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UN Says Tasers Are a Form of Torture

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-don't-bro dept.

Government 816

The use of Tasers "causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture," the UN's Committee Against Torture said. "In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events." Three men — all in their early 20s — died from after tasering in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being tasered by Canadian police. There have been 17 deaths in Canada following the use of Tasers since they were approved for use, and 275 deaths in the US. "According to Amnesty International, coroners have listed the Taser jolt as a contributing factor in more than 30 of those deaths."

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eating shit is a form of pleasure! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21466981)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

So remember... (2, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21466989)

It's lethal rounds or nothing, peacekeepers!

Re:So remember... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467035)

What about those non-lethal weapons we hear about from time to time that are just around the corner, like shooting a big gob of glue to stop someone in their tracks? It seems that DARPA and similar agencies hype these, but they are never actually ready for production.

In Minority Report [amazon.com] you had the "sick sticks" which cause vomiting and presumably get the suspect to stop resisting. Was there any science behind those, or were they just Philip K. Dick's own invention?

Re:So remember... (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467117)

like shooting a big gob of glue to stop someone in their tracks
And if they're unlucky, the glue lands on the perp's face and they asphyxiate.

You can kill a person with pretty much anything, which is why the government refers to those as less lethal weapons.

gah. (1)

notgm (1069012) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467003)

don't torture me, bro!

Re:gah. (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467091)

More like:
"I say, old chap, don't taser me."
[Zzzzt]
"I say, that was rather rude.
[Zzzzt]
"Bloody hell, please stop tasering me.
[Zzzzt]
"Sod off, you wanker!"

Re:gah. (1)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467107)

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH!!!!!

This contest is over! Give that man the ten thousand dollars!

Don't forget the follow-up. (2, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467257)

The school's internal investigation determined that appropriate force had been used.

Translated now: The school determined that the use of torture on a student was appropriate.

We'll see how that plays out.

Fortunately... (2, Insightful)

WestCoastJTF (1192081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467013)

...handguns are not a form of torture. Seriously, that's the choice in many situations - crazy meth'd-up homeless guy charges cop with knife...cop tases or cop shoots. Which do you prefer?

Re:Fortunately... (0, Troll)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467031)

Since when does the U.N. need reason when bashing the U.S.?

Re:Fortunately... (0, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467111)

I've always viewed the U.N as a corrupt orginization and an enemy of the US. I'm sure many agree.

Re:Fortunately... (3, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467157)

I've always viewed the U.N as a corrupt orginization and an enemy of the US. I'm sure many agree.
Well the fact that Iran nearly passed a motion to censure Canada for human rights abuses seems to support your hypothesis that the structure of the UN is essentially broke. It's difficult to take that organization seriously.

Re:Fortunately... (0, Flamebait)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467219)

Mod me troll, too, but the two previous posters were correct. The U.N. has always gone out of its way to bash the United States. Tasers torture? According to the U.N. everything is torture. What a feckless, useless, corrupt bunch of weasels.

Re:Fortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467051)

The cop shooting. On the plus side, that's 275 inmates I haven't had to pay to feed.

In Soviet Russia? (1)

porneL (674499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467121)

You get death penalty for being a suspect. It makes killing people as simple as pointing and screaming "It was that guy!"

Re:Fortunately... (5, Insightful)

machinelou (1119861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467113)

Eh... I don't care how many meth-addicts you come across during a typical day. If you can't learn the difference between them and a kid that's being held on the ground by 6 cops at a John Kerry speech or a guy going 10 over the limit, then you are not fit to protect or serve anything. Period.

Re:Fortunately... (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467137)

When the choice is gun or taser, taser is obviously the better answer. However, many cops have the attitude that since a taser won't kill you, it's easier to just taser you, and avoid any kind of confrontation at all. Instead of just taking an unarmed guy down the old fashioned way by tackling him, they just taser him.

Re:Fortunately... (3, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467225)

Yeah, no one's ever been hurt by being tackled.

Re:Fortunately... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467167)

Apparently you missed the point, making your statement a strawman, no sane person would say the gun.

The issue is unnecessary use of tasers (OR GUNS!), thats have a more realistic situation, hysteric/angry and seemingly unbalanced man is arguing with police after they question him. They know he is unarmed and while alarming, has no tried to attack anything living. What do they do:

1) taser him, and possibly kill him.
2) be polite and ask him to calm down. (then pick another option when that dont work)
3) ask for backup and have several officers arrest him with conventional means. (stick, pepper spray, and hands/body)
4) try to restrain him yourself with conventional means.
5) try to lure him somewhere where he cant hurt anything. (then picking another option)
6) wait and talk, hoping he calms down. (then picking another option)

Police are supposed to be trained in restraining people, yet far to many simply jump to the taser, a less-lethal-then-a-gun type of weapon, but still one that is VERY dangerous, and dosent always work (leaving the person VERY angry, and rightly afraid for their life). For that matter, cops seem to have a way of killing people with methods that shouldent be that lethal, suggesting that they do lack the serious training of restraining people without hurting them, and the knowledge of basic medical care to assist after a serious injury they inflicted.

