Sunday, May 4, 2008

'Excited delirium' isn't as cool as it sounds, trust me

The people who manufacture TASERS, those wonderful devices that don't kill people w(with bullets) have convinced an Ohio judge to rule that coroners can't blame them contributing to the death of people who die immediately after they get TASERed. Seriously:

While they do have a number of scientific studies on which they establish their claims, it's interesting that the alternate cause of death they champion — excited delirium — appears only in police reports on the deaths of difficult or drug-addled inmates, not in medical textbooks. Of course, that may change soon — Taser is funding and promoting research on the subject. Coroner reports such as the ones in this case contributed to the UN's opinion that taser use is torture."

My concern about TASERs isn't that it's occasionally fatal. It's less lethal than a gun, and it has its role. My problem is when officers and entire police departments start using them simply to get argumentative people to comply a split second faster. I've seen video of TASERs being used when there really was no need.

Cross posted to Peoria Pundit.