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The not-so-shocking truth about Tasers

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by spruce, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Given the news of late regarding the use of Tasers by Police, I thought I would share an interesting article written from the other side of the fence.


  2. Well that's worth a read. But if you have an underlying heart condition, and a cop hits you with a tazer, and then you have a heart attack - I would still say that you were killed by the cop with the tazer.
  3. I've read similar things by U.S. cops on the ATS site, and I still vehemently disagree with the use of Tasers.

    "Officers" are trained in close quarter means of taking a person down. I am too, and found when doing security as a second job that even a short arse like me can do the job without hurting the person significantly... no matter what was flowing in their veins at the time. And yes some drugs can make it a lot harder to take them down.. so you use a different method in order to waste less time and effort in grappling with them. Simple.

    The problem I see is the use of "We were in fear for our safety" as being the reason why non-lethal forms are used so much.

    I even had this exact argument used when I asked two "officers" to do their job at 6am on a Sunday when two young guys were yelling abusively along our street.. these two cops were sitting in their car outside my house doing nothing. Instead they targetted me and ordered me to be quiet! Gutless bastards.

    I've also had a sizeable group of them at my house.. for no good reason other than bad information passed onto them... and when I demanded ID from their plain clothes dog I kept one eye on the uniformed guys as they approached me with hands on Tasers, unclipped and ready to be used.. against the regulations that say only to be used when the person is armed.

    Back in '76 or '77 when the Qld Police Service (as it was known at the time) first got the right to wear sidearms, they came to Manfred's in Ipswich en masse, behaved like bastards and then ordered everyone to leave at gunpoint. I stood there in shock while everyone else ran for their lives.. I got the kicking.. nothing new there.

    My issue is with the weaponising of what used to be a Public Service.. now of course known as Police "Force" (for legal reasons). I see Aussie cops dressing, behaving and using the same tactics/legal speak as U.S. cops. And now of course we see their individual personal value being raised above that of the population, which will lead into the same increased abuses of power as have occured in the U.S.

    People make mistakes.. cops are people. But do not give them the means to end anyone's life without good cause because it will be abused, it will be used inappropriately.

    In Australia we have seen the abuse of firearms, and we are also seeing the abuse of Tasers. Not all the people who die from being Tasered have underlying health problems.. they do suffer from over-use of the Taser with multiple shocks each time the person does not comply.. and you cannot comply when being shocked because you have no motor control.. so they keep shocking you.

    Where does it end?

    Sorry to waffle on but this gets under my old skin.
  4. so long as i get a warning shot fired into the air first
  5. I did not have dramas with most of what you wrote except this paragraph. If you could please provide some evidence of such deaths, that is, dying from repeated shockings which did not reveal some underlying condition.

    If you can provide some decent evidence (more than one occasion) I would be happy to read it.
  6. My main issue with taser use is somewhat particular to WA with a growing incidence and continual push for tasers to be acceptable for use in compliance situations. This is lazy, pathetic, rather unethical, abusive and completely turns the public against them. Then they complain about a lack of respect and how they need more power to protect themselves.
  7. I'm not sure if it's fair to belt someone with a tazer and then blame their death on an underlying heart condition, as if they were living on borrowed time anyway.

    If ONE person has died as a result of tazer use, regardless of their prior health, is it really a non-lethal weapon? How about "slightly lethal"?

    Just playing devil's advocate here ya know :)
  8. I don't bookmark everything I come across, I just read and make a mental note of similarities.

    I've got no idea where to find decent evidence in Australia. It's probably easier to find where the precedent was set overseas. Hell, I can't even find online what my legal rights are in Qld, the opposite is true for the other states.
  9. I would rather be shot with a taser and have a certain percentage of remaining alive, than the shoot to kill policy.

    Pepper spray is only a deterrent.. not going to disable every person, bean bag guns, if you got shot in the heart with one the amount of pressure behind the bean bag.. you may die, may not.

    What other less lethal options are there?

    In my personal opinion, there has been very few deaths from tasers than people let on.
    Would you rather them shoot you 5 times with a gun? than once with a taser and most likely still be alive.

    I've seen on tv when people get shot with a taser, and if the officers are trained properly.. not shoot the taser and keep shocking them for 5 minutes.. they will be less lethal and a better outcome for the criminal/innocent person.

