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Thread: OT? Taser Use

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    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    I apologize if this is slightly off topic. I don't know who carries a TASER. Being an engineer and having an electrical background I have never bought the argument that TASERS aren't lethal weapons. I have always believed that they have the potential to be just as lethal as any other weapon, maybe more so because of the cavalier approach that is taken with them. Anywho, I read this in the NYT.


    New York Times:Editorial:Tasers and Liability
    Published: January 4, 2010

    A federal appeals court in California has sent a strong warning to law enforcement officials that should make them rethink the all-too-common use of Tasers. It ruled last week that a police officer can be held liable for delivering a high-level electric shock to an unarmed person who poses no immediate threat.

    Carl Bryan, 21, was driving to his parents’ home in Southern California when he was stopped for speeding. On the same trip, he was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. Angry at facing a second traffic citation, he hit the steering wheel and yelled expletives to himself. He then stepped out of the car. There is some disagreement over what happened next — the officer said Mr. Bryan took “one step” toward him, while Mr. Bryan said he did not take any. It is undisputed that Mr. Bryan, who was not armed, did not verbally threaten the officer and was not attempting to flee.

    Without warning, the officer shot Mr. Bryan with a Taser, which uses compressed nitrogen to propel “probes” — aluminum darts connected to wires that deliver a very painful, 1,200-volt electric charge into the target’s muscles. As the current immobilized him, Mr. Bryan fell to the ground, fracturing four teeth. A doctor had to remove one of the probes with a scalpel.

    Mr. Bryan sued for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The officer tried to get the suit dismissed on summary judgment, but the trial court ruled that it could go forward. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, affirmed that decision by a 3-to-0 vote.

    The appeals court ruled that the officer was not justified in using the Taser. The evidence showed, the court said, that Mr. Bryan did not pose an immediate threat. It was also relevant that the “crime” he was accused of was a mere traffic violation. Given these facts, the amount of force used was unreasonable.

    Although the Ninth Circuit’s decision is only binding on a group of Western states and territories, all of the more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the country that use Tasers should follow its guidance. There are questions about how safe Tasers are in the best of circumstances, an issue that deserves greater study. But it is clear that they are too powerful for use on people who do not pose a serious danger to others.


    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    nuc65 wrote:
    I apologize if this is slightly off topic. I don't know who carries a TASER. Being an engineer and having an electrical background I have never bought the argument that TASERS aren't lethal weapons. I have always believed that they have the potential to be just as lethal as any other weapon, maybe more so because of the cavalier approach that is taken with them. Anywho, I read this in the NYT.
    It's not really OT. This is Open carry and although it is generally oriented to firearms, any defensive weapon can and has been discussed. To be honest, it's more on topic than the numerous concealed topics we have.

    I carry a Taser. Usually in conjunction with a Handgun and pepper and sometimes all by itself. It has some advantages. No permit to conceal, can be carried in places that serve alcohol (Concealed). Many places that prohibit "Weapons" allow Tasers.

    They are just another level of defense. Thankfully, there are few situations that require shooting someone.
    My opinion is that just under the firearm, comes impact weapons as far as potential lethality,
    Right under that is the knife and just below it is the Taser.

    Everything has it's proper use under certain situations.

    Here is the problems with a lot of police Tasings as I see it and a little history is necessary.

    Not too many years ago, police officers were different people. Radio communications weren't that good and you didn't have a cop under every rock.

    Officers were simply tougher. Some were dumb bastards (some still are), but tough dumb bastards. They carried a blackjack on their person. Most uniform pants had a special pocket for it. Later, the flat sap became popular because it was easier to carry, didn't wear holes in their pants and were less lethal. You also had to hit the subject with the edge to be effective.

    As time progressed the Baton regained popularity. It was at one time, the weapon of choice for LE. There was the short day stick (sort of a wooden blackjack) and the longer night stick. These go way back to the Constables' truncheon.

    Again, time passed, administrations changed and officers got more sissified. Most went to the night stick which is supposed to be used as a control device first and an impact weapon second. Didn't work that way though so they went to side handle batons so it was less likely to smack someone the head and kill them.

    Rodney King did that in.
    So the new breed of cop, who just doesn't have what it takes to physically take an aggressive suspect into custody, needed something other than pepper gas.

