Death by Taser: Lazy Cops and a Lazy Reporter
In Chicago today, WLS TV (Channel 7, the ABC affiliate) reported (see below), a man became so "deranged" that he started "ripping off his clothes." Fortunately the police were there to "subdue" him. Unfortunately, one of the
tools our courageous and hard-working police force deploys in its war on derangement is an electronic taser or stun gun, which more than just occasionally subdues people to the point of death. The fellow they tasered today died after having what a WLS reporter actually called (see below) "some sort of medical reaction that led police to call paramedics."
The mysterious "medical reaction" is called fatal electical shock and cardiac arrest.
Interestingly enough, WLS also reported today that the city is being sued for putting a 14-year old kid into cardiac arrest (he lived) with a taser on Monday (see item 2). The lawsuit says the dangerous 14-year old got zapped while sitting on a couch. The city's top cop says the kid was approaching a sgt. with his fist cocked and a foot raised (watch out).
I believe the kid's lawyers based on the fact that I've never been able to get a Chicago cop to do his or her job when it doesn't have to do with writing me a parking ticket or towing my car - like the time I had 6 out of 7 numbers on the license plate (plus a driver and vehicle description) of a hit-and-run driver who had just caved in the back of my car. "Sorry, that's not enough to go on" and off they went ...to Starbucks.
Tasers, among other things, are a way of not doing police work, which is often unpleasant to be sure. Problem is, this convenient little tool to help cops "subdue" people without throwing out their out-of-shape (too many hours writing out tickets and too many Venti Double Carmel Lattes?) backs has a long record of killing people. Everyone in the city tomorrow will be saying, "wow did you know those things can kill you?" but the fact is people have been talking about the lethality of tasers for a while now.
See item 3, which I got off the net and gives some physiological, electronic, and historical context that ought to make these pathetic stories less mysterious. It's from last November. Its by a smart guy named Ted Twietmeyer. Maybe WLS should have its reporters do some quick Internet searches before they hit the airwaves with their brilliant insights.
By John Garcia
February 10, 2005 — A man died shortly after Chicago police used a stun gun to subdue him during an altercation on the city's North Side. It's not clear if the stun gun directly caused the death but the incident raises more questions about the safety of these weapons.
Police were in the process of taking a man in custody when an officer apparently used a stun gun. The man died a short time later.
Investigators removed bags of evidence from the condo building in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood hours after a man died following a confrontation with officers. Witnesses say the man was visiting residents in the building when he caused some type of disturbance. And those residents called police.
When police arrived, they say they found the man acting in a deranged manner. He was ripping off his clothes. They were in the process of trying to subdue him when an officer used a stun gun or taser. The man responded by having some sort of medical reaction that led police to call paramedics.
"Kind of scary. You know, I mean, I know tasers are being used a lot more and it's supposed to be a lot safer. But maybe they're not," said one neighbor.
The man was pronounced dead at the Illinois Masonic hospital. A medical examiner will be performing an autopsy. They have not released the identity of the man.
February 10, 2005 — A Chicago police officer and the city of Chicago are being sued for using a taser Monday on a 14 year old boy. The teenager went into cardiac arrest and is still recovering in the hospital.
The smashed windows at the Ulich Children's Home are just one indication of how violent this confrontation was, but the question is if the boy was still in a violent rage when police arrived.
That would justify the use of a taser, a weapon that many police officers have personally experienced ringing them to their knees.
According to the lawsuit filed Thursday - the teenager was sitting on the couch when a police sergeant shocked him with a taser gun. That's quite different from the version the police department gave Wednesday.
"At the time he was tased, he was approaching the sergeant with his fist raised and a kicking motion with his leg," said Chicago Police Supt. Phil Cline.
In the lawsuit, the boy is simply named by the initials "A. W." to protect his privacy. The police officer who used the taser is called "john doe", because his name hasn't been made public.
The suit accuses the city and the police officer of using improper and excessive force. It raises a safety issue - saying the city didn't know if the taser was safe to use on a minor.
The suit claims no consideration was given to the minor's physical condition nor any medications he was on. And finally - it claims using a stun gun on the boy violated Chicago police department regulations.
Those regulations say that a taser can be used when a person is aggressively offensive, or is doing something that could cause physical injury.
The police department believes the boy's case fits that category.
Numerous Deaths Caused
By 'Non-Lethal' Tasers
By Ted Twietmeyer
No one seems to ever speak of this, yet this so-called "non-lethal" device has killed a number of people. It's time to look at the real electrical details of a Taser , and how it compares to known electrical effects on the human body.
