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"Non-Lethal" Tasers Claim Nearly 100 Lives
by elle ross, CLE IMC newswire Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005 at 7:56 PM

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Police officers have been know to use deadly force, now they are using 50,000 volts of electricity to shock the victim suspect. Both the manufacturer and police officers claim that tasers are a "safer alternative to many conventional weapons in controlling dangerous or combative individuals." Amnesty International reports There is also evidence to suggest that, far from being used to avoid lethal force, many US police agencies are deploying tasers as a routine force option to subdue non-compliant or disturbed individuals who do not pose a serious danger to themselves or others. In some departments, tasers have become the most prevalent force tool. They have been used against unruly schoolchildren; unarmed mentally disturbed or intoxicated individuals; suspects fleeing minor crime scenes and people who argue with police or fail to comply immediately with a command. More than 5,000 police departments use the Taser. Since November 2004 at least 74 people have died in the United States and Canada in the past four years after being shocked with Tasers. Summit County medical investigators ruled on Tuesday 2/22/05 that the Akron police use of the Taser, the ``electrical pulse incapacitation'', resulted in the death of Dennis Hyde. Tasers have also been in the news in Lucas County. Jeffrey Turner, 41, of Toledo, died after he was shocked five times by Toledo police and four times a few hours later by sheriff's correction officers at the jail. Amnesty International has concerns about deaths and ill-treatment involving police use of tasers. Cases described in this report include the stunning of a 15-year-old schoolgirl in Florida, following a dispute on a bus, and a 13- year-old girl in Arizona, who threw a book in a public library.

"In May 2004 a police officer from South Tuscon, Arizona, used a taser on a nine-year-old girl who was a runaway from a residential home for severely emotionally disturbed children. According to reports, the child was already handcuffed with her hands behind her back and sitting in the back of a police car when the taser was used as an officer struggled to put her into nylon leg-restraints."

Familybadge.org also reports on the issue noting the taser companies woes as well. There are no national standards on police use of tasers and practice varies between departments.

The NewStandard News reports: Taser Concerns Grow As Death, Injuries Mount

Global Indymedia reports: The Shocking Truth about Tasers

Cleveland Indymedia will continue to report on this issue

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