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Dallas Officer Sues Taser International

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posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:05 PM
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Dallas Officer Sues Taser International


www.nbcdfw.com

A Dallas police officer has filed a lawsuit against the company that makes Tasers called Taser International.

Officer Andrew Butler alleges he suffered a fractured vertebra after he was tased during rookie training.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:05 PM
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This is just interesting. I guess at least one is realizing that these tasers aren't toys. I hate to say it but it is about time.

Note this is not meant to be a cop bashing thread. So if possible let's refrain from that.

However, I do think there seems to be too much reliance on the not quite as lethal weapon, in situations that would not have called for it's use in the past.

Maybe this lawsuit by this officer, which involves the Taser company not informing the police station of the risks ( though you would think common sense would tell you the risks) will encourage officers to think twice before pulling that trigger.

Thoughts?


www.nbcdfw.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 21-1-2011 by gimme_some_truth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 


stun guns aren't non-lethal, they are less lethal.

every time someone dies because of a stun gun, they blame underlying conditions and drugs.

they never acknowledge that no matter how many drugs they are on, or what underlying conditions the person has, the person probably would not have died if they were tackled and handcuffed instead of tasered.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by randomname
reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 


stun guns aren't non-lethal, they are less lethal.


That is exactly right. I have grown to call it a not quite as lethal weapon. Bottom line, if it has ever killed a living being, then it is lethal. As you said, it has. You are right. It is never, or at the very best, rarely acknowledged that it can kill. So honestly, even calling it a not quite as lethal weapon is inaccurate... If it has killed before then it is a lethal weapon.

I do hope that this lawsuit will open a few eyes among other police officers as well as the companies that make these weapons. Perhaps some other cops will hear of this story and think twice before pulling that trigger. Perhaps some from these taser companies will think twice before talking about how not dangerous it is.

It is a weapon. The way I look at ANY weapon is never use it unless you intend to kill who ever you use it on, because death is a risk of using weapons.... period.

Now again, I want to say that this is not meant to be a cop bashing thread, though I imagine we will have our fair share of cop bashing comments. Truth be told 99.9999% of police officers I have dealt with have been wonderful. I have come across only one in my life who had no business being a cop....

But I digress.

edit on 21-1-2011 by gimme_some_truth because: Adding a few thoughts



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 


The fallacy is the term less lethal. Its actually called less than lethal, as the posibility for death is there. The same falacy exists for bullet proof vests, which arent bullet proof, but bullet resistant.

I have been tased a few times now, both by clips as well as the darts with no problems. IS he claiming the darts fractured his vertebrae, the fall (which would be intresting since during academ training there are peolple to either side of you to prevent you from falling in an uncontrolled manner), did he have an existing condition not disclosed (which would siqualify him from being an officer in the first place.

Something does not sound right with this.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra


I have been tased a few times now, both by clips as well as the darts with no problems. IS he claiming the darts fractured his vertebrae, the fall (which would be intresting since during academ training there are peolple to either side of you to prevent you from falling in an uncontrolled manner), did he have an existing condition not disclosed (which would siqualify him from being an officer in the first place.

Something does not sound right with this.


Truth be told I am not sure exactly what his law suit claims. I saw the story on the local news here and looked it up. The article it self is very short and lacks the details of his suit.

Something I found interesting is that apparently getting tased is not a requirement for becoming a police officer, at least here in Dallas ( So said the local news broadcast). Though I was under the impression that being tased was a requirement in order for cops to be certified to use the taser ( Anyone know if that is true?).

I agree, there does need to be an investigation into possible undisclosed conditions he may have. I imagine there is one going on, though I do not. If there is not one, I would venture to guess that there will be.

All I know is that he is still on the force, a vertebrae broke, and now he is suing. If I hear any more I will of course post it here for all to read. I encourage others to do so as well.

I wish I could answer your questions. But at this point I just don't know. From what I can tell, the exact details of his suit have not been disclosed as of yet. Just that he got tased, broke a vertebrae and he is now suing.

