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Analysis: Taser-related deaths in US accelerating

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posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:04 PM

Analysis: Taser-related deaths in US accelerating

The rate of deaths in Taser-related incidents is rising as police forces increasingly adapt the conducted energy weapons, a Raw Story analysis finds.

A 2008 report (PDF) from Amnesty International found 351 Taser-related deaths in the US between June, 2001 and August, 2008, a rate of just slightly above four deaths per month.

A database of Taser-related deaths maintained at the African-American issues blog Electronic Village counts 96 deaths related to the use of Tasers since January, 2009
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:04 PM
This is getting way out of hand and instead of less-than-lethal weapons helping LEOs, they are becoming an instrument of terror. You see, LL (less-than-lethal) weapons are supposed to be used as a next-to-last resort, almost in the same category as lethal weapons. These weapons are only supposed to be used when there are no other alternatives. That's what the public was sold anyway when these "tools" were first introduced to us.

These days, they have become tools for compliance, even when they aren't needed. It's much easier (and more fun to some) to just tase a victim into compliance. No longer are these considered to be reserve weapons for the "just in case" scenario and instead allows officers to use force when force isn't necessary.

Unfortunately, there are consequences to these weapons beyond just permanent damage to the victim. It allows cops to lose any sense of respect for the public they used to serve. Before, the police would at least have to act professionally and respectful to ensure that the incident wouldn't get out of hand and make their jobs easier. Now, police don't have to show any kind of respect or professionalism because they can just zap their victims, which makes it even easier for them.

These tasers have only made cops more trigger happy, which ultimately makes everyone worse off than they were before these instruments of terror were deployed to our streets. They allow the cops to abuse anyone they like and it's completely justified because it's a taser.

We are turning into a police state and anyone who can't see it, is either blind or in denial. You know, I don't even blame the police as they are only doing their jobs in the manner to which they were indoctrinated. Instead, I blame the system that encourages this police state and the indoctrination of the people to not only accept it, but participate in it.

(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:12 PM
dont tase me bro

I'm sure soon enough this thread will fill up with those who will justify it all, however cops are out of control with that new toy. I mean why would you ever use it on a pregnant woman, and an elderly person? I mean cmon they teach these retard wrist locks among other ways to take people down persons that are bigger than they are. Thought this was reserved for those out of control meth freaks?

Needs to be a serious psychological review of all that work with these type of devices. Oh well I know for the most part nobody gives a crap....

That is until it happens to them or a loved one... just give it time, and reinforce this behavior...



[edit on 6-9-2010 by Lysergic]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:13 PM
I completely agree that "less than lethal" has seemingly created an unduly casual approach to the overly liberal usage of these weapons.

But I think another aspect of this is the militarization of the police forces in general. Most of the police officers I know, or run into these days are ex-military, most veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan, and they've brought a very military culture with them into police work. I think they tend to look at law enforcement as an adversarial prospect as opposed to being public servants. I can understand this mindset when dealing with a person who is engaged in a criminal activity, but more and more often this mindset seems to be there when dealing with other situations, such as traffic stops, domestic calls, mental health calls, etc.

As long as law enforcement sees us all as "suspects", I do not see this trend changing one bit.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:19 PM
reply to post by airspoon

I'm not sure if they are increasing or merely getting more coverage. My guess is that they have been used far too often than is warranted, such as the case where they tased the 70 year old man last week three times (under the guise that they were fearful of him hurting himself).

My guess is the use of these devices is WAY under reported.

These devices should be configured to automatically update their discharge to a public server whereby the public can see how often they are used and under what circumstances.

This is probably an indicator of poor police training - it is far easier to tase someone than subdue them physically.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:24 PM
I noticed it says 351 deaths, but does anyone know the total number of times tasers have been used?

Maybe I missed it in the PDF file.

I do find the cause of deaths interesting on the PDF file starting on page 5.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:47 PM
Two Thomas Jefferson quotes that pretty much are my response to these stats.

