Taser recommends police avoid shooting Tasers at chest


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Arizona-based stun-gun maker recommends police avoid shooting Tasers at chest
By AMANDA LEE MYERS , Associated Press



PHOENIX - Stun-gun maker Taser International has started telling police agencies to avoid firing the devices at suspects' chests, explaining that there's an "extremely low" risk of ill effects on the heart and that doing so will make defending lawsuits easier.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company made the recommendation in an Oct. 12 revised training manual, saying it "has less to do with safety and more to do with effective risk management for law enforcement agencies."

The manual also includes a lengthy explanation about deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

"Should sudden cardiac arrest occur in a scenario involving a Taser discharge to the chest area, it would place the law enforcement agency, the officer, and Taser International in the difficult situation of trying to ascertain what role, if any, (the device) could have played," according to the manual.

The manual includes a graphic displaying the human body and "preferred target areas." The company recommends firing Tasers anywhere but at the head, neck and chest. The manual says to avoid chest shots "when possible" and "unless legally justified."

Taser critics call the company's new recommendation an admission that the devices can cause heart attacks.

"It's a sea change, a passive acknowledgment that Taser has indeed been overconfident about its claims of safety," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the ACLU of Colorado. "It underscores the question marks that have been adding up along with hundreds of bodies."

Amnesty International says more than 350 people in the U.S. died after they were shocked with Tasers, and that in 50 of those cases, medical examiners cited a link between Taser shocks and death.

Taser officials say the new recommendation is designed only to "avoid any potential controversy on this topic."

"There is no significant shift," Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle said in an e-mail. "Just a slight change by literally a few inches when intentionally targeting the preferred target zone ... Medical and field studies continue to demonstrate that the Taser carries a lower risk of injury than traditional force options, leading to lower officer injury rates and safer communities."

Tasers are used by 14,200 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. Human rights groups have long said that Tasers cause heart attacks, but Tuttle said there have been 96 lawsuits that the company won or judges dismissed.

He said Taser has lost just one case, which is under appeal.

Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said his agency is now in the beginning stages of teaching officers to avoid aiming Tasers at the chest when possible.

"Our primary target still continues to be and has always been the back," he said. "You're talking about adjusting your front shot, lowering the shot when possible."
 

This is stupid. I'd prefer not to carry a taser and only to use my handgun. You either use your tools to stop the threat or you don't. It shouldn't be the officer's fault that you were being a jackass, resisting arrest, and have had one too many big macs that your heart can't handle it.
 
Stun Guns (Teasers) in the News again

Man dies after Michigan police use stun guns on him

~ Police say Bolick then ran into his house with officers in pursuit. After a struggle, more stun guns were fired and Bolick was taken into custody.
He then died at the scene. An autopsy is planned today. ~

Link Removed

************************
As usual with this type of report, It looks incomplete. More Stun Guns, Like plural..?
 
The taser IMO is over utilized by many agencies allowing the officer to deploy Taser prior to OC. Of course, the situation dictates what is appropriate but I've seen/heard of many incidents where I think a taser was used early on. I personally feel that it is best used in a "we were going to have shoot the guy anyway.." and as such have decided I won't deploy a taser unless a firearm is the only other option. This of course assumes optimal conditions and lethal cover...

Its important to note that a Taser is NOT a substitute for lethal force and is not the be all-end all device.
 
Taser

The taser IMO is over utilized by many agencies allowing the officer to deploy Taser prior to OC. Of course, the situation dictates what is appropriate but I've seen/heard of many incidents where I think a taser was used early on. I personally feel that it is best used in a "we were going to have shoot the guy anyway.." and as such have decided I won't deploy a taser unless a firearm is the only other option. This of course assumes optimal conditions and lethal cover...

Its important to note that a Taser is NOT a substitute for lethal force and is not the be all-end all device.

I have always believed this device was dangerous from the beginning. It looks good on paper but in actual use there are many situations where deployment of the device can cause death.
I agree with you that the Taser is being used when it shouldn’t be. Like the trooper or LEO that Tasered a guy for not signing a speeding ticket. CRAZY crap like that has got to stop.
It’s not the voltage but the current associated with the voltage that can turn your day from good to bad. Most people believe that the person had a heart attack but that would be incorrect. This is a simplified version of the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest.

A heart attack is when the heart muscle actually dies because it can't get enough oxygen or blood flow usually due to a clogged artery or blood clot. Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops working properly. See our heart has its own electrical system that causes the heart muscles to beat. When those electrical signals called the sinus rhythm get all mixed up they fire randomly and the heart beats in such a way the blood stops flowing. The person usually passes out and stops breathing. Most cardiac arrest victims don't make it to the hospital alive. So they'll need CPR and ultimately defibrillation to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. A pacemaker is a device that monitors the rhythm and gives it a shock of electricity when the rhythm goes awry.

I know Taser International has spent millions of dollars defending themselves against lawsuits filed against them by the victims families and have successfully convinced jury after jury that their product was not a fault. Each time a PO uses a Taser there is a chance that the person on the receiving end could go into cardiac arrest and die at the scene which is why their use should be the last resort before drawing and discharging a firearm.
 
Arizona-based stun-gun maker recommends police avoid shooting Tasers at chest
By AMANDA LEE MYERS , Associated Press



The manual says to avoid chest shots "when possible" and "unless legally justified.

Shouldn't any deployment of the Taser be legally justified?
 
I think cops are taser happy anyway. If they can't get trigger time why not tase everyone that doesn't respond to verbal commands within .20 seconds. :sarcastic:

Don't tase me Bro' !!!

