It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Tasers safer than batons and fists

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 12:37 PM

Tasers safer than batons and fists

Using a Taser to subdue a violent suspect is safer than police batons and fists. That is the surprising conclusion of a study of incidents in which US police used force to tackle a person who was resisting arrest.

Several suspects have died in the US after being tasered, and human rights groups have spoken out against the weapons, also called conductive electrical devices (CEDs). But John MacDonald of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and colleagues have found they seem to result in fewer injuries than more conventional methods such as batons.

The team examined over 24,000 c
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 12:37 PM
On a regular basis, I read how the police taser a suspect and the suspect dies.

Often I wondered if the taser is the safest method of handling a suspect who is not cooperating with law enforcement officials.

This study seems to suggest that indeed using a taser is safer than using batons and/or fists to subdue someone.

I'm curious about your thoughts.
(visit the link for the full news article)


posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 12:45 PM
My only thoughts, as an ex-military policeman, and as someone who has lots of friends in different police forces is.....when has the use of fists ever been a sancioned arrest and restraint move?

Not even sure why they are comparing it?

Thats like saying it's safer to Taze someone than kick them in the nuts...shouldn't be doing it anyway!

I'm not syaing that in extreme circumstances it has never been used, but as far as i know, a punch is not a standard issue tool.


[edit on 17/11/09 by CX]

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 12:49 PM
If a taser does not kill you by stopping your heart through exacerbating an undiagnosed medical condition I would think it logical to assume it might be a safer device than blunt trauma from say, a baton to the skull or a fist to the face. However the thing with a taser assault is you cannot reach out with your hands to stop an impending face plant with a kerb, pavement or rubble strewn tarmac.

At least with a baton blow to the head you stand some chance of not being instantly incapacitated with a KO, and with a fist you stand almost no chance of being knocked out. With a taser you can never raise your hands to protect your face as it reaches down to slap the ground like a melon.

In my opinion they are all dangerous but the taser is so effective at the job of incapacitation that the most dangerous phase are the seconds from standing to reclining, and I cannot see an officer rushing in with a bean bag to cushion a skull from slapping floor.

I'm surprised more people have not died from skull fractures and other impact injuries due to the taser.


posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 12:56 PM
Saying that, i can't remember ever being taught to, or having to hit someone over the head with a baton either. It was either legs, arms or i think if i remember correctly, collar bone area.

Either way, they hurt like hell and could bring down the biggest guy.

The thought of getting a baton or old style truncheon to the swede is a nasty thought, splitting a melon springs to mind.


[edit on 17/11/09 by CX]

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:06 PM
Yes, not a great idea to slam a baton down on a persons head but I remember the protests that took place in London (countryside alliance) a few years ago. A line of irate protesters were going toe to toe with a line of police men and the police were aiming for the heads with telescoping batons and were so effective that many protesters were bleeding profusely.

In the background was Westminster - our bastion of fairness and a beacon of light in the struggle against corrupt... Oops soapbox mode just crept in there.

I also recall an interview with a police officer who had stormed a building holding some extremists and he did mention on live TV that they are taught in certain circumstances like a life or death situation that they are to strike the head as hard as they can with a fist to distract if not incapacitate.

I was quite surprised to see the policeman say that and something inside me twisted with unease.

*edit to add*

I should mention that I am not concerned with fist blows to the face of an extremist who is about to blow himself up of shoot a hostage, I am made uneasy by the knowledge that this "rule" could be used against anyone and for any reason.

[edit on 17-11-2009 by SmokeJaguar67]

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:20 PM
reply to post by Wildbob77

let's make this more accurate in it's language.

When used _properly_, tazers can tend to be more nonlethal than fists or a baton.

key word, properly. that is the main fall off right there. a large number of these death cases are from the improper use of tazers

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:22 PM
They are only comparing injuries using these various methods to "incapacitate" somebody, ...

Tasers safer than batons and fists

After controlling for factors such as the amount of resistance shown by the suspect, they found that Taser use reduced the overall risk of injury by 65 per cent.

I wonder if they did a study on the percentage of deaths between the the uses of batons, fists and tasers would be.

Have a feeling that the taser would come out ahead.