Re:Fortunately... (5, Informative)

brsmith4 (567390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467177)

Weapon involved? Tasers are good in this case. Unfortunately, tasers are not used in that manner exclusively. They are also used to "calm people down", saving the cop from having to communicate with the individual. This is unacceptable. Pulling your arm away from a cop who is trying to grab you is not immediate justification to tase (see "don't tase me, bro!") since it might very well be considered a natural reaction. And "don't let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch" has been considered. When 80 year old, wheelchair-bound schizophrenic women are being tased (and subsequently, end up dead) because the cops are too scared to handle the situation as they were trained, then tasers are obviously too much responsibility for them to handle.

Remember WHY tasers were introduced. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467313)

They WERE being pushed as an ALTERNATIVE to lethal force ("guns").

They WERE being pushed as "cop is in a dangerous situation, he can shoot or he can use a taser".

Now the tasers are the FIRST option. If the person is not IMMEDIATELY respectful and obedient, it's taser (defined: "torture") time!

No one is criticizing that (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467183)

The issue is over cops who tase people they wouldn't have otherwise shot.

Re:Fortunately... (1)

LGagnon (762015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467187)

Seriously, that's the choice in many situations - crazy meth'd-up homeless guy charges cop with knife...cop tases or cop shoots.
And I'm sure tons of crazy meth'd-up homeless guy charge cop with knifes. Honestly, you're trying to make a rare scenario look like it happens constantly, when in fact you never even hear of situations like the one you are describing.

Re:Fortunately... (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467229)

Seriously, that's the choice in many situations - crazy meth'd-up homeless guy charges cop with knife...cop tases or cop shoots. Which do you prefer?

      OK, how about "guy starts arguing about a speeding ticket" [liveleak.com] . Now is this situation worth risking the person's life using the potentially lethal taser? How about this guy [liveleak.com] , who was rude and stole a microphone? Yes, let's risk his life too. Or how [liveleak.com] about [liveleak.com] these [liveleak.com] incidents?

      Police need to be aware that every time they use a taser there is a small but REAL chance that they will kill the person they are shooting. Therefore they should be a lot more hesitant before using them than they are today. If as a doctor I perform a procedure on a patient without considering (and informing him of) the risks involved, I am liable for murder if the patient dies. The police should also be accountable, just like when draw their weapons - they need a VERY good reason to do that.

Re:Fortunately... (3, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467367)

this guy [liveleak.com] , who was rude and stole a microphone?
He didn't steal a microphone, he insisted on asking his question even though the event was running long.
In Hollywood they play muzac over your feed, in Florida you get tasered and arrested for inciting a riot.

Re:Fortunately... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467285)

crazy meth'd-up homeless guy charges cop with knife...cop tases or cop shoots. Which do you prefer?

Err.. I'm confused.. is he a terrorist yes or no?

Re:Fortunately... (2, Insightful)

pimp0r (1030222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467303)

As we all know crazy people attacking cops are the only ones being Tasered. The police wouldn't dream of Tasing defiant 6 year olds in elementary schools, Tasing students performing passive resistance in a university library or Tasing people refusing a speeding-ticket.

(Anyone actually beleiving the above needs a serious reality-check)

Re:Fortunately... (3, Insightful)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467309)

The gun.

To be serious it's not a matter of which weapon is more lethal. It's a matter of which weapon is BELIEVED to be more lethal. Cops believe wrongfully that tasers are safe and are willing to use them in the wrong situations.

If your life is in danger, USE A GUN. There is still a chance that shooting them won't kill them, but there is nothing more horrible than a good person using a taser in the wrong situation and killing someone who was not a threat and becoming a monster.

Cops aren't supposed to use weapons where nonlethal force is advised. If nonlethal force is advised, that means negotiate. It does not mean shoot.

Re:Fortunately... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467311)

Which do you prefer?
Tasers. The problem is that tasers are also used on people that refuse to sign a ticket or otherwise aren't a direct threat to the cop's health. Do you prefer that too? It seems you're dodging the issue here and giving a poor example where tasers are indeed useful. Something still needs to be done about the guidelines for them. If it's just that cops don't follow them, something still needs to be done. Not really about the cops not following them, because then it's already too late and the injuries may already have happened.

So this is the question at stake here.

Re:Fortunately... (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467323)

I'm not saying its a bad idea to use force when necessary (like your example), however the way I see the issue is this: tasers are viewed as a non-lethal weapon (i.e. non-lethal force), and so many police forces are using them in situations where they wouldn't even consider using a gun. Take a look at the footage from the Vancouver incident; the victim is in no way putting the police officers in danger when they decide to taser him.

There is a lot more to this issue than "taser vs gun".

Aikon-

"Excited Delirium" (4, Informative)

sageres (561626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467019)

Wtf is Excited Delirium? The Taser company and police department seem to be always quick to blame any deaths associated with tasers on this supposed condition, while APA nor any other medical body recognizes this as any type of medical condition.

All I have to say is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467021)

First toast, motherfuckers!

Get it? First "toast"? As in when people get tasered, they get burned and crispy. Aren't I funny? Mod me up, suckas! You know you want to!

Why tasers are bad. (5, Insightful)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467023)

Originally, tasers as used in law enforcement were conceived as an alternative to lethal force--why shoot someone when you can use nonlethal weaponry?

Yet it has been proven over and over throughout history that whenever you give someone a nonlethal weapon, they're more likely to use them than a lethal weapon, even though its supposed to be a replacement for the lethal weapon.

