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The problem with Tasers

November 15, 2007

The death of Robert Dziekanski should be another reminder that a Taser isn’t “harmless”. People like to think of it as a “Non-Lethal Weapon”, which in and on itself is an Oxymoron.

Regardless on what one might think of the appropriateness of the RCMPs behaviour (and putting aside some clear lies by the RCMP directly after the incident), the now published video makes it clear that a taser is still a deadly weapon. How anybody could have ever doubted this is a bit beyond me, no sane person would think that pushing a few thousand volts of electricity through a human body does not have the ability to maim or kill.

There has to be a change in the way police departments (and security companies) see the use of a taser. It is not a harmless tool to “quickly subdue” people. It is a weapon and as such it should only be used if there is no other option. A taser should be treated like a handgun, work it under the assumption that if you have to use it, the other party may not get up.

Until this is understood by everybody we will most likely see more unnecessary deaths.

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