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:50 PM
Although it may be a bit self-serving ....

In March of 2005, in “Tasers: A Reassessment” the Coalition for Justice and Accountability summed up the apprehension derived from the use of Tasers thusly;

“The Coalition for Justice and Accountability initially supported the use of Tasers, as an alternative to deadly force. Consequently, the Coalition expected to see a reduction in police use of deadly force. Instead we watched sadly as the number of officer-involved shootings spiked to near record levels - after a steady five-year decline – at the same time that police were shooting Tasers 10 times more than they used to shoot guns.”

Further, and more damning still;

“Taser International's questionable safety claims have been the source of most of their notoriety. The New York Times pointed out that the company's testing consists of tests on a single pig in 1996 and on five dogs in 1999. Company-paid researchers, not independent scientists, conducted the studies, which were never published in a peer-reviewed federal or state agencies have studied the safety, or effectiveness, of Tasers...Nor has any federal agency studied the deaths to determine what caused them....The few independent studies that have examined the Taser have found that the weapon's safety is unproven at best. The most comprehensive report, by the British government in 2002, concluded "the high-power Tasers cannot be classed, in the vernacular, as `safe.' " .

It was at this point that a new public relations effort began; thus appeared the able and willing Bill Bozeman, MD, Director, EMS/Pre-hospital Research, Medical Director, Forsyth County Tactical Medicine. I point out that ‘Tactical’ medicine is a salient term we will see appearing further on.

Per a report by Dr. Stephen Juan of The Register, “In 2006, Dr. Bozeman reportedly estimated the chance of dying after being shot by a Taser or stun gun as about one in 870 in the September 2005 issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Within the article Dr Bozeman acknowledges that such an estimate is based on very little data. Nevertheless, medical studies suggest that more, not fewer deaths could result from the introduction of Tasers. Some worry that more deaths could occur since police may be more likely to use Tasers on a suspect thinking they are safer than handguns…

Instead, Tasers and stun guns are known to cause a suspect to suffer cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, malfunction of pace-makers, damaged eyes, injury to the central nervous system, and death. The death of an innocent fetus can occur as well as Tasers and stun guns can cause a miscarriage when used on a pregnant woman. Police would find it difficult, if not impossible to know if a female suspect is pregnant.”

In October 8th 2007 FOX News reports “Study Suggests Use of Tasers by Law Enforcement Agencies Is Safe” PRIOR to the release of the study. They reported that Bozeman said results from previous studies were limited by the use of animal models and of healthy police volunteers in training settings, not criminal suspects in real-world conditions.


The very next day, the report is publicized, “‘Largest ever’ study finds Tasers safe”

The rebuttals were quick and severely under reported;

The study was presented at the American College of Emergency Physicians' Scientific Assembly in Seattle on October 8th, 2007, but many notable ‘experts’ were left with more questions than answers, one source reports..,

…Nationally recognized Taser expert Aram James of the Coalition for Justice and Accountability (CJA) says, “The study concludes -- without supporting data -- that Tasers reduce injuries to both police and the individuals Tasered. But the authors offer no systematic data to support this conclusion.” James says that actually the study's own data belies their own conclusion of safety. The abstract reported 23% of 597 subjects received some sort of injury. “Nearly 1 in 4, hardly support for the proposition that Tasers are safe -- and when coupled with 293 Taser related deaths, a statistic conveniently ignored by the authors of this study, the conclusion that Tasers are safe is not only not true but in fact a lie of deadly proportions.”

Richard Konda, Executive Director of the Asian Law Alliance and CJA co-founder, says the study ignores the reality that some populations are at higher risk when Tased. “The study fails to mention the effect of Tasers on vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, the elderly, the mentally ill, and those under the influence of drugs, who are far more likely to suffer serious injuries and even death as a result of being Tasered.” Konda, who's organization is supporting a ban of Tasers, says the evidence of the deadly effects of Tasers is already being acknowledged by law enforcement communities. He says, “Medical remedies to prevent death are being developed because Tasers kill. In Miami emergency medical technicians are spraying a sedative in the noses of Tasers victims or inject them with iced saline solutions. These protocols lead us to only one conclusion – that Tasers are deadly weapons and must be banned.”

