TASERS Can Kill.

They used to call devices like TASERS which inflict a high voltage shock on the target designed to be insufficient to cause death in most cases “non-lethal weapons.”  These days, the buzz word in the Department of Defense and in the industry is “less lethal weapons.”  There is a reason for that.

It has to do with things like a 22 year old man, physically well enough to flee from police on foot, dying when shocked with a TASER on August 4, 2006.  In this case, it happen in Lafeyette, Colorado, in the U.S. 36 corridor from Denver to Boulder.Details of the incident are still hazy, and a grown man does not fit the expected profile of someone who might be killed by a TASER.  For example, an older woman in Aspen hit by a TASER earlier this year, lived to tell the tale, even though it cost the police officer involved her job.

Given that this week’s TASER death involved someone fleeing from a drug arrest, it is possible that the TASER aggravated issues associated with drug use, but no definitive conclusion is available at this time.

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Andrew Oh-Willeke

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