    Tasers were invented as a weapon for Sky Marshals. I had one of the first ones. It was big and heavy and classified by the ATF as "any other weapon"
    They were also expensive and that hasn't changed.

    After the original Taser company went bankrupt, the new group developed the Air Taser and T Waves and they are effective.

    At last the limber wristed, new wave cops, who had more mouth than azz, had the perfect tool to force compliance and since Taser says they are non-lethal, it must be so.

    As a result they are way over used. In some areas, department policy would prefer Taser use than physically restraining the subject. There have been cases of Grandmothers, children, disabled people in wheel chairs and non violent suspects being Tased. The result have been deaths.

    At first, death was always blamed on something else and my opinion is, that's partially true. If you Tase someone with a heart condition and he dies, it was a bad heart that killed him. The Taser just greased the tracks.

    On the newer Tasers, the company reduced the wattage to mitigate liability and gave a lame excuse that it was to improve the Twave. The newer models don't work as well as their big brothers which I'm hanging on to my old one.

    As police use or over use continues, the death toll will continue to climb until it gets too expensive for the departments. Then Tasers will go the way of night sticks and blackjacks.

    Maybe departments will start hiring for abilities again instead of their GPA.





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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Looks like I was wrong. I can't see why this is more OT for an Open Carry Board, than How I SPENT MY DAY TRYING TO GET FINGERPRINTED FOR MY CHP.



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    Regular Member simmonsjoe's Avatar
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    I'm gonna have to say, Tazering someone for throwing a temper tantrum is not acceptable. It reads like this cop didn't feel threatened. He just tazed the guy for throwing a tantrum.

    Here is a Professional Officer of the Law:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHZMo...L&index=55

    I will say, exiting the vehicle was dumb.
    illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
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    peter nap wrote:
    nuc65 wrote:
    I apologize if this is slightly off topic. I don't know who carries a TASER. Being an engineer and having an electrical background I have never bought the argument that TASERS aren't lethal weapons. I have always believed that they have the potential to be just as lethal as any other weapon, maybe more so because of the cavalier approach that is taken with them. Anywho, I read this in the NYT.
    It's not really OT. This is Open carry and although it is generally oriented to firearms, any defensive weapon can and has been discussed. To be honest, it's more on topic than the numerous concealed topics we have.

    I carry a Taser. Usually in conjunction with a Handgun and pepper and sometimes all by itself. It has some advantages. No permit to conceal, can be carried in places that serve alcohol (Concealed). Many places that prohibit "Weapons" allow Tasers.

    They are just another level of defense. Thankfully, there are few situations that require shooting someone.
    My opinion is that just under the firearm, comes impact weapons as far as potential lethality,
    Right under that is the knife and just below it is the Taser.

    Everything has it's proper use under certain situations.

    Here is the problems with a lot of police Tasings as I see it and a little history is necessary.

    Not too many years ago, police officers were different people. Radio communications weren't that good and you didn't have a cop under every rock.

    Officers were simply tougher. Some were dumb bastards (some still are), but tough dumb bastards. They carried a blackjack on their person. Most uniform pants had a special pocket for it. Later, the flat sap became popular because it was easier to carry, didn't wear holes in their pants and were less lethal. You also had to hit the subject with the edge to be effective.

    As time progressed the Baton regained popularity. It was at one time, the weapon of choice for LE. There was the short day stick (sort of a wooden blackjack) and the longer night stick. These go way back to the Constables' truncheon.

    Again, time passed, administrations changed and officers got more sissified. Most went to the night stick which is supposed to be used as a control device first and an impact weapon second. Didn't work that way though so they went to side handle batons so it was less likely to smack someone the head and kill them.

    Rodney King did that in.
    So the new breed of cop, who just doesn't have what it takes to physically take an aggressive suspect into custody, needed something other than pepper gas.

    Tasers were invented as a weapon for Sky Marshals. I had one of the first ones. It was big and heavy and classified by the ATF as "any other weapon"
    They were also expensive and that hasn't changed.

    After the original Taser company went bankrupt, the new group developed the Air Taser and T Waves and they are effective.

    At last the limber wristed, new wave cops, who had more mouth than azz, had the perfect tool to force compliance and since Taser says they are non-lethal, it must be so.