When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

The government wants the citizens to be afraid, that way the are compliant to atrocities that happen everyday, with their jackboot officers. Much better to keep the sheep in line.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

There has already been several incidents over the last few years where people are not putting up with police harassment. I feel these situations are only going to increase. For every incident that happens out there, the more the citizenry is going to wake up. Ever see these things on the MSM? Of course not, look how long it took for those officers that killed people during hurrican Katrina. Now we have reports that the NOPD gave out instructions to shoot looters on site. Now, if these officers that killed these people were informed to do exactly that, where are the arrests of those higher in the NOPD?

Or is it always the same, the orders come for up high and when the foot soldiers get caught following orders, the upper echelon never get hit. Guantanamo sound familiar?

Anyway, look to the left, my avatar says it all, do no harm BUT do not tread on me!

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 03:04 PM
The issue of tazer use is pretty difficult to be honest. On the one hand, it IS benificial to a policeman, and to the public to offer a weapon which can prevent a situation from continuing (drunk dude with knife at a traffic stop? Do you really want to shoot a man when he cant recite his own name and address?),AND preserves the life of the suspect so that due process can be observed. This is benificial because it shows compassion on the part of law enforcement toward the suspect, thier family and friends, and shows that the law is not a tool of terror.
But on the other hand that compassion can only come through however, when the technology is deployed in situations which cannot be construed as heavy handed. For instance, pulling a tazer on a pregnant woman is wrong. It will be wrong in every situation. Even if the world ends unless the woman ends up with a few thousand volts in her, you dont do it. You know why ? Because you are a crap human being if you do. Hell restraining a pregnant woman is risky from a moral point of veiw because of the danger of injuring her or the unborn one growing in her gut. If your gonna do any damn thing to a pregnant woman, and it isnt getting her a hot chocolate and a comfy chair, then you are on dodgy ground from the get go!
In short the same thing applies to tazers as it does to guns, and that is that they do not kill people. People kill people, and its people we need to improve.
All the above said, I would like to see a side by side comparison of the amount of suspects shot to death, and the amount of suspects tazered to death. I would also like to see what percentage of suspects die when shot, and what percentage die when tazered. If the tazer percentages are comperable, or worse than the shooting deaths, then something is really wrong.

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 02:24 PM

Originally posted by TrueBrit
All the above said, I would like to see a side by side comparison of the amount of suspects shot to death, and the amount of suspects tazered to death. I would also like to see what percentage of suspects die when shot, and what percentage die when tazered. If the tazer percentages are comperable, or worse than the shooting deaths, then something is really wrong.

Good point. Unfortunately, they just put a lethal weapon in the hands of high school drop-out security guards and violently angry cops without any plans to keep accurate records on it's use so that we can see what they are doing with it. Not that I think they should use cattle prods on people. Not that I trust them to do record keeping or anything..

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:44 AM
reply to post by MegaCurious

Well sure, but where tazers are concerned it would be pretty easy to come up with a small component chip capable of registering each activation of the tazer. I mean the police have to check thier ammo out when they stock up from police supply dont they? And they have thier guns tested so that thier rounds can be identified at the scene of officer involved shootings, and so forth. I dont see what the massive problem would be with them putting an activation register on the tazer as well, that would force some sort of check and balance on what appears on the face of it to be an escalating issue.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:36 AM
Every time a taser is used the cop should be made to fill a report stating why "leathal force" was justified...

Because my understanding is thats what tasers are an alternative for..

If they cant justify their action for basically pulling their gun, then they should be charged for excessive force..

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 07:04 AM
reply to post by CynicalM

Tasers are not an alternative for lethal force, and using an alternative for lethal force is not using lethal force. How many objects could you use to kill someone? Virtually anything you can pick up is a weapon designed specifically to kill by your logic. Something only turns into a lethal weapon once someone uses it as a lethal weapon.

Tasers are intended as a safer (for the user) alternative for more harmful (for everyone) methods of subduing someone. Is a truncheon preferable? Bouncing their head off the concrete? How about wiggling a finger around someone's eye-socket instead?

The idea is not to let psychos who enjoy zapping people into the police force and to make sure that police know that it is in their interests to ensure that -any- use of force is justified.

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