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Taser International to police: don’t fire at suspect’s chest, may cause ‘adverse cardiac event’

By pams
Thursday, October 22, 2009 14:18 EDT
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Oh really, now — how long have I been blogging about this "electrical shock device" and the deaths, maimings and abuse heaped upon the guilty and the innocent, the elderly, the mentally disabled, the bedridden and wheelchair bound, as well as humans minding their own business on bicycles and at a child's baptism party? Never mind the story of a Taser being used to sodomize a suspect.

Law enforcement officials around the country have been on a mission to prove that face-to-face negotiations are passe, and compliance should be achieved by physical assault, even in cases where there is no threat to the officer. Occasionally (well in too many cases), the Taser "negotiation" ended up with the Tasee DOA.

Now the company has decided to issue this hilarious-if-it-wasn't enraging advisory to police that there might be a bit of a problem if you unleash the 50K blast directly into someone's chest. Did someone need to consult Mr. Wizard to figure out this "problem?" (Raw Story):

Taser International stressed that suffering an "adverse cardiac event" after being zapped was "extremely unlikely," but human rights groups say hundreds of people have been killed by the electroshock weapons.

In a bulletin dated October 12, the Arizona-based company issued new guidelines saying it had "lowered the recommended point of aim from center of mass to lower-center of mass for front shots."

"When possible, avoiding chest shots with ECDs (Electronic Control Devices) avoids the controversy about whether ECDs do or do not affect the human heart," it explained.

"Researchers have concluded that a close distance between the ECD dart and the heart is the primary factor in determining whether an ECD will affect the heart. The risk is judged to be extremely low in field use," it said.

Read that carefully – Taser International still doesn't take responsibility for the danger and outcomes we've seen of its "non-lethal device." 

"We have not stated that the Taser causes (cardiac) events in this bulletin, only that the refined target zones avoid any potential controversy on this topic."

Taser's training bulletin states that "the risk of an adverse cardiac event related to a Taser. .. discharge is deemed to be extremely low." However, the bulletin says, it is impossible to predict human reactions when a combination of drug use or underlying cardiac or other medical conditions are involved.

"Should sudden cardiac arrest occur in a scenario involving a Taser discharge to the chest area, it would place the law-enforcement agency, the officer and Taser International in the difficult situation of trying to ascertain what role, if any, the Taser. .. could have played," the bulletin says.

The bulletin recommends that when aiming at the front of a suspect, the best target for officers is the major muscles of the pelvic area or thigh region. "Back shots remain the preferred area when practical," it says.

Meanwhile the devices are being handed out to guards at schools, and proliferating without any standardized training to law enforcement departments all over the world. And of course, this bit of business from Taser International shows a buff black brother getting it right in the target zone.

Related:
* Man dies from police taser after fleeing from arrest on marijuana warrant
* Taser abuse: how many have to die before something is done about it?
* NAACP steps forward to support federal standards for the use of Tasers
* Sunshine State sadism: 43 children tased during prison tour
* VA: The Tasing of the Hula Hoop Lady

 
 
 
 
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