Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tasers, Taser International and messages of the Heart

Well it looks like Taser International has said Uncle. The Makers of TASER devices say don't aim at chest. As reported by many bloggers, including the Electronic Village, news outlets and internet sources, Taser maker Taser International is advising police agencies across the nation to avoid aiming the devices at a suspect’s chest. The Arizona-based company says such action poses an “extremely low” risk of an “adverse cardiac event.” The Atlanta Journal reports that Law enforcement in Atlanta, Gwinnett and Clayton County said they are in the process of scheduling training for their officers who carry Tasers.

“It won’t be a huge change. It’s a difference of a few inches,” said Sgt. Tony Kessler, a training officer for the Clayton County Sheriff. “We still have the back and other parts of the body.”

Gwinnett Police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli said the Taser manufacturer only “recommended aiming lower towards the abdominal region,” but said the 279 officers who have Tasers will be retrained.

Cobb County Police are already ahead of the game, spokesman Officer Joe Hernandez said. Cobb’s 100 Tasers are carried by only veteran patrol officers, the Tactical Team, Burglary Apprehension Team and robbery interdiction squad. More HERE

The advisory, issued in an Oct. 12 training bulletin, marks the first time that Taser has suggested any risk of ill effects on the heart from the use of its 50,000-volt stun guns. More HERE

Electronic Village reports, Taser International, the maker of taser guns is advising police officers to avoid shooting suspects in the chest with the 50,000-volt weapon, saying that it could pose an extremely low risk of an "adverse cardiac event."

The advisory, issued in an Oct. 12 training bulletin, marks the first time that Taser has suggested any risk of ill effects on the heart from the use of its 50,000-volt taser guns.

Electronic Village goes on to report that critics, including civil-rights lawyers and human-rights advocates, called the training bulletin an admission by Taser that its guns could cause cardiac arrest. For years, Taser officials have said in interviews, court cases and government hearings that the stun gun is incapable of inducing ventricular fibrillation, the chaotic heart rhythm characteristic of a heart attack. More HERE There have been more than 400 deaths in the U.S. and 26 in Canada since 2001, according to a study by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Tasers have contributed to more than 30 of those deaths, according to medical examiners.

Three of those occurred in the Gwinnett County jail after deputies used a Taser on combative inmates. Autopsies showed two of those deaths were the result of heart attacks, but did not cite what caused the cardiac arrest. The other death was ruled the result of “excited delirium” – a combination of cocaine, alcohol and physical exertion that excited his heart too much, according to the medical examiner.

A spokeswoman for the Gwinnett sheriff said Taser International's training bulletin has already been sent out to all of the deputies who carry Tasers. More HERE

"All future training will have it incorporated too," sheriff's spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said Thursday.

Tasered While Black Publisher: Well it looks like this announcement by Taser International is having major impact on law enforcement standard operating procedures. Let's see if it make any difference on the streets of Amderica, or will cops actually aim at the chest in the future, as a way of killing people?

Boulder, Colorado ACLU wants Tasers holstered

New Guidelines For APD On Taser Gun Use - Albuquerque News Story

Metro Police Change Taser Policy

Police rethink stun-gun policy

Read more on tasering at the following blogs.

What We Think About Taser Abuse

Tasered While Black