But I do expect there is a lot more to this story, that we may or may not hear later.
edit on 21-1-2011 by gimme_some_truth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:53 PM
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Hope that he wins his case.. Tasers are barbaric and should be outlawed entirely.
With proper training a person can disarm / subdue an individual with bare hands much more efficiently and humanely than by zapping them with one of those barbaric tasers...



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 


As an officer I can say most agencies do not require you to be hit with a Taser anymore. Some of the trade offs with not taking the hit is you are not allowed to carry / use one in the course of your duties. Taser use to require people to be hit with it in order to be a certifdied trainer, but that has also changed.

The design behind having officers get hit with pepper spray / oc / tasers / batons / handcuffs etc is for training, but also legal reasons. When we use force and it goes to court, we always get put on the stand, and we are always asked about the tools that were used, the manner they were used, force behind their use etc.

Its easy to paint a picture to a jury by having an officer on the stand who used a Taser, but has never been hit with a Taser. Its easy to play off on the emotions of the jury since the officer could not adequately explain what a taser feels like. Contrary to description, it does not cause pain, but lack of a descriptive term for it, pain is the most commonly associated word with it.

A taser transmits on the same frequency as the Brain does with regards to motor control. Becuase the taser is "more powerful" than the brain transmits at, it over rides the brain signal, causing your muscles to contract (like doing 100 situps in 5 seconds). The taser cycles for a full 5 seconds, or it can be stopped at anytime after discharge. Since the probe penetrate the skin, its actually recomended to go the full 5 seconds, since it cauterizes the entry points into the skin, and does not hurt as bad when removing.

Off all the times I have seen a taser used (training, in the field, accidental discharge / miss hitting another officer etc), I have never seen an adverse reaction rising to the level of a fractured anything (excluding those people tasered while on roofs, fences etc, which by most Agency policies prohibits the use in those situations). I would like to see more information as to how this injury occured before even guessing on the cause, or motivation of the lawsuit.

Something just does not sound right.







edit on 21-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 08:08 PM
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Originally posted by randomname
reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 


stun guns aren't non-lethal, they are less lethal.

every time someone dies because of a stun gun, they blame underlying conditions and drugs.

they never acknowledge that no matter how many drugs they are on, or what underlying conditions the person has, the person probably would not have died if they were tackled and handcuffed instead of tasered.


reply to post by Expat888
 




That may be somewhat true, however the simple fact drugs are involved would tell officers to excersize caution, which means going hands on will be a last resort. Just how would you suggest we take a person into custody with just handcuffs if the person is resisting arrest in the first place? You do understand that most agencies do not allow the use of a Taser until it escalates to resisting?

Again this type of argument irritates me, so no offense is intended towards you random or expat with my response, but I do want to vent for a minute.

Why should Law Enforcement be required to raise our level of exposure because someone decided they wanted to get high on an legal / illegal substance and behave in a manner that prompted a call to the police? Why should I be forced to fight with a person on drugs because using a taser might kill the person? My job is dangerous enough with all of the weapons / drugs / diseases / etc out there. I chose my profession not based on money, and I knew full well what I was getting into going into all of this.

Why should we be required to use special treatment on people who decide to do drugs? Its almost like making the argument that because the guy is beating the hell out of his wife with a bat, I cant shoot him because he is drunk / high on drugs.

The individual chose, on his own, to put whatever in his body, and knows what the reaction is going to be the moment it hits the blood stream / lungs / stomach / etc.

Going hands on with someone who is strung out on something, and keep in mind we dont know what the hell they are on in the first place, is even more dangerous than utilsizing a Taser, Pepper Spray, Baton on a person.

I have had the unique experience of fighting with a guy who stabbed his roomate with a knife, then in the snow fled on foot with no shirt, and no shoes, throwing off a K9, taking a full can of pepper spray to the face by a lady when the guy tried to come through her bedroom window.

