Author Topic: Tasers Are Not All That Safe  (Read 552 times)

Recusant

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Tasers Are Not All That Safe
« on: June 09, 2016, 08:54:35 AM »
There is plenty of material out there showing that Tasers can be lethal. Though the company has changed its advice on how they should be used (they now say that if possible, the weapon should not be used to shoot at the chest) it seems that many police officers are still unaware of this. In the story below, a young man who is the son of a police officer was shot with a taser by a police officer from a nearby city. He went into cardiac arrest and his brain was deprived of oxygen for several minutes until he was revived by emergency medical technicians.

Though it has no bearing on the larger issues in this story, I think the son received bad advice from his father. Standing up for your rights is all very well, but I think that in an encounter with police your safety is more important than your rights. As a veteran police officer, his father must have been aware that there are police who really, really don't like to be "obstructed" in any way, and who will use it as a reason to further violate your rights, often with violence. You can try to get a violation of your rights addressed later, but if you're seriously injured or killed by an overzealous or plain bad police officer because he felt that you were giving him too much grief, it puts a different perspective on your stand in defense of your rights. In my opinion as somebody who has had plenty of interactions with police, surviving the encounter in good condition, if possible, should be your priority. If you have to obey an unlawful order to do that, don't hesitate.

"A Shot to the Heart" | The Intercept

Quote
As the video opens we see a gray Pontiac enter the frame, and Bryce’s dad, Matt, put his hand on his son’s knee. His mom, Stacy, folded her arms, clutching a tissue. Tears began to form in both his parents’ eyes, anticipating what everyone else in the room was about to see. Unfazed, Bryce leaned his 6-foot-1-inch frame forward, his eyes focused on the makeshift projector. He knew this piece of evidence absolved him of any wrongdoing.

In the video, Runnels pulls Bryce over and approaches the car. He tells Bryce to get out but doesn’t give a reason. Bryce repeatedly asks if he is under arrest. Runnels says, “You’re under arrest. Get your ass out of the car,” and attempts to pull him out by force. He then tases Bryce for 23 seconds, handcuffs him, drags the boy’s body behind the car, and deliberately drops him face first onto the asphalt road. Runnels may not have known it at the time, but Bryce was going into cardiac arrest.

[Continues . . .]
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 01:46:00 PM by Recusant »
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Davin

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Re: Tasers Are Not All That Safe
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2016, 10:36:36 AM »
I tried to read the whole thing, but it kept repeating itself. There is one question I had throughout the whole thing that didn't seem to ever be answered: was it a good stop? The officer said that he saw Bryce ducking when he saw the officer, then said that there was a warrant on the plate. But while they mentioned that the officer stopped him for a warrant several times, I must have missed when they ever said that there was or wasn't a warrant. I've had a few scary police situations because some asshole with a car similar to mine had a license plate number that was one character different. Thankfully, the officers had been a lot more reasonable when pulling me over. Though it did one time take me ten minutes just to get them to actually look at my license plate again just to double check to be sure that the plate he was looking up was actually my plate number.

Based on the officer's conduct, I think the officer was in the wrong the whole stop. While in my state and many others, a command from a police officer is supposed to be obeyed no matter what, I'm uncomfortable with what that can lead to. Especially when it remains unchecked. An officer should have a good reason to issue commands, and with modern technology, it should be a simple thing to record those reasons before most of these actions are taken, in this instance the officer could just say out loud why he was pulling the kid over. I understand and can forgive actions in the heat of a moment where there is no opportunity to reason things out, but also I think those situations would be a rare occurrence.

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Recusant

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Re: Tasers Are Not All That Safe
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2016, 11:32:58 AM »
I tried to read the whole thing, but it kept repeating itself. There is one question I had throughout the whole thing that didn't seem to ever be answered: was it a good stop? The officer said that he saw Bryce ducking when he saw the officer, then said that there was a warrant on the plate. But while they mentioned that the officer stopped him for a warrant several times, I must have missed when they ever said that there was or wasn't a warrant.

I did read the whole thing, and I don't recall the police officer saying that Bryce ducked. There was a warrant, but it wasn't for that car, nor for a young male:

Quote
Runnels maintained that there was a warrant associated with the license plate, but FBI agents told Matt [the victim's father] that the plate number would have provided details for a woman, with a different car, from a different county.

Runnels knew the victim from an earlier encounter, and there is no indication in the story that he believed the plate was stolen. On the contrary:

Quote
Matt suspected that once it was clear the warrant association to the car wasn’t sufficient probable cause for an arrest, Runnels needed new justifications.

Though it isn't explicitly stated in the story, by inference from what is stated, it appears that it was a warrant that had been associated with that license plate before the family bought the car.

