Tag Archives: tasers

page x – tasers kill pt.ix

The denial’s a joke, the front is keeling. Tasers flat kill people: the cops were suckered, were badly trained. The weapon is dangerous.

Taser victim Iman Morales’ kin file
$10 million suit
against city, cops

The family of a Brooklyn man who died after police Tasered him is suing the city, a cop and the estate of another officer who killed himself for $10 million.

Relatives of Iman Morales, 35, want the money and a review of police protocols and training in the use of Tasers.

“He didn’t deserve any of this,” said Morales’ mother, Olga Negron, 55, who was at the scene when her mentally ill son was struck and then fell headfirst from a ledge onto the concrete 10 feet below. “It was horrible.”

Authorities have been dealing with the mentally ill for centuries, don’t tell me that they were overwhelmed with the situation. They ran short of patience and pulled the Taser because it’s an intervention machine.


page x – tasers kill pt.viii [taser creep]

You could never shoot an inmate in his cell, right?

Tasers were supposed to offer some solution to the grey-area incidents–the ones where cops arrived on a chaotic scene and their fingers itched because they were worried about their own lives. Well, this prisoner was standing on top of his bunk refusing to cooperate, reminiscent of Iman Morales. This guy’s spine only broke.

Inmate paralyzed in Taser incident sues L.A. County Sheriff’s Department

February 18, 2009

A man left paralyzed below the chest after he fell from the top of a jail bunk bed when an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy used a stun gun on him sued the Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday, alleging that his civil rights had been violated.

According to the federal lawsuit, Blake Dupree, 22, said he was standing on his bunk about four to seven feet above the concrete jail floor with his hands raised in a defensive posture when he was stunned with a Taser, which delivers a 50,000-volt shock.

Much of the incident on Feb. 27, 2007, was captured on videotape, according to the suit.

Sheriff’s officials have acknowledged that deputies stunned Dupree when he refused to come out of his cell for electronic fingerprinting.

“The officers involved should have known that deploying the Taser on Mr. Dupree while he was standing on the top bunk would result in a dangerous fall,” said attorney Justin Sanders, who represents Dupree. He said his client “has suffered catastrophic injuries and extraordinary suffering which no amount of money can remedy.”


page x – tasers kill pt.vi


…is a weblog started by the family of a taser victim.

“In memory of our brother and son, Robert Bagnell, who died after being tasered by police in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 23, 2004”

They keep track of all the people who have died.


What follows are the names (where known), dates and locations of all North Americans who have died after they were shocked with taser weapons by law enforcement officials.

As far as I know, this list does not exist anywhere else in the world.

For the most part, the list has been generated from media accounts, with the first 167 names documented by reporter Robert Anglen of the Arizona Republic newspaper.

Since late December 2005, Patti Gillman (owner of this website, TNT – Truth … Not Tasers) and Cameron Ward have continued to record the names of those who have died after they were tasered.

Their list of Taser deaths this year:

390. January 9, 2009: Derrick Jones, 17, Martinsville, Virginia
391. January 11, 2009: Rodolfo Lepe, 31, Bakersfield, California
392. January 22, 2009: Roger Redden, 52, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee
393. February 2, 2009: Garrett Jones, 45, Stockton, California
394. February 11, 2009: Richard Lua, 28, San Jose, California
395. February 13, 2009: Rudolph Byrd, Age Unknown, Thomas County, Florida
396. February 13, 2009: Michael Jones, 43, Iberia, Louisiana
397. February 14, 2009: Chenard Kierre Winfield, 32, Los Angeles, California


page x – tasers kill pt.v

Taser International has been hiding behind its ‘non-lethal’ hype, and the result is that people have died. Just like the tobacco companies once did, they refuse to tell the truth for fear of killing the business.

Though it discharges 50,000 volts, a Taser is easy to use and police departments require little training before deploying it. And though Taser deaths are notorious, I have yet to see or hear of a single case where the police said they knew that a victim’s heart could stop beating after being shocked.

