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Researchers Shocked: Tasers Cause Dramatic Rise of In-Custody Sudden Deaths

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:40 PM
Original message
Researchers Shocked: Tasers Cause Dramatic Rise of In-Custody Sudden Deaths
Researchers Shocked: Tasers Cause Dramatic Rise of In-Custody Sudden Deaths
UCSF Study Raises Doubts About Stun Gun Safety

by Elizabeth Fernandez

The number of in-custody sudden deaths rose dramatically during the first year California law enforcement agencies began using stun guns, raising questions about the safety of the devices, according to a new study at UCSF.

The electronic weapons are intended to be a nonlethal alternative to the gun.

"Tasers are not as safe as thought," said Dr. Byron Lee, one of the cardiologists involved in studying the death rate related to Tasers, the most widely used stun gun. "And if they are used, they should be used with caution."

The researchers analyzed sudden death data from 50 law enforcement agencies in the state that use Tasers. They compared the death rate pre- and post-Taser deployment - analyzing data for five years before each agency began using Tasers and five years afterward.

They found a sixfold increase in sudden deaths during the first year of Taser use - amounting to nearly 6 deaths per 100,000 arrests.

"I didn't expect what we found," said Lee. "I thought we would find no difference in the rate of sudden death. But there was a rather dramatic rise."

more...

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/01/24-3
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Worst. Headline. Ever.
:banghead:
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Whoda thunk it
Electricity kills people.
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my2sense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. I read about this last year - they've even come up with a name for it

Excited Delirium

Here's a link to an NPR article on this:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=76 ...

All Things Considered, February 26, 2007 You may not have heard of it, but police departments and medical examiners are using a new term to explain why some people suddenly die in police custody. It's a controversial diagnosis called excited delirium. But the question for many civil liberties groups is, does it really exist?

The phenomenon can be witnessed in a grainy video shot in 2003 by a dashboard camera in a Cincinnati police car. In it, a patrol car pulls up quickly to the parking lot of a White Castle in Cincinnati. A 350-pound man is seen stumbling around, yelling.

The man is 41-year-old Nathaniel Jones, a father of two who worked in a group home. He argues with two officers. He seems confused; he can't keep his balance. The officers close in. The officers order Jones to get down but they can't seem to catch him. He throws his body at one of the officers. Out come the nightsticks.
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. Something else
for the "no shit sherlock" file.

Who woulda thunk.....
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chollybocker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. Shorter version: "...Tasers... Cause... Death..."
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Hansel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. Who coulda have evah predicted?
Jabeezus Chris

:sarcasm:
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Supply Side Jesus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. I wonder if they mention about the lives tasers have saved.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:42 PM by Supply Side Jesus
I know 3 people who would've been shot, had the officers not had the taser available. All three were armed. One just slit his wife's throat, he's doing life. One burned down one house, light up another, led police on a high speed chase. After they pitted him into a ditch, he was reaching for his .40 cal semi-auto when the officers tased him. Another, the guy was tweaked out something really bad. He had a huge klingon looking knife. Threatening the officers, refused to drop it. He rode it 3 times before he let the knife go. Not to mention it's effective use in correctional/detention centers.

I suggest ALL tasers have the camera installed. It fits underneath the grip, and is a wonderful tool to exonerate/prove accused excessive/unnecessary uses of force. To carry our tasers, we all have to take a ride on it. The instructors have to ride it once a year mandatory. We know what it is like to be tased. I think continued research needs to be done, but I believe facing with the alternative, tasers are an effective tool to be used appropriately by well trained professionals.
Personally, it sucks! I've been tased twice. Once on purpose. The other time the lines off the probes touched my leg and nearly brought me down. I couldn't figure out what was going on for a second there, until I realized my partner was to close with the wires.

I'm not sure what excited delirium is...but I've seen people do some crazy shit because they were in jail or being arrested. One guy charged headfirst into the holding cell door, and knocked himself right out. People work themselves into such frenzies they would pass out. Guys randomly attacking other detainees. People throwing their blood around, or feces or eating it. Just acting insane.

Here is a question for anti-taser advocates: How do you propose those in the field and in the facilities handle people going absolutely insane or assaulting others? Before, it was the nightstick. Lots of broken bones and injuries. Deaths. Remember, we have to come back to work the next day, and day after. Officer safety will always come first and will not be sacrificed. BUT, the professionals have a duty to use force when necessary and never to exceed the force needed.

I hate to use force, and I hate it even more when injuries arise form them. I'd like to think my fellow officers feel the same way. Some are just punks with badges.

On Edit: Actually the article was really straightforward. I think the should be investigated to figure out what exactly happenes.
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screembloodymurder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
8. 600% ... 600% ... 600% !!!!
WTF haven't we heard about this in every paper on the planet.
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