James says the reason why the study does not appear to be independent is because it was, essentially, a law enforcement report, and points to several red flags. “First, it was conducted at six law enforcement agencies across the country, interestingly enough not disclosed. Why the secrecy? Secondly, the underlying police reports and any accompanying medical records were reviewed by ‘tactical physicians' who are closely connected to a law enforcement agenda. Finally, not mentioned anywhere in the press release related to this study is the companion piece put out by the Wake Forest Physicians Group. In a study dated September 4, 2007 -- the same doctors credited with the above study -- reported on a police officer who after volunteering to receive a 5 second Taser exposure, under very controlled circumstance, was Tased for 5 seconds and suffered a very serious and apparently permanently debilitating thoracic compression fracture. So much for Tasers being a low risk of injury weapon, if they’re unsafe for the cops they’re unsafe for us!”


Essentially I contend that the research done to date has been far from exhaustive, and there is reason to believe it is questionably biased. There is no independently published establishing a disconnection between Tasers and lethal outcome. In fact just recently, in June of this year a federal jury found that Taser International was liable for a persons’ death due to their own failure to adequately portray the dangers of the weapon.

Amnesty International reported “The degree of tolerable risk involving Tasers, as with all weapons and restraint devices, must be weighed against the threat posed. It is self-evident that Tasers are less injurious than firearms where officers are confronted with a serious threat that could escalate to deadly force. However, the vast majority of people who have died after being struck by Tasers have been unarmed men who did not pose a threat of death or serious injury when they were electro-shocked. In many cases, they did not appear to have posed any significant threat at all”.

Of 291 reported deaths, AI has so far identified only 25 individuals who were reportedly armed with any sort of weapon when they were electro-shocked; such weapons did not include firearms.

AI acknowledged that there may be “stand-off” situations where Tasers in dart-firing mode could effectively be used as an alternative to firearms to save lives. However, the potential to use Tasers in drive-stun mode (where they are often used as “pain compliance” tools when individuals are already effectively in custody), and the capacity to inflict severe pain through multiple and prolonged shocks, renders the weapons inherently open to abuse.”

Later they continue “[Dr Bozeman’s] study says nothing about the misuse of Tasers or about the appropriateness of the use of Tasers in cases where death has followed Taser use. It does not appear to have measured specifically against possible risk factors (such as exposure to multiple or prolonged shocks, especially if combined with other restraints) or tested the effects of Tasers on specific groups, such as those intoxicated, agitated or with underlying heart disease.”

I think this essentially substantiates the fallacy of the notion that Tasers are safe and non-lethal because Taser International, the Police Force, and their associates all say so.

Excepted from "Maxmars v Zaimless: The Taser, Should It Be Banned?"

a debate from last year....

The associations and lobbyists who fund the research and it's "interpretation" often believe the public will not recall the past, nor investigate further than what they proclaim in the media.....

Too bad they never heard of ATS.

[edit on 17-11-2009 by Maxmars]

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:54 PM
Of course the tazer is safer. Because, as we all know, the batton to the arm is almost surely going to break said arm.

However, the study is obviously slanted to the LEO's liking here. With a tazer the risk of injury is going to depend on a number of factors. Anyone remember the stories of people catching ON FIRE when tazed?
Boy, I hope you haven't had too much to drink when you get your tazing.
Also, I would be extremely upset if the cop decided to taze me in the scrotum. Or in the neck.

Or god forbid you have a pre-existing heart condition and you are tazed in the chest.

To put it in plain English, the tazer has become a torture device. More and moreso used by cops who feel the need to dish out some "street justice" on a person who often times has done absolutely nothing to warrant such wreckless protocol.

This study reminds me of "in house justice" dished out in basic training with towels and bars of soap. "What injuries, the guy doesn't have any bruises?"
Problem is that while he has no bruises, I fear for the internal bleeding his kidneys are experiencing.

Also, as someone else mentioned, since when are cops authorized to punch people in the face in order to slap cuffs on them? I know they don't teach that crap at the academy.
Junk science. Junk study. Cops are happy.

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:51 PM
THIS Just In!!!! Beating your child with a wooden belt is safer than beating them with your hands.

new topics

top topics


log in