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Why didn't they just taser him?

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  • Why didn't they just taser him?

    That is a question often heard after some of the high profile shootings involving a police officer. It was brought up repeatedly by a couple of posters here after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last year. Why did they have to shoot him? Couldn't they have just tasered/tased him?

    I bring this up now because a dozen or so miles from where I live the brother of a co-worker who is a police officer was involved in a shooting where the person was shot in the stomach. They only shot him after trying to taser the suspect around 15 times to no avail and he continued attacking the two responding officers.

    Let me repeat that.

    The police officers tried 15 times to drop the suspect using a taser but it didn't even slow him down.

    Needless to say they suspect that he was under the influence of drugs. It had to be something strong for him to shrug off the effects of the taser not just once but 15 times.

    Both officers have been placed under administrative leave pending an investigation (standard operating procedure) and one was treated at a hospital for injuries he suffered when attacked by the suspect.

    The suspect was admitted to the hospital and his condition at this time is unknown.

    But keep this in mind the next time someone declares that using a taser is sufficient to stop an assailant. In this case the suspect was tased over a dozen times and nearly overpowered two police officers.



    ETA:

    Local news accounts:

    I'm always still in trouble again

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  • #2
    Further, tasers are sometimes lethal too. Just read in the daily rag this morning of a case where someone died a couple days after being tasered. The cops involved are also on administrative leave.
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    • #3
      A man in Vancouver died at the scene at the airport several years ago after being tasered.

      I guess police should use Nerf guns. That'll do the trick!


      Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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      • #4
        We have a "citizen's police academy" at the Department where I'm Chaplain. It's incredibly amusing to watch citizens (particularly those who had been critical of the Police) strap on a duty belt, and stand up to an "attacker". One lady actually peed her pants. (That was quite effective, actually, cause it got the attacker laughing so hard she was able to get a good "kick in the groin" at him. Fortunately, he was wearing the "gumby" suit") I'll see if I can find the pictures.


        ETA: Here's one of our officers - "the attacker"


        attacker.jpg
        Last edited by Cow Poke; 05-18-2015, 11:47 AM.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          In some of the scenarios, the "attacker" is either

          * "drunk" and you need to handcuff him
          * violent and coming at you and you need to get him on the ground
          * simply resisting arrest (non-violently) and you need to cuff him...

          any combination of the above

          Your choices are taser, baton, handgun or any combination thereof.
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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          • #6
            I've said it before, but no cop (or at least no cop in his right mind) wants to kill someone, and if non-lethal weapons like tasers and pepper spray were foolproof and effective in every situation then that's what every cop would prefer to use over a deadly firearm. The fact is that there are times when a handgun is simply the best tool for the situation.
            Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
            But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
            Than a fool in the eyes of God


            From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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            • #7
              Tasers are often of limited use during the winter when many people are wearing heavy clothing including coats and the prongs that deliver the shock never come into contact with the skin.

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                That is a question often heard after some of the high profile shootings involving a police officer. It was brought up repeatedly by a couple of posters here after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last year. Why did they have to shoot him? Couldn't they have just tasered/tased him?

                I bring this up now because a dozen or so miles from where I live the brother of a co-worker who is a police officer was involved in a shooting where the person was shot in the stomach. They only shot him after trying to taser the suspect around 15 times to no avail and he continued attacking the two responding officers.

                Let me repeat that.

                The police officers tried 15 times to drop the suspect using a taser but it didn't even slow him down.

                Needless to say they suspect that he was under the influence of drugs. It had to be something strong for him to shrug off the effects of the taser not just once but 15 times.

                Both officers have been placed under administrative leave pending an investigation (standard operating procedure) and one was treated at a hospital for injuries he suffered when attacked by the suspect.

                The suspect was admitted to the hospital and his condition at this time is unknown.

                But keep this in mind the next time someone declares that using a taser is sufficient to stop an assailant. In this case the suspect was tased over a dozen times and nearly overpowered two police officers.



                ETA:

                Local news accounts:
                I have no problem that the action by the officer in Ferguson that resulted with the death of Michael Brown, but I have great concern for many of the other deaths of blacks shoot by officers that clearly unwarranted.

                Yes, the firearms are important tools for self-defense for officers of the law.
                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                Frank

                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                  Yes, the firearms are important tools for self-defense for officers of the law.
                  ...and for the defense of bystanders, and for the affect of an arrest. It is not terribly unusual for a person resisting arrest to turn a situation into a "use of deadly force" justification.
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                  • #10
                    The story in the OP seems strange to me. I thought tasers operate by manipulating the muscles. Pain tolerance shouldn't have anything to do with it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Psychic Missile View Post
                      The story in the OP seems strange to me. I thought tasers operate by manipulating the muscles. Pain tolerance shouldn't have anything to do with it.
                      Here's a NYTimes article that discusses this.

                      Chief Hayes and other law enforcement officials said they had been shocked by how quickly bath salts turned into a major problem. “I have never seen a drug that took off as fast as this one,” Chief Hayes said. Others said some people on the drugs could not be subdued with pepper spray or even Tasers.
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                        Here's a NYTimes article that discusses this.

                        Chief Hayes and other law enforcement officials said they had been shocked by how quickly bath salts turned into a major problem. “I have never seen a drug that took off as fast as this one,” Chief Hayes said. Others said some people on the drugs could not be subdued with pepper spray or even Tasers.
                        After some reading, it seems like modern Tasers, on the proper mode, cannot be defeated by any drug use because no drug can prevent muscle incapacitation through electricity. In the instance in the OP and the NYT article I can only conclude that one of the following is true:

                        1. The Tasers being used are out of date.
                        2. The Tasers being used are on the pain-related incapacitation mode.
                        3. A stun gun, which uses a pain-related incapacitation method, was misreported as a Taser.
                        4. The Taser didn't connect properly and its failure had nothing to do with drug use.

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                        • #13
                          There's another factor that a lot of people fail to consider.

                          A police officer is bound by policies and procedures and rules of engagement when apprehending a subject.
                          The subject, however, may be a felon, and will do whatever is in his power to avoid being arrested, including killing the officer.

                          When the officer deploys a taser, he still has his firearm, and the subject he's trying to apprehend may try to get that from the officer.

                          Of officers killed in the line of duty attempting to apprehend a criminal, 8 to 10% of those officers are killed with their own weapon.
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                          • #14
                            Why didn't they just taser him?

                            We ask that about Rogue all the time...


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Psychic Missile View Post
                              After some reading, it seems like modern Tasers, on the proper mode, cannot be defeated by any drug use because no drug can prevent muscle incapacitation through electricity. In the instance in the OP and the NYT article I can only conclude that one of the following is true:
                              This assumes that the taser was properly deployed, and that both contacts penetrated the skin of the subject, and the taser operated properly.

                              1. The Tasers being used are out of date.
                              Ya know - most police departments don't have the budget to continually be buying the most up-to-date equipment, so they make do with what they have.

                              2. The Tasers being used are on the pain-related incapacitation mode.
                              3. A stun gun, which uses a pain-related incapacitation method, was misreported as a Taser.
                              4. The Taser didn't connect properly and its failure had nothing to do with drug use.
                              Yeah, I don't know.
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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