Taser International seems to avoid even discussing the possibility of adverse affects, and the results are tragic. The first successful suit against them was decided last year after the death of Robert Heston jr. in Salinas. Though perhaps lacking common sense, the police were actually cleared of liability because they weren’t aware that tasing a man 30 times was dangerous.

Robert Heston senior won his lawsuit against Taser International, but at a terrible cost. “I have a picture of my son under the Christmas tree and I miss him,” says Mr. Heston, whose son was Tasered to death in 2005. “It is hard on all of us this time of year—we are a close family. You always think you are going first but when the kids go it takes a toll on you.” And Mr. Heston has been in the hospital with heart problems on several occasions–he thinks it stems from anxiety over his son’s death.

Taser victim Mr. Heston remembers vividly that horrific day when his son—also named Robert—was tasered repeatedly; Mr. Heston says his son was tasered about 30 times. “I guess the police kept doing it because they thought they didn’t have full control over Robert—they couldn’t handcuff him. But Robert couldn’t put his hands up because he couldn’t move.” Mr. Heston explains that the police officers tried to pry Robert’s hands from under his torso to handcuff him but he was paralyzed—so they Tasered him some more!

“The cops got off scott free,” says Mr. Heston. “We lost the case against the cops but won against Taser. Policies need to be changed about Tasers; when they first came out the police had no idea what they could do to people because it was put on the market by Taser International as non-lethal, but we all know that isn’t true now, after the fact.”

“Losing Robert was devastating,” says Mr. Heston’s son-in-law, Kirk Kasner. “Since Robert’s death I have done a fair amount of research and in my opinion, most law enforcement is not trained sufficiently—police officers get far more firearms training than they do Taser training. They have a preconceived notion the Taser is safe; they think tasering someone repeatedly is harmless.”


more taser

Bet you didn’t know (like me) that Taser International has got an even more advanced weapon: the Extended Range Electronic Projectile, or XREP. This is pretty creepy.


page x – tasers kill pt.iv

The taser is a sucker’s weapon. It gives the appearance of solving one of the nagging problems of law enforcement: what do with people who are out of their minds.

People who are wired as hell, agitated, are some of the worst things you face if you’re a cop. You can try to grab them and beat them, but they fight back. And you’ll probably need more than one cop, and you’re all probably gonna get hurt, too. It also looks ugly, and then there will be charges of brutality, and it will be in the papers, and there will be inquiries. So cops are almost always pissed off at crazy people.

Plus, a lot of the folks who become cops are itchy about control, they don’t like chaos. They don’t feel they should have to wait for a situation to get better–they’re supposed to make the situation better, and soon.

That’s why Tasers have been so popular. They are situation intervention machines, they stop a situation cold. And since they’re so famously ‘non-lethal’–would the New York P.D. lie to you?–it looks like a win-win solution.

That’s the obvious mentality of the cops here, they never thought twice about what they were about to do. The fable of the ‘non-lethal intervention’ blinded them to the reality. The guy who ordered the ‘tasing’ later killed himself.

[h/t Jason Phillips]


taser man ii

Jack was a dedicated physicist who in the 1960’s read about President Lyndon Johnson’s Blue Ribbon Crime Commission report that urged the development of non-lethal weapons development to combat airplane hi-jacking, riots and civil unrest occurring at that time. Around that same time, Jack who was the Chief Scientist for NASA’s Apollo Moon Landing program while at North American Aerospace read a Los Angeles Times story of a hiker “frozen” to a fence that was connected to a downed high-voltage power line for several hours and survived.

Jack’s quest to develop his first electronic control device began in 1966 when he developed working models and named them after his favorite childhood character.

Tom A. Swift and his Electric Rifle (TASER®)


taser man

Freaky–I’d been taking notes on this law enforcement and technological fiasco for a bit, and I finally clacked something a couple days ago. The same day they published the obit:

Taser inventor dies at 88

Jack Cover, an aerospace scientist who invented the Taser stun gun now widely used by police, has died in southern California. He was 88.

The gun’s producer, Taser International, says Mr Cover was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and died of pneumonia at a retirement home.


page x – tasers kill pt.iii

Just a few hours ago, here in L.A.:

Naked man dies after being subdued
by deputies in Lakewood

11:36 AM, February 15, 2009

A man who authorities say was running naked through the streets of Lakewood died after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies used pepper spray and Tasers to subdue him, officials said today.