    I'm sure theres more deaths of people, wrecking their cars escaping during a pursuit.. when they should do what they do in the uk, invest in more police helicopters with the infrared technology, and let the car go.. then follow in the helicopter.. rather than getting into high speed pursuits, which almost always end in carnage.

    I'm all for tasers.
  10. I found out that in 2011 there was 881 uses of a Taser by NSW Police. That is a 23% reduction in use from 2010. So to say usage is increasing is false.

    Also, out of those 881 uses in 2011, I believe there was only one death. This is just my recall, happy to be corrected if you believe otherwise.

    Also, Assistant Commissioner Alan Clarke had this to say:

  11. That's just the WA way of doing things :D.
  12. This is a false comparison. You are implying that tasers are only used in situations where the choice is between a taser or gun. What about in a scenario involving a drug affected person who is not threatening anyone but is difficult to restrain due to his paniced state, hallucinations and paranoia?
  13. A lot of places/people refer to them as "less-lethal" (or some similar variant), which is the term I use nowadays.
  14. As for being used in places where they can replace the use of a firearm I think it is a no brainer that they should be allowed.

    For being used to apprehend a suspect running away is a different question. I have been knocked on my ass by someone running away from the cops at full tilt before. It was really not a pleasant experience. To my delight my body slowed the son of a biatch down enough for 3 cops to pounce on him.

    I would like to know if fewer people are getting away from cops as a result of tasers? If so, then they are not just used out of laziness, they are effective.
  15. may be an interesting one to follow

    Two people tasered and arrested by police in Fremantle are suing officers for battery, assault and false imprisonment.

    University of Western Australia law professor Robert Cunninghams and Catherine Lee Atoms were charged with resisting arrest in November 2008.

    But the charges were dismissed in 2010 after a magistrate ruled their arrests had been unjustified and unlawful.

    The case gained prominence last year when WA's Parliamentary Inspector Christopher Steytler raised the pair's complaints in a report criticising the state's Corruption and Crime Commission for failing to investigate cases of serious police misconduct.

    His report noted that CCTV footage of the pair being tasered was burgled from the professor's university office before police presented edited footage of the incident in court.

    The pair have lodged a District Court writ alleging they suffered injuries caused by three officers.

    They accuse police of breaching a duty of care, battery and assault and false imprisonment.

    Their lawyer Phil Gleeson said the case, which alleges unlawful police use of tasers, was not an isolated incident and his firm was acting for two other people who had been injured after inappropriate taser use.

    "We back the call by the Australian Lawyers Alliance and the Australian Medical Association for a review of taser use in Australia," he said.
  16. Well, perhaps they are actually reducing injuries in America. Also, the Taser website states the below which shows the representation of use of force. Interesting to see how substantially more it is used than OC spray.

    Taser: 58%
    OC: 28%
    Bean Bag: 2%
    Baton: 9%
    Glock: 3%

  17. lol

  18. Benjamin Franklin

    "it is better one hundred guilty Persons should escape, than that one innocent Person should suffer"

    NSW police

    "Better we kill some people, than to not arrest some people".
  19. It is a very hard thing. A type I error in justice (guilty party going free) is a lot better than a type II error (innocent party being falsy penalised). However there is also no place in society for those that prey upon the innocent. Innocent people are still affected by type I errors as criminals are let loose and may continue to prey upon the innocent. Every defendent besides those that plead guilty try to put up a plausable defence, so there will always be some small thread of doubt in a juries mind. If we put too much enphasis into avoiding type II errors you effectively disable the ability of the law and end up with anarchy. We do need to make lines in a very blurry world, but unfortunately unless you disband the law completely you will always have innocent parties penalized, on the other side, you will have guilty parties going free unless you arrest everybody.

    There has to be an acceptable ratio of type I to type II errors. Is it 100:1? Maybe. But we can't live in a just society without errors occuring. Of course you are going to hear about it when an innocent person is killed by a taser. It is absolutly horrendous, but also inevitable with any type of law enforcement. What you don't hear about is all the times tasers effectively subdued a criminal that would have otherwise gone free.
  20. In 9999 out of 10,000 cases the person zapped or shot could've avoided it by simply doing what they're told.....

    (like drop the gun or knife).