And not surprisingly, this has happened with tasers, too; police are using them in absurd circumstances, even in some cases when the subject did nothing beyond verbal defiance, and worse, in cases where someone was "acting suspicious", such as in a recent case where an Egyptian man was tasered on a bus without any provocation--yet these were supposed to be used as replacements for guns, not as general-purpose weapons to put down anyone who looks suspicious!

Re:Why tasers are bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467071)

well said.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467109)

Wrong on all counts.

tasers are not "a replacement for guns", they are there so that police don't HAVE to use them in some situations. Guns were never going to be replaced by tasers, and no one in any police force is going to make that claim, since guns provide the lethal force and ultimately provide the deterrent that keeps our society safe.

And you people keep claiming tasers are used more often then guns. WELL NO SHIT SHERLOCK, obviously if you have a choice between lethal and non lethal, non lethal is going to be chosen in all but the most extreme situations. What you need to prove is wide spread abuse, citing a couple of unfortunate events in all the years tasers have been used is not a convincing argument.

I would say all of you need to take a ride in a hard suburb where cops risk theirs lives every day, and maybe we might less retarded cop hate on the internet.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467221)

and how about you take a ride on any us highway and see the cops^H tax collectors hard at work.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (1)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467223)

So you think its right to taser someone because they're acting suspicious? Would you like it if when you got pulled over for speeding, the cop went over and tasered you, first thing?

Re:Why tasers are bad. (3, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467171)

This will continue until tasers are given the same respect firearms have.

Power is power, no matter the instrument. If you gave the same people nightsticks, they'd be just as likely to bludgeon someone to death. Give these people training, and they'll only bludgeon their victims to near-death or to whatever limits they're given within the law.

What makes tasers particularly bad is that its range of effects are politicized; the desirable effects are emphasized, and the undesirable ones get swept under the rug. We know what a gun can do, and will likely do. We know what a club or knife or sword of flail can and will likely do. But not everyone knows that tasers can kill. This results in lax regulation of its use and the circumstances under which it can be used, which results in overuse, to sometimes very bad results.

Regardless, even if tasers are acknowledged to be potentially fatal (though less so than a firearm), the human element of recklessly using power remains.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (5, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467197)

Just today, I saw someone attack a few police officers on TV. He was pretty strong, but he was hold to the ground by three police officers and was already starting to be out of breath. The fourth officer did not hold him back but got a taser. After tasering the guy everybody stood back, while the mad man was clearly reacting to the taser in a rather awfull way. Okay, so maybe at that time the police would have gotten away with it.

Then before getting him in the vehicle, while he was still on the ground, the police tasered him *again*. Now that's just right of the scale. Completely unnecessary, just a knee-jerk rejection from somebody who is supposed to be a professional. Guys (and girls), don't get suckered into believing things like these do not constitute torture. Leaving somebody in the sun of 35C or more for longer periods of time is torture. Sleep derivation is torture. Loud music for long periods of time is torture.

In the Netherlands, the guy who killed Pim Fortuin was kept into a cell with very bright lights and continuous camera surveillance. It was pretty clear what he had done, and he was in custody already. Of course he needed to get punished. But, as there was no intent by himself to commit suicide, and since he was not convicted yet, this simply amounts to torture. Unfortunately the current government likes to copy the US, so we are already waiting for the introduction of the taser. This in a country that has a rather low crime ratio compared to other western countries.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (1, Interesting)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467199)

There is some truth to this sentiment, which is why police officers in most districts are required to be both tasered and pepper-sprayed during training - so that they realise just how effective a tool they are.

What is interesting is just how much the media is showing their bias by giving such one-sided statistics. How many people have been tasered in total? I wonder if the application-of-non-lethal-force to deaths ratio is better for rubber bullets, bean bags, billy clubs, or tasers. Not to mention the (unmeasurable) statistic of how many lives were saved because they were tasered, and not shot to death.

It's an imperfect solution, but it's much, much better than the alternatives.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (4, Informative)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467259)

>There is some truth to this sentiment, which is why police officers in most districts are required to be both
>tasered and pepper-sprayed during training - so that they realise just how effective a tool they are.

The trouble is - the officer gets a single jolt from the taser. When they actually *use* the damn thing the administer continuous or repeated shocks. I've been watching this situation develop for quite some time and wondered when it was going to come to a head. Maybe the time is now.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (1)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467213)

>Originally, tasers as used in law enforcement were conceived as an alternative to lethal force

Great comment. Personally, I've seen enough video of these guardians of the peace tasing the crap out of people. "We the people" should probably intervene when we see tasers being abused.

Just the view from here ...

Re:Why tasers are bad. (1, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467231)

Yet it has been proven over and over throughout history that whenever you give someone a nonlethal weapon, they're more likely to use them than a lethal weapon, even though its supposed to be a replacement for the lethal weapon.

And not surprisingly, this has happened with tasers, too; police are using them in absurd circumstances, even in some cases when the subject did nothing beyond verbal defiance, and worse, in cases where someone was "acting suspicious", such as in a recent case where an Egyptian man was tasered on a bus without any provocation--yet these were supposed to be used as replacements for guns, not as general-purpose weapons to put down anyone who looks suspicious!
I think this is largely FUD. Of course if you give an officer a non-lethal means of dealing with a potential threat the number of uses is going to be much higher than with only lethal force. It would be incredibly troubling if that weren't the case.

I won't bother denying that it doesn't get abused, but I do think that it is important to recognize that somebody that is tazered is far less likely to come to permanent harm than one that has been shot.