    As a result they are way over used. In some areas, department policy would prefer Taser use than physically restraining the subject. There have been cases of Grandmothers, children, disabled people in wheel chairs and non violent suspects being Tased. The result have been deaths.

    At first, death was always blamed on something else and my opinion is, that's partially true. If you Tase someone with a heart condition and he dies, it was a bad heart that killed him. The Taser just greased the tracks.

    On the newer Tasers, the company reduced the wattage to mitigate liability and gave a lame excuse that it was to improve the Twave. The newer models don't work as well as their big brothers which I'm hanging on to my old one.

    As police use or over use continues, the death toll will continue to climb until it gets too expensive for the departments. Then Tasers will go the way of night sticks and blackjacks.

    Maybe departments will start hiring for abilities again instead of their GPA.





    .
    QFT!!!!

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    simmonsjoe wrote:
    I'm gonna have to say, Tazering someone for throwing a temper tantrum is not acceptable. It reads like this cop didn't feel threatened. He just tazed the guy for throwing a tantrum.

    Here is a Professional Officer of the Law:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHZMo...L&index=55

    I will say, exiting the vehicle was dumb.
    I got a better one!!
    But I do not have a news article to back it up since this is a small town with only a community newspaper that is printed twice a week.

    There was a scuffle outside of a tavern, andtheperson got cut or stabbed defending himselfduring the fight. The cop shows up, arrests the agressor, and has the victim sitting on the sidewalk. the paramedics show up to treat the wounds, and they suggest the victim goes to the emergency room for treatment, the victim declines medical treatment. this seemed to anger the investigating officer, the office tried to verbally force the guy to get treated, he refused again. So what does brainiac cop do? he deploys the taser on the guy that was sitting peacefully on the sidewalk just because he would not obey the cop by gettig medical treatment.
    If I remember correctly, that was quickly settled out of court for about $30K.

    Pepper-spray is often used inappropriatly IMO, I have seen it used on people that are not acting in a threatening manner way too many times.
    I even had a county sheriff remove it from his holster and threaten me during a stop while I was ridingmy snowmobile.
    He asked for my ID, I told him I do not have it on me, and he pointed a cannister of pepper-spray at me and told me I was going to get sprayed for not cooperating with him.

    Being ncooperative or ignoring dubious requests is not being physically combative, and therefore weapons should not be used.

    How about that city council meeting where they were removing a guy, he was already cuffed and the cop sprayed the guy, what did that cost them? $75-80K???

    I think anytime a taser, spray, an ASP or nightstick is used, there should video evidence of its use, andthe reason foruseshould be judged by a review board. if the board deems it unjustified, the officer should be cited, fined and end up in court each and every time.

    Yes, Cops have become pu55ies in the last so many decades, and they rely to heavily on gadgetry instead of brawn or brains.

  7. #7
    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    They are just another level of defense. Thankfully, there are few situations that require shooting someone.
    My opinion is that just under the firearm, comes impact weapons as far as potential lethality,
    Right under that is the knife and just below it is the Taser.
    Everything has it's proper use under certain situations.
    This is not opinion, it is the Force Continuum : 1) Officer Presence, 2) Voice Command, 3) Open Hand, 4) Chemical Weapon, 5) Electronic Weapon, 6) Impact Weapon, 7) Firearm.
    There have been cases of Grandmothers, children, disabled people in wheel chairs and non violent suspects being Tased. The result have been deaths.
    Could you cite where children have been tased, please? And their deaths that resulted from a tase? (BTW - you forgot pregnant women ... been a few of those, too)

    As for the rest of your quote, well, we have always known there were cops who would cross the line in the use of force ... at least with a taser, 90+ of the population stands an almost 100% chance of surviving a tasing ... whereas, the death rate from shootings by police are better than average (generally approaching 100%).

    Tasers are still considered a non-lethal use of force, a baton and a gun are considered lethal uses of force.

    I agree that the incident cited as the topic of this thread may be a case of LEO over reacting to a specific situation, and I understand your authority to speak of the taser technology, but in practice, tasers have been a needed non-lethal use of force for LEO and of the 3-7 of the Force Continuum options an officer has, is one of the less physically impacting.

