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The Stop Taser Torture blog is the official blog that coordinates the annual December 4th event called, Stop Taser Torture, blogging for Justice.

Many police departments are using tasers to torture even nonviolent people who are often those who are incoherent, hallucinating, wheelchair bound, suicidal, unarmed, deaf, handcuffed, blind, pregnant, students, or just didnt move fast enough for an officers liking. Taser torture in America is continuously growing not only in volume, but in the level of how liberally, unwarrantedly, and excessively tasering is being used across the U.S and many other countries. In America, some police departments are even now torturing 10 year old children.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Taser shocks on mentally ill and the intoxicated

Police say Tasers are lifesavers, but the odds may change for substance abusers and the mentally ill. Hat tip to Sheena Mcfarland and Melinda Rogers Source: The Salt Lake Tribune

A friendly poker game is interrupted by a phone call, answered by a drunken player who doesn't like what he hears.

The man loses the next hand, then his temper.

When Salt Lake City police arrive at the apartment three minutes later, they find his trail of shattered glass and kicked-in doors. The man is punching a wall and tells officers he wants to "kick their asses." They pull out their Tasers. The first shot misses, but the next two send 50,000 volts through his body -- incapacitating him long enough for officers to handcuff him.

Police using Tasers against sober or sane suspects usually only have to pull the trigger once. But sober or sane is hardly typical for those who go toe-to-toe with police in Utah.

A Salt Lake Tribune analysis found nearly half the time, about 47 percent of the cases, in which Utah police deployed electroshock weapons over the past 2½ years, they used them on people in altered states -- those suffering from mental illness or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Officers delivered multiple shocks to altered people almost half the time.

Tasers Altered State

Tasers shocks

Yet science hasn't answered just how safe Tasers are to use on the mentally ill and substance abusers, a population that advocates say police will be even more likely to encounter as funding for treatment dwindles.
An American Medical Association council in June expressed concern that Tasers are used too often when a person does not pose a clear physical threat, and it determined there haven't been enough studies done on how they affect people in altered states. That same month, the death of a man shocked by police on a Utah highway sparked a widespread controversy. Nude and unarmed, Brian Cardall was suffering a psychotic episode when an officer zapped him twice -- at least once in the chest.

Electroshock-gun behemoth Taser International says its products can't conclusively be linked to any deaths but acknowledged individual reactions can't be predicted, particularly when underlying medical conditions or drugs are involved. After Cardall's death, the company also instructed police to avoid aiming Tasers at a person's chest - ---a departure from previous guidelines that recommended shooting at center body mass.  More HERE

How a taser works (pdf)

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