Abuse would likely also happen if officers just had firearms as well. I don't personally think that that would be a better situation. At least with tazers, mace and pepper spray the likelihood of having somebody to apologize to is far higher than with a firearm.

The other bit is that officers don't have all the relevant information in most cases, and have to contend with the very real possibility of being killed on the job. It's really easy for individuals of low character like Jackson and Sharpton for example to bash police departments after having heard just the victims side of the story. It is quite another to actually have to deal with both sides of the story and try to reconcile them in a way that suits the public interest rather than inflaming tensions between different groups of people. Justice takes time, and those two in particular seem to care very little about the damage they do to police-black community relations.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467359)

I won't bother denying that it doesn't get abused, but I do think that it is important to recognize that somebody that is tazered is far less likely to come to permanent harm than one that has been shot.

Yes but a person who is tasered is often a lot more likely to come to harm than a person who would never have been shot. The cops who tasered Mr. Gaubert while he was incapacitated by a diabetic coma, would be in jail if they had just shot him. Ditto for the officer who tasered the 87 year old woman in a wheelchair who yelled at her.

Abuse would likely also happen if officers just had firearms as well. I don't personally think that that would be a better situation. At least with tazers, mace and pepper spray the likelihood of having somebody to apologize to is far higher than with a firearm.

Sometimes that is true and sometimes it isn't. You assume the alternative to tasering someone is to pull a gun on them. In truth, the alternative is often just to stand back and talk to them, or simply walk away from them.

It is quite another to actually have to deal with both sides of the story and try to reconcile them in a way that suits the public interest rather than inflaming tensions between different groups of people.

I know quite a few cops. My brother used to be one and a friend of mine sells tasers as part of his law enforcement equipment business. I have heard the stories of punishing some "punk kid" or "nigger" or "hippy" and shutting their smart mouth up with a taser. Those same cops would never have fired their weapon in the same situation because they'd be held accountable, probably for murder.

I'm not arguing tasers don't have their uses and should not be used, but hopefully this classification by the UN will get police departments to look seriously at their rules for using them and start to help curb their overuse and use in inappropriate situations, as well as provide support for private lawsuits that will help do the same thing.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (1)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467251)

I'd mod this up if I could, but it looks as if that's already happened in the time I've been previewing my response.

I'm in mixed minds because although a taser is a torture device, I still think it's better to be able to use a Taser rather than shoot someone dead, if a police officer doesn't have an option.

What confuses me a bit though is why there don't even seem to be basic steps by many of the various police forces to design the system to make it hard for Tasers to be used outside of those boundaries. There are plenty of systematic changes that could be made which would help to prevent stupid use of Tasers by police, but as far as I can tell this isn't happening in a lot of places.

A good start would be to make sure that no officer is licensed to use a Taser until they've been on a comprehensive training course that includes technical training and ethical training, probably giving them an example of the pain. (Making sure they're informed about some of the well known experients in the subject [wikipedia.org] would be a good start.) Realistically, a Taser should never be used without the expectation that the targeted person might die as a consequence.

It'd also be very beneficial to make it an automatic requirement that paperwork be filed (and published) to justify every time a taser is discharged, and to have an automatic requirement for an independent legal body to investigate each use of a taser, and prosecute the police and/or officers involved if it's appropriate to do so.

I'm not completely against the idea of letting police use Tasers, but I do find the way that some police are getting away with some ridiculous abuses of it to be quite abhorrent. If they can't design a system to make sure it's used properly, then I fully agree that they shouldn't have them at all.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467351)

They ought to make Tasers that can only issue one shock every 5 minutes -- hence make multiple shocks less likely.

Re:Why tasers are bad. (1)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467305)

Tasers are not a replacement for guns. They are an alternative to guns. There is a difference.

Question: How many people didn't die because police had a "non-lethal" alternative when they otherwise would have had to use deadly force?

Re:Why tasers are bad. (1)

Nutty_Irishman (729030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467327)

I remember back in fifth grade when a police officer was giving a demonstration, she mentioned that in order for officers to carry pepper spray, every officer had to be sprayed in the face themselves before getting their own. The idea being that anytime you make the choice of using pepper spray you know what it feels like to get sprayed yourself and can make a better judgment call on whether it's necessary or not.

Likewise, I think that every officer that is equipped with a taser be required to experience what it's like to be tasered themselves before they can carry one. I'm guessing that not only will the number of taserings be reduced (due to knowing how painful it is), but also the number of officers carrying tasers will be reduced (due to their reluctance in allowing themselves to be tasered).

275 (0, Troll)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467039)

That's pretty impressive. Well.. at least the Americans are number one at something.

Hmm. Alright. (1)

rnddev (1187731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467047)

Acute pain? We can't have that! After all, I guess an impact from a nightstick never hurt or injured on the scale that tasers do.

*BSD is Dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467053)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Much like beating people with batons (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467057)

That's a form of torture too and the kind of "non-lethal force" the police used to turn to. The only difference between beating someone with a baton and tasering them is that the officer using a taser doesn't have to be physically stronger than the victim (err, suspect), and suspects don't think they can fight back like they do against police using batons.

Re:Much like beating people with batons (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467141)

you have no clue kid. if a cop hits you with a baton i'll bet the only thing on your mind is running for you life.