By the time the guy was in custody, there were almost 8 officers present. It took that ma ny to secort the guy to the ER, where he wigged out again. That time it took the 8 officers as well as 7 officers from Hostpial Security to assist in getting the guy under control.

Turns out he had not only Meth in his system, but PCP.

If its all the same to you, I decided to live my life by a certain standard, and as such, I will be going home at the end of the night, along with my fellow officers, hospital public safety, doctors, nurses and any innocent bystander who might be around. If that means I have to use a Taser, Pepper Spray, Baton, Gun, Car, Shotgun or maglight to the base of the head, then thats how its going to be.

If that offends anyone who decides to use drugs, tough. I am not going to die because you chose to do drugs and act like a brain damaged test monkey.
edit on 21-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 08:11 PM
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I agree with Expat888. These things should be outlawed and we can get right back to shooting these damned low-life's.

No use messing around picking up lawsuits for folks with bone diseases.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra


Off all the times I have seen a taser used (training, in the field, accidental discharge / miss hitting another officer etc), I have never seen an adverse reaction rising to the level of a fractured anything (excluding those people tasered while on roofs, fences etc, which by most Agency policies prohibits the use in those situations). I would like to see more information as to how this injury occured before even guessing on the cause, or motivation of the lawsuit.

Something just does not sound right.


You know, They did show the actual video of him being tased on TV. He was standing on a matt. There were people on either side of him and holding him. They lowered him to the ground slowly... The shock did seem to last about 5 seconds. So it's not like he fell hard and broke something...

Seeing that video, the only thing I can think of is that his muscles contracted so much that it broke the vertebrae. But I am not so sure that is typical and does raise the question as to whether or not he had some pre existing medical condition. Perhaps Osteoporosis or some other bone disease that weakens the bone....

I imagine that if he does, that will be revealed. So, interesting story.
edit on 21-1-2011 by gimme_some_truth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


Have studied / trained in martial arts since was old enough to walk well over 50 years exp in methods that have worked for centuries here in asia. Many of the techniques are used by most asian police forces - most notably in japan where police have no problems in subduing an individual using such techniques. Seen it many times and at times in past have had to use my skill twice against much larger opponents walked away after doing just what was necessary to end the situation without loss of life or limb by any involved.
The other thing is that (going by observation and talking with law officers in past ) its also about being able to understand people and talk / listen / act accordingly to handle the situation as all situations are different.. Thus peace officers as opposed to law officers. (Hope making sense my english is rusty and find english a limited language.) just seems that for many things in the west people rely too much upon technology to do things when there are often more humane and human ways of dealing with situations..



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


And no offense taken. Fully understand your viewpoints and concerns . Have a few friends that are officers in different countries and hear from them some of the things they encounter while on duty. Its a hard often thankless job. Soz extend to 2nd post poor signal today so have to be short reply to post. (Monsoon season and raining on top of normal weak signal out here.)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 09:26 PM
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reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 


I went looking and there isn't alot of news on it - but I did find this..

Dallas Officer Wants More Warning for Taser Training



Dallas Police officer Andy Butler plans to sue Taser International after sustaining major injuries during a police academy training exercise.

Butler was a recruit in 2009 when he underwent Taser training. Shortly after the exercises he says he noticed a pain in his arm. "15 to 20 minutes after I got Tased I felt like I pulled a muscle in my back, as the day wore on the pain got worst and worst," said Butler.

Butler later would learn he had three herniated discs and would eventually have surgery to replace one of them with metal plates in his vertebrae.


I just found this one too that contains a link to the PDF of his suite..

Dallas PD Trainee Goes a TASER Too Far

It does some weird - some kind of pre-existing back condition maybe?



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by Expat888
 


Most officers do train with martial arts and other types of offensive / defensive techniques. We can run into the problem where if we used one of those techniques, and an adverse event occurs because of it (broken arm/leg etc) a lawsuit could occur. Since the techniques are out of policy, the department and city could technically disassociate themselves from the officer, which means any lawsuit is directed solely at the officer, and not the department or city.