I've had a few scary police situations because some asshole with a car similar to mine had a license plate number that was one character different. Thankfully, the officers had been a lot more reasonable when pulling me over. Though it did one time take me ten minutes just to get them to actually look at my license plate again just to double check to be sure that the plate he was looking up was actually my plate number.

Based on the officer's conduct, I think the officer was in the wrong the whole stop. While in my state and many others, a command from a police officer is supposed to be obeyed no matter what, I'm uncomfortable with what that can lead to. Especially when it remains unchecked. An officer should have a good reason to issue commands, and with modern technology, it should be a simple thing to record those reasons before most of these actions are taken, in this instance the officer could just say out loud why he was pulling the kid over. I understand and can forgive actions in the heat of a moment where there is no opportunity to reason things out, but also I think those situations would be a rare occurrence.

The dispatcher says "It does have an association, 10-12" referring to the license plate. I assume this means that there's a warrant associated with it. "10-12" generally means "stand by," but it may have a different meaning in that department. She refers to "your 10-41," which in the context of the conversation appears to mean "license plate number inquiry," but more commonly means "going on duty;" it seems that the Independence police department has a modified system of 10-codes. It's possible that the initial stop was legitimate, but I agree that isn't completely clear from the story.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
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Davin

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Re: Tasers Are Not All That Safe
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2016, 11:59:24 AM »
I tried to read the whole thing, but it kept repeating itself. There is one question I had throughout the whole thing that didn't seem to ever be answered: was it a good stop? The officer said that he saw Bryce ducking when he saw the officer, then said that there was a warrant on the plate. But while they mentioned that the officer stopped him for a warrant several times, I must have missed when they ever said that there was or wasn't a warrant.

I did read the whole thing, and I don't recall the police officer saying that Bryce ducked.
In the second video at ≈6:41 It sounds like Runnels says to the other officer, "He uh. I pulled him over because he ducked as soon as I got behind him."

Quote from: Recusant
There was a warrant, but it wasn't for that car, nor for a young male:

Quote
Runnels maintained that there was a warrant associated with the license plate, but FBI agents told Matt [the victim's father] that the plate number would have provided details for a woman, with a different car, from a different county.

Runnels knew the victim from an earlier encounter, and there is no indication in the story that he believed the plate was stolen. On the contrary:

Quote
Matt suspected that once it was clear the warrant association to the car wasn’t sufficient probable cause for an arrest, Runnels needed new justifications.

Though it isn't explicitly stated in the story, by inference from what is stated, it appears that it was a warrant that had been associated with that license plate before the family bought the car.
Thanks for the clarification, I don't like reading long articles, more so when they repeat things over and over again.

Quote from: Recusant
I've had a few scary police situations because some asshole with a car similar to mine had a license plate number that was one character different. Thankfully, the officers had been a lot more reasonable when pulling me over. Though it did one time take me ten minutes just to get them to actually look at my license plate again just to double check to be sure that the plate he was looking up was actually my plate number.

Based on the officer's conduct, I think the officer was in the wrong the whole stop. While in my state and many others, a command from a police officer is supposed to be obeyed no matter what, I'm uncomfortable with what that can lead to. Especially when it remains unchecked. An officer should have a good reason to issue commands, and with modern technology, it should be a simple thing to record those reasons before most of these actions are taken, in this instance the officer could just say out loud why he was pulling the kid over. I understand and can forgive actions in the heat of a moment where there is no opportunity to reason things out, but also I think those situations would be a rare occurrence.

The dispatcher says "It does have an association, 10-12" referring to the license plate. I assume this means that there's a warrant associated with it. "10-12" generally means "stand by," but it may have a different meaning in that department. She refers to "your 10-41," which in the context of the conversation appears to mean "license plate number inquiry," but more commonly means "going on duty;" it seems that the Independence police department has a modified system of 10-codes. It's possible that the initial stop was legitimate, but I agree that isn't completely clear from the story.
I have been subjected to a few bad stops, but only one good one. I may be a bit biased, but I'm not convinced either way whether the stop was well justified.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Gloucester

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Re: Tasers Are Not All That Safe
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2016, 01:30:47 AM »
They certainly are not if you have an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) implanted in your chest.

This provides a pacemaker function since my own, errattic, cardiac "clock" has been disabled. Without this my pulse reduces to about 40bps, just enough to sustain me.

It also delivers an 800 volt shock directly into the heart if it seriously misbehaves. Rather gets one's attention if one is awake.

To do all this it constantly monitors my heart beat, picks up the tiny electtic signals. Because of this I cannot use those electrical pain relieving devices, or any similar electrical "therapy" device, and the hand held detector wands at security points can be a problem. Even very small electrical potential differences across my chest are dangerous.

The 50 000 volts of a taser stand a good change of fucking the ICD, and me, somewhat permanently.
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.