Re:Much like beating people with batons (5, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467233)

For a start, don't call me kid. If you did a tiny (itsy bitsy) bit of research you would see how old I am.

I've actually been beaten by police in a "peaceful protest". Our sit down was broken up by police and someone I didn't know hit one of them. That was all they needed to beat down all of us. I tell you, the only thing I was thinking was that if I could get one of the batons off them I could have an even shot at taking a few of them out.

They don't call it "fight or flight" for nothing. Some people run, some people fight.

In retrospect the whole thing (included the reasons why we were protesting) seems kind of stupid.

Re:Much like beating people with batons (5, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467143)

That's a form of torture too and the kind of "non-lethal force" the police used to turn to. The only difference between beating someone with a baton and tasering them is that the officer using a taser doesn't have to be physically stronger than the victim (err, suspect), and suspects don't think they can fight back like they do against police using batons.

The critical difference is that when you beat someone with a baton, you leave bruises and other evidence of abuse. The reason police and militaries love tasers (and microwave radiation, electrical shocks, waterboarding, etc) is that they can go to town on anyone and it is the suspects' word against the cops' about how harshly they were treated. Perfectly healthy looking people are a lot less interesting to show on the news than folks with black eyes and broken arms.

Death by Taser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467059)

That's just what you get for wearing your nitrate heavy padded under-jackets.

Boom! ha ha ha

Tin foil (4, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467065)

A hat is not enough; I'm going for full body coverage.

Re:Tin foil (5, Funny)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467099)

Thank you! We've been hoping you would decide on a pair of pants eventually.

Sincerely,
The Neighbors

Good (4, Insightful)

nexeruza (954362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467069)

Good now maybe it will affect police department policy reguarding them. Remember back when tasers were first issued they were praised as being a non lethal way to stop a dangerous person. Instead of having to shoot a rake wielding drunk you could tase them instead. Now look at it's use today, if you even look at a cop wrong his hand travels towards it. So far removed from its initial purpose I hope this helps bring it back toward it's proper applications.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467191)

The only way to introduce something as an alternative to a lethal weapon is to make the rules for lethal weapons apply to the thing. When a cop fires a gun at someone he should be in for some unpleasant paperwork even if the shot didn't hit (it does work like that in Germany). Likewise with a taser: When you tase someone you better be able to give a good reason for it or risk trouble over using unwarranted violence.

That settles it! (1, Funny)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467085)

Tasers are torture--time for cops to go back to the old methods of non-lethal deterrence: bludgeoning, beating, and chemical mace.

Re:That settles it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467241)

Has Trout-Slapping been ruled out yet?

Re:That settles it! (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467295)

Tasers are torture--time for cops to go back to the old methods of non-lethal deterrence: bludgeoning, beating, and chemical mace.

At least those leave clear-cut evidence of abuse, and if they are used wrongly, the victim has more of an ability to sue the bad cops right into the gutter where they belong!

-b.

Alternative (-1, Flamebait)

FS (10110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467087)

How many police officers and civilian lives were saved due to their use? How many criminals are still alive today because a taser was used instead of a gun?

Don't break the law and you won't risk your life to a taser. I fail to see how something that is painful and has a non-zero chance of death is automatically torture and should be outlawed. By that measure we should outlaw the average daily commute.

Re:Alternative (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467209)

Don't break the law and you won't risk your life to a taser.
Also, don't be around someone else who is breaking the law.

And don't raise your voice around an undercover police officer.

And don't protest against anything.

And don't "act suspiciously" on a bus.

As long as you remain a complete sheep and don't do anything that might resemble, you know, being a free person, you'll be OK.

Re:Alternative (5, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467211)

Don't break the law and you won't risk your life to a taser.

Bullshit. Because tasers are supposed to be nonlethal they are often abused and used on people who have broken no laws at all. See the recent case of the man who went into a diabetic coma and was subsequently tasered while lying helpless. See the case of the 87 year old woman who was tasered at her rest home for yelling at a police officer from her wheelchair. Neither broke the law, but both were put in danger.

I fail to see how something that is painful and has a non-zero chance of death is automatically torture and should be outlawed. By that measure we should outlaw the average daily commute.

Have you ever been tasered? I volunteered to try it. It really hurts, a lot more than a punch to the face even. Have you ever seen the TV show Cops, where they'll hit a guy multiple times while they're laying on the floor. Tasers make muscles contract, and you fall down. That's great, since then they can subdue and cuff a violent offender. Hitting someone more than once, however, is simply torturing someone into compliance. That is torture, unlike a daily commute. Don't believe me, go to a store that sells them and ask for a test shot, a regular 500K stun gun is pretty similar, if tasers are not available to civilians in your state.

Re:Alternative (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467273)

Coupled with the insane amount of terrorist fear built up beyond all reason by government FUD worldwide being used to trash the rights of everyone in the name of 'security' this has resulted in cases like the diabetic who had a fit on a buss and fell incapable of moving, he was reported as strange by the driver, and the cops decided to taser an immobile man for not responding.

Oh it gets 'better' when he carried on unresponsive, but had collapsed on the floor with his arm under his body, even more concerned they decided to tase him again!

Not that spasaming from an electric shock would ever cause someone to clench their detonator trigger or anything if they were a terrorist (after an empty buss)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/7096456.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Sadly this wasn't even the US, American gung ho stupidity spreading worldwide :o(

Re:Alternative (0, Flamebait)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467317)

this has resulted in cases like the diabetic who had a fit on a buss and fell incapable of moving, he was reported as strange by the driver, and the cops decided to taser an immobile man for not responding.

