan to employ Tasers and should be trained to initiate resuscitation after using the Taser on someone who is then unresponsive.
Contrary to speculation that an electronic control device
could induce ventricular fibrillation, the rhythm found in
media-linked arrest-related deaths was primarily asystole which
is associated with drug overdoses and cannot be induced with
* There was no interference with pacemakers and implantable
cardioverter defibrillators from TASER ECDs; and,
* Real time ultrasound showed that even when electronic control
device probes are placed across the heart, the ECD electrical
pulses have no effect on the human heart. This is in contrast
with the result occasionally seen in research using small pigs,
which have important physiological differences that make their
cardiovascular system significantly more sensitive to electricity
than in humans.
"We need a Taser for every police vehicle carrying two frontline police officers,'' Mr Pritchard said.
"If the Taser doesn't work then the second officer can use the gun.
TASERs have become the most prevalent enforcement tool in some departments. They have been used against unruly schoolchildren, mentally disturbed patients, intoxicated individuals; unarmed suspects in misdemeanor crimes and people who simply fail to comply immediately with a "command."Examples include:
A handcuffed nine-year-old girl in Arizona,
A six-year-old mentally disturbed boy in Florida, and
A 71-year-old woman in Oregon who is blind in one eye
And the list goes on.and on.
In Baytown, Texas, a man suffering from epileptic seizures was stunned while in the ambulance by one of Baytown's finest because he was resisted being strapped onto a stretcher while in post-seizure confusion. An Internal Affairs investigation into the incident found that the officer had not violated any policies. Right. The shepherd uses a staff and dogs to herd the sheep.
Also in Baytown, Naomi Autin, a 59-year-old disabled woman, was reportedly TASED three times by police officer Micah Aldred in July 2003 for banging on her brother's door with a brick. She was collecting his mail and keeping an eye on his house while he was away serving a sentence for drug possession. Mrs. Autin called the Police herself to help her get in, when she became worried that her brother's house sitter may have come to some grief, since they were not answering the door. In her lawsuit, she states she was TASED in the back because she kept banging on the door, the door of property she held effective control over, and remember, she was the one that called the cops to "protect and serve" her interests. When the officers would not help, she told them to leave, and went back to banging on the door. She states Aldred told her to stop and then TASED her. She fell, causing a sever head laceration requiring 17 stitches to close [Baytown Police version];. Mrs. Autin, is 5 feet 2 and suffers from severe arthritis. Hence the need for a brick to knock on the door.
In May 2004, Taser International Inc., spokesman Steve Tuttle made a frighteningly accurate prediction when he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the number of TASER-related deaths "will continue to increase with the number of devices we sell."