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Taser Death in San Jose Raises Questions
by Alum
Thursday Feb 19th, 2009 5:32 PM
San Jose State University students are questioning why there is now a sixth taser-related death in their city. Tasers are used by campus police as well...
In a Feb. 17 article in the Spartan Daily (university paper) UPD Sgt. John Laws said campus police (UPD) DO use Tasers although there "has never had a Taser-related death on campus."

The student paper reports that the sergeant's first response when he heard of Lua's death was "Oh no, not again. Tasers get such bad publicity any time there is a negative incident," he said. "Which means I am going to have to be explaining how the Taser works and what goes on with a Taser and why there can be a death involved with a Taser."

Laws went on to say that the UPD employs two Taser instructors and two more officers are being sent to Taser instructor school. "Peace Officers Standards and Training commission for California mandates four hours of Taser training before you can carry and use a Taser," he said in the article.

Isn't it just a matter of time before the tasers injure or kill someone on campus?

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by not nearly enough
Friday Feb 20th, 2009 1:36 AM
Obviously 4 hours of taser training is not enough, and it is amazing that the minimum required training is so little. BAN the things altogether!
by ..
Friday Feb 20th, 2009 3:23 PM
call them human prods , thats what they are! if you use ''tazer'' word ,it gives them a sanitized brand name america makes it sound like just another brand name exterminator.dont use their terms.use your terms.prods whatever!
by Excited-Delirium Dotcom
Saturday Feb 21st, 2009 7:08 PM
Canada's federal police force has finally admitted the obvious: tasers can kill.

Here are the exact words: "The RCMP's revised [Taser] policy underscores that there are risks associated with the deployment of the device and emphasizes that those risks INCLUDE THE RISK OF DEATH (emphasis added), particularly for acutely agitated individuals."


Up until this point, some people pretended that it was still a silly assertion, or an open question. It's not. Tasers can kill.

Amnesty found that tasers were linked to 37 of 100 autopsy reports they studied. That's 37% in spite if all the propaganda and lawsuits against coroners. So 37% is therefore a low-ball number, but it still extrapolates to about 150 of the 400 taser-associated deaths that have been documented (and the 400 itself is possibly a low-ball number since it depends on someone reporting the death and the taser usage).

Now if they were only used to replace guns, then this sort of risk-of-death wouldn't be an issue. But tasers are not used to replace guns - only the most ill-informed schmucks still think that. In fact, and you can check your own local statistics, tasers are used roughly two orders of magnitude (~100x) more often than police have historically used their guns. Your local figures may vary, and it may even vary over time. But it seems to be about 100x for the stats I've seen. One-hundred times is a very fair round number.

So you have a device that is potentially lethal, the manufacturer still won't admit this liability-inconvenient fact, they also control the training, and have a massive propaganda campaign, so many police forces still believe Taser International and use the taser anytime they feel like it. So it becomes a street-level death lottery. Not good. Back-talk a cop and you might die. Lie down in a diabetic coma and the police can taser you to try to get you to respond and you might die. Incidents like these are seemingly endless. Where's the ethics?

And in Touch Torture (a.k.a. pain compliance) mode, skip the taser and just use the glowing end of a lit cigarette. Both are intensely painful. Both can leave minor burns. Cigarettes are cheaper and there's less risk of cardiac death. So the glowing end of a lit cigarette wins on all counts. Any ethical difference you can think of? Any at all? (Does this help to clarify your thoughts at all?)

Did you ever notice that all the taser training and demonstrations are ALWAYS shot into the subjects' back, never the chest?

Did you know that Taser's lawyer (Mr. Brave) has registered many URLs that include the words "Excited Delirium". Just a small part of their propaganda campaign to direct friendly coroners to assign the cause of death to the often-meaningless condition that leaves zero postmortem clues - exactly as perhaps would a taser-death.

Did you know that Bernie Kerik was on their Board of Directors during a critical period. He now faces many charges and 142 years in prison. Not just him - their French distributor was arresting for an illegal campaign against taser critics. Friendly police officers have been found to be in conflict of interest with Taser. Many many others skirt the law but have clearly unethical relationships with Taser.

Did you know that Taser claimed that their 1999-era M26 taser was safe "BECAUSE" it was high frequency and very low duty cycle. Then in 2003 they introduced the X26 that has an output that contains significant amounts of 19 Hz low frequency and is therefore 100% continuous duty cycle (which would make it doubly less safe by their very own logic).

Did you know that taser-associated deaths show a step-function rise starting in 2003 (coincident with the introduction of the X26 taser).