The perfect treatment for those idiots^Wpolice officers would be 2400VAC for a few minutes in a wonderful American invention known as the Electric Chair. Give them a taste of their own medicine, except stronger.

-b.

Re:Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467277)

Don't break the law and you won't risk your life to a taser.

I don't think there's any guarantee of that.

Re:Alternative (4, Insightful)

Maleko (40958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467289)

Thats all fine and dandy, IF you could actually live your life without breaking a law.

Re:Alternative (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467353)

Just as John Gilmore [toad.com] says, "How many of you have broken no laws this month?"

It's called "less lethal force" for a reason (-1, Flamebait)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467089)

Nobody ever claimed that not-firearm police arms aren't able to kill people. This is used as "less lethal", meaning, probably less likely to kill the bad guy if the situation warrants it. Sometimes, yeah, they're gonna die anyway. But, if this less-lethal option didn't exist, they'd get shot with a chunk of lead at about 1000 feet per second. So, you know what? You're damn lucky the cops have less-lethal weapons as an option (lead beanbags, tasers, paintball pepper spray, etc etc etc), rather than just "do I shoot this guy or not". Sometimes they die. (shrug) so, don't be a criminal and you don't have to worry about it. But, point remains that 10 years ago, you would've been shot with a gun instead of 10K volts for a few seconds.

If you don't wanna be tazered by the cops, um, let's see, how can you avoid it? Maybe, not be a problem when the cops show up? Just an idea.

Re:It's called "less lethal force" for a reason (1)

nexeruza (954362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467115)

Uhhh I don't think anyone is defending taser use against seriously dangerous people. What we're tired of is seeing someone argue with a cop and get tased 5 times. Do you really think if a person is being uncooperative they deserve to be shot? The use and misuse of this weapon is the real issue. If it kills 1 out 100 people that would have been shot instead I'd say thats pretty awesome considering the alternative.

Re:It's called "less lethal force" for a reason (4, Insightful)

debest (471937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467253)

You're damn lucky the cops have less-lethal weapons as an option (lead beanbags, tasers, paintball pepper spray, etc etc etc), rather than just "do I shoot this guy or not".

I think the main problem is that tasers are not being used only as an alternative to a gun. If police were to think "I will only use the taser in the circumstance that otherwise I would be firing my gun," then your point is valid. However, it seems that in many situations, police are using tasers as a way to simply make their job of arresting someone easier.

The videotape of the guy in Vancouver shows pretty clearly that he was not in the process of attacking the police when they tased him. I seriously doubt that the police would have shot him had they arrived without a taser in that circumstance. Without a taser, they probably would have tried to slowly convey to him their intent to arrest him (he didn't speak English), and if unsuccessful they would have had to tackle him and struggle to restrain him. Both processes would be lengthy, difficult, and stressful for the police. Instead, it appears that they took an easy shortcut and just tased him so they could get the cuffs on him quickly. The man paid for this with his life. Without a taser, I submit he would likely be alive today.

So you're right: a taser used as a substitute for a gun (when the use of a gun is warranted) is fine. Using a taser when use of a gun is not warranted is the problem!

Who Cares What the UN Says Anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467095)

The Un wants to emphasize guns so as to kill as many people as possible, to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the populace.

Seriously....I have stopped caring what the UN says about anything. They are a bunch of unelected corrupt bureaucrats.

Corpral Punishment (3, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467097)

It seems that police use it as a extra form or untraceable corporal punishment. It's meant to be used as a next to lethal last resort but increasingly it's just replaced "couple punches to the face with a phone book in between". Stories vary but often after a person has put up a fight the police subdue him and then taser them. or use the taser to subdue him but then give a couple of extra shock to show whose boss etc... I find the people to gravitate to or are allowed to be policemen in my city aren't much different then the thugs that watch the exit at bars nor the bullies on the play ground. Anecdotally, a athletic friend of mine who had a black belt was turned down for enrollment into the police academy because he "lack life experience" while an acquaintance who spent a year as a bouncer at a strip club got accepted.

Not the device but the use. (0, Redundant)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467105)

I would say any device could be used to a form of Torture.

A Taser Shot used where before a Gun was used is not torture or used in replace of getting close and beating the guy down.

Using a Taser for Torture would be zapping the guy to get information from him, or for micromanaging what he needs to do. Tasers and other forms of punishment are needed for the Extreme STOP IT NOW because you are threatening myself or others. vs. You are not an immediate threat to my or other health and safety. But the UN makes it Illegal I guess it is back to the good old Night Stick where you just beat the guy to near death and at risk of hurting yourself.

Re:Not the device but the use. (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467337)

A Taser Shot used where before a Gun was used is not torture or used in replace of getting close and beating the guy down.

If you shoot or beat the shit out of a guy without a Damn Good Reason(tm), you're likely as not to be brought up on charges, be sued, and probably be out of a job as well. If you taser someone, it's much more difficult for them to prove unless serious injury results. Thus, a cop may be more likely to use a Taser as a form of torture or abuse than previous methods.

-b.

Re:Not the device but the use. (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467339)

I would say any device could be used to a form of Torture.

And when it comes to the law enforcement you'll always have cops torturing people. Always. And often they won't get in trouble for doing that. Power corrupts people, and the only solution is to watch these people.