On a serious note I do believe that tasers can cause an upset in the sinus rythm. Maybe in healty individuals it may only cause a short term palpitation, but what about someone that does suffer from cardiac conditions ?? It's impossible for officers to know anyones personal health issues, but it seems safe, at least to me, to avoid chest shots.

One has to wonder about the use of the taser since it's inception with law enforcement. Since they have had to defend themselves in court, what SOP's did they use prior to the advent of the taser ?? If they got a tool on their belt their going to use it.

Never spent time in law enforcement, so I have to plead ignorance to the SOP's that where used before tasers where employed.

My .02
 
Perfect gift for a "Taser Happy" friend.



taser_me_elmo-vi.jpg
 
Hey General Sumter: As I began to read the posts to this thread, my first thought of a reply was answered by you. The heck with a taser, if I am in danger of my life I am not about to worry about a taser to the chest or anywhere----I will not be carrying a taser and I will use my CCW. Knew I liked your responses on this forum.
 
being an LEO and having had Taser training and having been tazed as part of that training I can tell you a few things first hand.

yes it hurts like hell....and yes it works very well to imobilize you.

Given that I would take being tazed any day to being hit in the head with a night stick which is really the only other option to imobilize a subject other than shooting them. OC is inconsisient in its ability to work consistently with all subjects.

Yes it can be abused and/or overused....so can any tool given to workers. Considering the amount of use it gets daily in the world the problems are very minor and outwieghted by the alternatives that would have to be employed to subdue criminals that are far more damaging.

Dave
 
being an LEO and having had Taser training and having been tazed as part of that training I can tell you a few things first hand.

yes it hurts like hell....and yes it works very well to imobilize you.

Given that I would take being tazed any day to being hit in the head with a night stick which is really the only other option to imobilize a subject other than shooting them. OC is inconsisient in its ability to work consistently with all subjects.
Dave

Compared to other force options I'd agree, but I've been taser certified for almost a year and haven't felt a need to use it. OC, and open hand seems to take care of most issues. I've never even used my baton, not that I hadn't had the "opportunity" I just feel like its a bit much, OC and open handed control goes a long way when properly deployed :pleasantry:
 
Compared to other force options I'd agree, but I've been taser certified for almost a year and haven't felt a need to use it. OC, and open hand seems to take care of most issues. I've never even used my baton, not that I hadn't had the "opportunity" I just feel like its a bit much, OC and open handed control goes a long way when properly deployed :pleasantry:

I would agree that usage can be too often and I would not deploy it without solid need....but when it comes to either you getting hurt or the criminal...I will vote with a tazer shot

The tazer is a useful tool when used correctly....bottom line.

Dave
 
I would agree that usage can be too often and I would not deploy it without solid need....but when it comes to either you getting hurt or the criminal...I will vote with a tazer shot

The tazer is a useful tool when used correctly....bottom line.

Dave

The taser is a useful tool when used correctly....and appropriately and not by officers that are unwilling to use the force continuum - Agreed?

Bad use of force:
Sir, can you step out of the vehicle?
Why, what's going on?
I said step out of the vehicle now OR I will taze you.
Ok, I just don't...Ahhh $&$&$&#* $&&$&#* (the result of taser)

This is becoming all too common IMO
 
The taser is a useful tool when used correctly....and appropriately and not by officers that are unwilling to use the force continuum - Agreed?

Bad use of force:
Sir, can you step out of the vehicle?
Why, what's going on?
I said step out of the vehicle now OR I will taze you.
Ok, I just don't...Ahhh $&$&$&#* $&&$&#* (the result of taser)

This is becoming all too common IMO

one must yes escalate thru the force continum...full agreement....

as I said it is to prevent either excessive injury to both the assailant and the officer....in your example striking the individual with a baton, OC, tazing or even ripping him out of the car may all be excessive based upon what you describe.
The tazer is just a tool that like all other must be utilized by and officer with proper training, professionalism and proper judgment and demeanor. which unfortunetly can be lacking in some.

dave
 
Compared to other force options I'd agree, but I've been taser certified for almost a year and haven't felt a need to use it. OC, and open hand seems to take care of most issues. I've never even used my baton, not that I hadn't had the "opportunity" I just feel like its a bit much, OC and open handed control goes a long way when properly deployed :pleasantry:

I have no problem with officers useing tasers but do have a problem when they use them to subdue and beat the person while subdued.... this has happened to my husband who was unarmed... no hands just kicking him in the face and upper body after a double taser. ;he couldn't move his arms to cover his face even... facial fractures, broken rib, loss of vission in left eye, numbness in left hand.... he is a doctor that does laporscopic surgery.. he wouldn't get down when asked... no video but have audio... 4 officers in Simpson county ky Sheriffs dept. in Franklin ky.... boils down to education and a deep psyc evaluation is needed to be done... one officer started it and then the others followed "they were slow to start but they finally got the hang of it" .... :cray:
 
deploy Taser prior to OC....

not allowed to carry both due to fire risk. Took taser begining of Feb. right before heading to Haiti shots to the chest were ok then.
 
deploy Taser prior to OC....

not allowed to carry both due to fire risk. Took taser begining of Feb. right before heading to Haiti shots to the chest were ok then.

Fire risk? I know that was an issue back when Taser first came out most departments have non-flammable OC at this point in time. We had to document tests using First Defense Mark 4 cans, no fire...therefore everyone with our agency carries it, I suppose it could be a risk if you're working joint operations with other agencies.
 

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