Some believe a taser is all about high voltage and no current. A big lie and far from the truth. This only applies to static electricity, when no capacitor is used. Tasers are also about current (amperage.) A current of 20 milliamps (. 020 amps) or more is known to fatally stop the human heart. Any voltage above 50 volts (such as a phone line) will be felt as a tingle (or even worse.) The electric chair uses 2,300 volts.
The 90 volts AC that rings your telephone WILL HURT if you have your fingers across the two wires when the phone rings. Remember that telephone ringing voltage is just 30 volts less than your wall outlet has. 50,000 volts from a Taser is FAR MORE HARMFUL, especially because the Taser darts penetrate the skin, and connect to Taser's high voltage transformer to the internal, highly conductive wet saline (salt) environment of the human body.
In electrical engineering, any voltage over 48 volts is not considered safe low voltage. Low voltage electrical code exempt wiring is similar to that used for your stereo speakers, and on small DC power packs used to replace batteries to power radios, tape players, CDs etc... Any voltage higher than 48V (telephone lines) must be wired much like house wire, with proper grounding and junction boxes. This is the national electrical code.
Tasers output 50,000+ VOLTS. Even if a Taser's current less than 20 milliamps, it may not matter if the person has a WEAK HEART. A much lower current could still cause cardiac arrest. Autopsies have proven THIS IS TRUE (see below.) But no manufacturer ever talks about this. So let's look at how the "non-lethal" 50,000 VOLTS IS in a few cases below. Remember these are some of the cases that made it to the media, or were correctly identified as the cause DURING AN AUTOPSY performed shortly after death:
1. The Arizona Republic
Aug. 6, 2004
LeRoy Riddick, Alabama regional medical examiner, reported in a June 28, 2002, autopsy that Clever Craig Jr., 46, died of a heart attack during an episode of delirium "following electrical shock from Taser while resisting arrest
2. Vancouver Sun
July 24, 2004
For the second time in less than two months, Vancouver police are investigating the death in custody of a man shot by a Taser gun.
3. Autopsy finds jail death accidental [prison death after Taser use]
Story about a Savannah, Georgia man who died in a jail cell there shortly after an officer shocked him at least twice with a Taser.
4. Ft. Worth, Texas
A man suspected of trying to illegally hook up electrical service died after police shocked him with a stun gun (Taser) when he was found hiding at an apartment complex, authorities said.
5. A list of 19 fatal incidents and law suits involving the weapon's use - many including children:
So as you can see above, the Taser is a harmless, non-lethal weapon. It's a comfort to know that our police state enforcers use weapons that can't kill you as quick as a bullet in the head. So what's wrong with 50,000 volts across your heart ? Why do you think you heart beats are based on ELECTRICAL activity ? Just because doctors connect up WIRES to stick-on electrodes on your chest to do an electrocardiogram - you think your heart is based on electrical activity ? The electrocardiogram machine measures voltages of just a .001 volts (ONE THOUSANDTH OF A VOLT) to detect a human heart beat. So why would you think that 50,000 VOLTS will hurt you ?
About 160 volts is used to START the heart to bring a life back, and a lesser voltage is used to STOP the heart in hospital operating rooms on an exposed heart during open heart surgery. So why would you think a voltage more than 300 times that from a Taser hurt you ? The manufacturers of these devices tell us Tasers are harmless, and thus it must be so.
Enough rhetoric. SINCE THIS DEVICE IS INVASIVE AND NOT INTENDED TO KILL LIKE A BULLET - BY LAW THE FDA SHOULD BE DISAPPROVING THE USE OF THESE FATAL, NON-LETHAL WEAPONS BECAUSE THEY BREAK THE SKIN, AND HAVE A RISK OF INFECTION, AND CAN/DO INTERFERE WITH CRITICAL BODILY ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY.
So, if your heart survives the high voltage shock - what about an infection from having two metal darts penetrate your skin and connect to your body's blood circulation system ? Is that healthy, too ? Any common pathogens on anyone's skin (and on the dart tips that might have come out of the dirty trunk of a police car or someone's side holster) such as staph, bacteria, prions, viruses (like HIV,) mycoplasmas, or MRSA will be INJECTED into your bloodstream by the two darts. It only takes a fraction of a second for this infection to be inoculated into YOUR bloodstream. The high voltage shock will increase your heart beat and help to spread the infection faster. There doesn't appear to be any data on this at all, yet it's almost a certainty and infection can occur based on well known medical science.
Look at the pathetic weak excuses given in the few known case histories shown above. Simple, harmless behavioral problems can bring on a Taser punishment session from one of the police state thugs.
Do you think anyone or even the people listed above deserve the life threatening risks (plural) associated with Taser use ?