Back to the basics: Bullets (0, Troll)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467119)

That's right: tasering is painful and should be outlawed. That way police can go back to bullets. There's absolutely nothing a taser can do that an assault rifle can't. After all, if they shoot you correctly (head, heart, done), you won't feel a thing. No pain: You're dead, ergo no torture. There will be no more accidental taser deaths; the deaths will be on purpose.

The US will ignore (0, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467133)

No matter what the UN does in relation to this taser file, I am pretty sure the US will ignore it, just like it ignored the UN and the world when it went to war in Iraq...a war the has cost more lives than 9/11. Just like what a bigot would do.

Slightly offtopic - "The funky chicken" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467139)

My friend's dad, who is a prison guard, demonstrated a handheld shocker(a furiously-arcing, two-prong affair that dosen't fire probes) to me and explained "the funky chicken" - basically, when inmates are shocked with this gadget, they do a "funny dance" and they soil themselves. I'd hate to be on the receiving end of one of those puppies.

Wimping Out (2, Insightful)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467145)

It's not "a form of torture", Tasers are a way for law enforcement to avoid physical contact with an unruly subject without having to use deadly force. The use of this technology also encourages non-contact to subdue a subject whereas in the past up-front physical violence was needed.

Personally, I'd prefer talk/reasoning, then muscle, then the gun. No Tasers.

The takedown (and resulting death) in Vancouver is a good example of overuse of technology. 4 fit RCMP officers couldn't handle one guy?

Claymore Mine (0, Offtopic)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467159)

The UN and the Geneva Convention however have no qualms with claymore mines, even homebrew ones made in the field, with any sharp substance you can put in them. Those aren't torture, but tasers are.

Re:Claymore Mine (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467271)

Torture: a method of causing excruciating pain to subdue/coerce a person with non-lethal intent
Weapon: a device used to knowingly kill or severely injure another person

Tell me, which would you classify a claymore mine as?

Re:Claymore Mine (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467361)

Hrm. Your two definitions overlap.

You say an item is a weapon if it can severely injure a person. Yet, it wouldn't be a weapon, but rather torture if it had non-lethal intent.

A claymore can injure a person, but it has non-lethal intent. The purpose of a claymore is to take out people's legs, so they can't fight in battle. Furthermore, even more troops must now carry out the wounded troops, even further removing troops from battle. Many praise how many lives the claymore saves, by causing rather nasty, often permanent wounds. That isn't torture, but something that causes pain as a means to avoid shooting someone is?

Again, tasers are an alternative to shooting someone, and beating them with a baton. People die from gun shot wounds as well, not to mention from beatings. I think tasers are obviously too strong if people are dying from them with any real frequency, and surely there are other non-lethal ways to take someone down. But I certainly wouldn't call a taser torture.

At the root of this debate, is whether or not is wrong to cause a person pain, when you are trying to take them down. I'm sure the bleeding-heart crowd would rather that we not cause any pain what-so-ever, when a meth-addict charges a cop with a knife. In a very calm tone (as to not torture them with stress) we should politely ask them to put down the knife, and if they stab the cop, well, what can you do?

Re:Claymore Mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467369)

Dear fucking god are you stupid. Go look up "torture". In a nutshell, it's defined as inflicting severe pain or suffering on a person for the purpose of interrogation or punishment. Claymore mines are weapons of war, and pretty fucking seldom used as interrogation tools. If claymores are instruments of torture, then so are AK-47s and F-16s.

But never mind all that, I'm still gasping at what an unbearable fucking liberal mouthpiece you must be to live with. Jesus H Christ. Yes, mines are fucking evil. No, that doesn't mean we have to call it "torture" just for the sake of "the children".

the value of the concept of "context" (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467189)

ok, tasers kill some people, and they hurt

except that, you need to give cops SOMETHING to control people. that cops will use these tools outside of the proper scenarios is a given: cops will always use lethal and nonlethal tools in ways they shouldn't. yes, you can make the case that because it is supposed to be nonlethal, they will use them when otherwise a few well chosen words would suffice instead

and still, given all of that, tasers should still be used

simply because there are plenty of scenarios where lethal force shouldn't be the only option available to a cop. i am making the case that the number of lives using a taser instead of a gun has saved outweighs the situations where someone died who didn't need any force at all

in other words, tasers are not perfect. but NO weapons of force are perfect, AND not having a range of weapons of force in police force is a nonstarter (cue the wackjobs who think we don't need a police force). welcome to the real world: there is no silver bullet (no pun intended), there is always a downside between two competing concepts you MUST satisfy

this is actually how propaganda works: you look at the negatives of a technology: say nuclear power, or stem cell research, without looking at the positives, and without the realization that there isn't a better option out there

in life, you are never given the choice between a golden wonderful choice, and a terrible horrible one. in life, most of the time on complex questions like the proper tool for police work, or who to vote for in an election, or how to confront violent fundamentalists in the middle east, there are propagandists (or downright naive or ignorant people) who glom onto the negatives of one particular attitude, and hurl invectives at it, without ANY ocnsideraiton of how much worse the other choices before you are

some naive, ignorant, and propagandized people need to recognize that EVERY choice before us is full of negatives, and it is your job, as it is often in life, to attempt to choose from varying shades of gray, choices that are ALL negative, but one less negative than another

this is called "context"

and simpletons, propaganda, and the naive haven't mastered the concept

in such a way, we complain about tasers, without realizing they are an improvement on nothing but guns and pepper spray for police work. but because tasers still have negatives, people will go in to blinders mode, and whine about that. as if whining about the negatives of one choice wihtout balancing them against the negatives of other choices is supposed to have any value in this life on the complex questions that confront us