Deputies responded to a disturbance call in the 5700 block of Silva Street about 10:15 p.m. Saturday when they encountered the victim. The man, whose name was not released, was irrational and belligerent, and advanced on an undisclosed number of deputies in a threatening manner as they tried to calm him down, according to Deputy Richard Li, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

Shortly after the man was handcuffed, Li said, deputies determined that he was not breathing; they administered CPR until paramedics arrived. The man was transported to an unidentified local hospital, where he died.

Sheriff’s homicide detectives were dispatched to the scene to investigate, Li said.

Over and over: if you are amped up, wigged out, adrenalized, and a cop tasers you, you could be dead within minutes. It’s only a ‘non-lethal weapon’ if you’re sober, calm and healthy. If you’re somebody nobody would taser.


page x – tasers kill pt.ii

Here’s a brief excerpt (full post here) of an excellent distillation of a taser death, this from the blog ‘Nixon is in Hell’. Though agitated, the victim didn’t really pose a threat to the public, much less punch any cops. Yet they deployed the taser, and it killed him. This sort of event is becoming more, not less, common even though everybody knows that people have been dying like this for years.

CBC’s Chris Brown (my spelling) described the death of a “distraught man that no one could understand or reason with”. RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre was interviewed at the scene and indicated that the deceased “was pounding on the windows behind us, he was throwing chairs, at one point he grabs some computer equipment off the desk here at the airport, threw that to the ground”. Brown reported “when the man appeared poised to throw something at them, one of the officers pulled out his taser”. After the individual was shot with the taser, Lemaitre stated, “The man fell to the ground, uh, yet still continued to be combative and fight”. Brown concludes his report by informing his audience that “police say moments after they handcuffed the man, he stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at the scene”…

The following evening, October 15, CTV News followed up with a report by Lisa Rosington (my spelling). The dead man had now been identified as Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski. Through a series of unfortunate events, airport officials had directed Dziekanski, who spoke no English, to a reception area and left him there to languish without explanation. After being in the airport for more than ten hours and still waiting to meet his mother, he became irate. It was his ensuing behaviour that brought the RCMP to the scene. Spokesperson Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre explained, “We were told that the security personnel had a man who was throwing chairs around, pamphlets around, yelling, screaming, taking his fists and pounding on the glass”. Witnesses to the altercation were reported to have expressed the belief that the RCMP had used excessive force. Lemaitre rejected that assertion, indicating, “There were no choke holds placed, there were no punches thrown. They were just trying to get him to settle down. They were able to place handcuffs on the individual and, uh, during that course as they’re still trying to get him to calm down the man slipped into unconsciousness”. Asked whether or not there was an alternative to the use of a taser, Rosington reported “the Mounties say pepper spray wasn’t ideal because the area was crowded with travelers and suggest that the baton may have been too violent.” Lemaitre also indicated “There was only one officer trained to use [the taser], and that was the one who used it”.


page x – tasers kill pt.i

These stories have become so familiar that we hardly take notice any more.

Man dies in California after Taser arrest
Published: Thursday February 12, 2009

A man in the northern California city of San Jose died after being jolted with a Taser, police said Thursday…

…The man, who police said appeared to be in his 20s, got into a struggle with two officers when they tried to arrest him in the backyard of a home late Wednesday.

“The struggle was very, very violent to get him into custody,” said police spokesman Mike Sullivan. “Some time during the struggle, the officers did deploy a Taser.”

One officer was cut in the face during the scuffle and the other had a leg injury. Police said both were treated and released from a hospital…

I can’t even keep track of all the deaths. But I have noticed this: if you are young, agitated, and fighting with cops, and you get tasered, there’s a good chance you will die. Your heart will stop, and no one will be able to start it again.

I edited the post so you’d read this last, the last paragraph:

Police watchdog groups said the death is the sixth in San Jose connected with use of a Taser, though police could immediately confirm that figure. The city has been sued in at least three of those cases.