Monday, July 18, 2005

Texas Has Wave of Taser Deaths

According to the Associated Press, there have been at least six people killed in Texas by Tasers in the last nine months. I am in full support of police departments finding better, non-lethal ways of responding to those who violently resist arrest or place others in danger. But, it seems like too many departments have jumped on the Taser bandwagon based on little more than studies published by the company that produces Tasers. There also seems to be increased use of Tasers on minors, despite the fact that there doesn't seem to be any real research on the potential side effects on children. It also seems like every time I see a news story on the controversy over Tasers, they show recruits at the police academy being shot with a Taser as a demonstration of how safe and effective they are--sometimes, the reporter himself volunteers to be shot. But that is nothing more than anecdotal evidence. It may make for good TV, but it does nothing to establish how safe these weapons actually are.


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