"context" people. learn the concept, use it. stop being naive, ignorant, or propagandized

Re:the value of the concept of "context" (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467263)

except that, you need to give cops SOMETHING to control people.

a BRAIN?

official document listing torture devices (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467203)

Tasers are a form of torture. Guns are too by the same rules. Now the two weapons are considered on a similar same level. Does it change your preference whether the guy should be shot or tasered? ... It doesn't for me. Some decisions were made, something was made official. It doesn't support getting rid of tasers.

Re:official document listing torture devices (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467235)

Does it change your preference whether the guy should be shot or tasered?

No, but hopefully it will change some laws and regulations about whether a person should be talked to or tasered in situations where no one would consider shooting them to be appropriate or even vaguely legal.

Quick, pull the story (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21467215)

http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/263994 [guelphmercury.com]

According to the Canadian Press (news agency), Taser sues anyone who claims their device causes death. It must be admitted that they have done a masterful job of managing public opinion; or at least cops' opinions. Now all the cops believe that all crazy people have superhuman strength and all need to be treated with nearly lethal force because they might be able to kill several armed cops with their bare hands. (slimy stupid cowards)

After the guy in BC died, the first stories were all about excited delerium. Then we started to hear from real (not company owned) mental health professionals calling BS. One guy who runs a loony bin clearly said that they almost never had to rely on force to control the nut cases therein. Confronting these people with force is the worst way to handle them. They can almost always be calmed. Here's an example: http://careerfocus.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/333/7563/64?etoc [bmj.com]

Interesting situation (4, Insightful)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467217)

I find it very interesting that Taser International claims that the 150+ deaths that have occurred immediately after the person is shot with the Taser are not caused by the Taser. At the same time their website has pages (see below) of warnings about all the medical risks associated with being shot by a Taser (such as an increased risk of heart attack).

http://www.taser.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Controlled%20Documents/Warnings/LG-INST-CTZWARN-001%20REV%20E%20Citizen%20Warnings.pdf [taser.com]

As other posters have already commented, it is not the Taser itself that is the problem, it is the use of it. If these were being used only in cases where a firearm would normally be used it is one thing. In that situation a small risk of death by Taser is acceptable when compared to the near certainty after being shot multiple times. But that is not what we are seeing. People are dying in situations where without the Taser they would not be seriously harmed....and that is what I have a problem with.

Quick, redefine! (3, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467255)

Things are going downhill with the UN calling tasering "torture". Because we don't torture, therefore, we don't taser. So let's call it something cooler, hipper, like "waterboarding". I'm waiting for suggestions.

Protect and Serve (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467283)

I cant seem to find any confirmation of the 275 killed statistic mentioned in the summary, nor the date from which tasers were approved for use in the US (I assume it will have been state by state..) but if its accurate, and the introduction is with the last 3-5 years then that is a fairly damning figure for a non-lethal weapon (its about the same as three years worth of police related deaths of any kind in the UK and that includes shootings of any type, suicide / other deaths in custody, car accidents etc..).

I suppose though that as a percentage of the number of people tasered in total that its a small number and as such maybe its not the taser that is the issue but the frequency of its use... Saying that I'd rather be tasered than shot, which I assume is the alternative in the US.

As an aside, has anyone else noticed how UK police are starting to look more and more aggressive? It seems that utility belts with military style pouches, stab vests, steel toe capped boots etc.. if worn in a suitably paramilitary fashion (with a high vis of course) really can cause an escalation in tension all on their own. I saw a policeman yesterday (in Tesco's getting himself a sandwich and a salad....) in what I remember from not too many years back as a policeman's uniform, i.e. black trousers, white shit, blue jumper (With 'Police' and loops for a radio on it), hat, shiny shoes etc. I realized that he didn't look even remotely aggressive, quite friendly and approachable. Maybe there would be some benefit in making our police look less tooled up and distant, I mean they can still carry their truncheons and pepper spray, maybe they could also get some slightly covert stab vests, basically anything to make them look less like they are looking for a fight, maybe that would be one way of starting to win back the trust and respect they claim to have lost (they could also start walking their beats rather than driving them, that way they might see a thing or two too.).

In other news.. (1)

Ezza (413609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467301)

Studies show gunshots and batons cause acute pain.

Also, apparently handcuffs can be quite uncomfortable and inconvenient, so we should ban those too.

Causes acute pain? (1, Interesting)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467319)

So does O.C. spray (speaking from experience). Torture? Sure, both COULD be say if someone were to strap me down and use either in an attempt to obtain information or to procure a false confession from me, etc. If, on the other hand I am tasered or sprayed because I am threatening someone and as such the action is an alternative to being my shot, then please...tase away. "Ouch, that hurts" alone does not constitute torture.

275? (3, Informative)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467335)

How do they figure 275 people being killed by tasers, when only 30 have been reported as such by the coroners? Where does this figure come from?

Tasers dont kill people (1)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21467357)

Tasers don't kill people, People kill people, Tasers defend people from smaller tasers.
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