We have a civil immunity shield (varies from state to state, but essentially the same premise) that prevents (theoretically) us from being sued so long as we are within the law (state / federal) and within policy. If we fall outside either one of those areas, we are pretty much screwed.

We are required to deescalate the situation as quickly as possible, using the least amount of force possible. That comes from US Supreme Court rulings, so there is not much play in there. Using a Taser which should, theoretically, end the encounter with the least amount of force in the shortest possible manner.

Going all martial arts runs the risk of more serious injuries to both the suspect and possibly the officer as well. Also, keep in mind that if we tell someone they are under arrest, and type of action, or even verbal refusal to comply, adds the charge of resisting arrest (again differs from state to state, but if you are arresting for a felony, you can get felony resisting, if a misdemeanor, then misdemeanor resisting. Many people see handcuffs as just that, however when you are trying to put them on during a fight, and the suspect gains control of those handcuffs, it can be used as a deadly weapon.

An unlatched cuff, when swung at the head, can penetrate the skull resulting in Game over.

Contrary to portrayal, we dont just make contact and go straight to Taser. From what I have seen both online, from training etc our Asian Law Enforcement cousins have completely different standards in terms of officer actions, laws, case law refinement etc.

So what works in Rome, doesnt always work in Shanghai, Perth or Chicago.
edit on 21-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 10:57 PM
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reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 


Yeah you have my intrest on this one. I am curious what will come of this. I do know that for the longest time, during training we could say that there is no impact on a person bladder (IE being tased and peeing / pooping yourself). All it took was one incident where a guy was tased, and peed himself (most likely not from the tasing iteself). Now we have to say 99% of the time, it will not make someone piss/poop themselves lol.

Its entirely possible the condition existed but not diagnosed, and being hit with a taser and the ensuing muscle contractions, it could have been the straw that broke the camels back.

So possibly contributing factor, but I just cannot see it being the only factor.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra


So possibly contributing factor, but I just cannot see it being the only factor.


What else do you think could be a factor?



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 


I'm not a medical expert so all I can do is guess.

Spinal disc herniation

Compression fracture

Intrestingly enough, I did come across this blurb from 2008.

Thoracic spine compression fracture after TASER activation.


Abstract
The TASER is a less lethal weapon seeing increased use by police jurisdictions across the country. As a result, subjects of TASER use are being seen with increasing frequency in emergency departments across the country. The potential injury patterns of the device are important for emergency physicians to understand. This report describes the case of an officer who complained of back pain after a single 5-s TASER discharge during a routine training exercise. Subsequent evaluation led to the diagnosis of an acute thoracic vertebral compression fracture. We discuss the potential mechanisms of injury in this case. Because we were unable to find any cases like this in our review of TASER-related injuries, we liken it to compression fractures that have been documented after seizures. We recommend that physicians consider obtaining back radiographs to rule out a vertebral compression fracture in any individual who has sustained a TASER discharge and has ongoing or persistent back pain.


Back in 2008 there were no reported cases where a Taser caused a fracture to the area this officer is talking about.

However, this occured in 2007

Police Officer's Taser Demonstration Led to Spinal Fractures


A police officer who volunteered to participate in a Taser demonstration suffered spinal fractures and perhaps lasting spinal damage, according to a newly published case study in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Sep 04, 07


It might be a possiblity then that the tasing did cause the problem. There seems to be disagreement though when it comes to that conclusion. Guess we will wait and see how it plays out.







edit on 21-1-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


Huh, that is really interesting. Thanks for that research. So it is a real possibility that the damage was caused by the taser and not some previous condition.

Yeah, we will have to see. Either way, hope he heals up alright, and hope we get more details of this case.



posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 09:03 AM
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Who cares?I hope he gets zilch....ive no use for cops.
There is something creepy about people who want to make a carreer out of bullying others.....
A certain less than human quality which their training re enforces to the point of a complex.
We need an entirely different breed of police officers, and entirely different training for same.



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