    #3 Open hand, officer beats you into submission,

    #4 Chemical, takes hours for the olefin capsasin to ease up, and hours more still for the body's reaction to subside,

    #5 Electronic Weapon, the current ceases as soon as the regulated delivery ends, yeah, the probes might have to be removed at the hospital, but that is basically a small puncture wound similar to a shot from a needle, and generally does not require stitches. In fact, I was trained that if the subject insists on having the probes removed rather than going to the emergency room, yank them out with a pair of pliers, slap a bandaid on it, and call it good. Subject was still going to the emergency room anyway to cover my liability.

    #6 Impact Weapon, do as I say or I breaka your face - hospital stay for broken bones, or if a strike to the head with an ASP can kill - coroner is called,

    #7 Firearm, stories abound of innocent citizens with 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90+ shots by as many as 1-25 officers ... that is a lot of overkill, sort of a shooting frenzy.

    Not trying to deny any issues with tasers, but until something better comes along, it is one of the less lethal uses of force available today. I also do not believe that it can ever replace the need for a firearm, either.

    I am certified with a 'live hit' and I can say that while not pleasant, I truely had a greater appreciation for the difference between a taser hit and OC spray. I will NEVER certify with a 'live hit' on OC again!
    cheers - okboomer
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    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    deleted double tap ... sorry for the bandwidth waste
    cheers - okboomer
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    Regular Member mel5051's Avatar
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    My younger sister adopted 3 children. One of them, the youngest through ages 8 to 10 assaulted her and her husband, assaulted the local cops, and through the years was tased repeatedly in order to hog tie him for the trip to the mental ward. Yeah they tase children because they can be unbelievably strong and most certainly very violent.

    Currently departments are being trained NOT to do chest shots and TO do GROIN shots. Go figure.



  10. #10
    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    mel5051 wrote:
    My younger sister adopted 3 children. One of them, the youngest through ages 8 to 10 assaulted her and her husband, assaulted the local cops, and through the years was tased repeatedly in order to hog tie him for the trip to the mental ward. Yeah they tase children because they can be unbelievably strong and most certainly very violent.

    Currently departments are being trained NOT to do chest shots and TO do GROIN shots. Go figure.

    I was asking for the citations on the "deaths" he was claiming ... I know all ages are tased ...


    cheers - okboomer
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    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    I also had an opportunity to talk to a Deputy Sherrif this weekend about the newest X3 tasers that have all the warnings associated with it ... two in the department have the new ones, and there is no apparent difference between how effective they are compared to the older models.

    My guess is that all the hoopla is a response to hysteria generated by hysterical media and the families of those who are adversely affected due to underlying medical or chemical factors.

    Again, statistically, I would bet that you would stand a better chance to survive a tasing than an impact with a bullet.


    ETA typo corrections
    cheers - okboomer
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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    nuc65 wrote:
    Mr. Bryan sued for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The officer tried to get the suit dismissed on summary judgment, but the trial court ruled that it could go forward. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, affirmed that decision by a 3-to-0 vote.

    The appeals court ruled that the officer was not justified in using the Taser. The evidence showed, the court said, that Mr. Bryan did not pose an immediate threat. It was also relevant that the “crime” he was accused of was a mere traffic violation. Given these facts, the amount of force used was unreasonable.

    Although the Ninth Circuit’s decision is only binding on a group of Western states and territories, all of the more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the country that use Tasers should follow its guidance. There are questions about how safe Tasers are in the best of circumstances, an issue that deserves greater study. But it is clear that they are too powerful for use on people who do not pose a serious danger to others.

    This decision is a good one for citizen's rights. LEO use of Tasers needs some inhibitions.

    Where necessary, they are a great tool. But, darned if some cops don't overdo it. Must be a power thing...




    okboomer wrote:
    ...statistically, I would bet that you would stand a better chance to survive a tasing than an impact with a bullet.
    That's a verryyy safe bet. Very few people die after getting Tased. Many thousands per year die after getting shot.

    I'd like to get one, an X26 or X26c. Price is awfully steep....but LTL force is sooooooo much better than a gun in some instances....

  13. #13
    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    Hank, expensive, yes, and you can add the digital video camera ... and the cartridges (for all) run about $25.00 and they are one use only.
    cheers - okboomer
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    Exercising my 2A Rights does NOT make me a CRIMINAL! Infringing on the exercise of those rights makes YOU one!

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