February 13, 2009
I originally started this note in December 2008 when I watched (and was outraged by) a video from an UCLA student’s cell phone. I decided to publish it after yesterday’s announcement by the RCMP on their new policy on taser use.
I cannot agree with tasers – mostly because we have no idea what they do to humans in the short and long term – but also because of recent deaths from them. Proponents say that they are safer for the public than guns. I may agree if law enforcement used them with similar frequency and propriety as they use guns. Since they think that tasers are less lethal, officers seem more apt to use them even in cases where diplomacy might have been more appropriate.
To add to the uncertainty, tasers may produce more than the specified current as reported on CBC Radio’s The Current. Yet, the manufacturer continues to recommend that the devices not be tested for output current. It’s time that taser manufacturers treat complaints with due respect, especially when public safety is at risk and massive evidence points to the contrary.