This is some special kind of evil. They not only have coroners and police departments in their pockets. But also invented a whole new disease and funded a "white paper" about it. They fully expected for this to end up in court from day one, as they know exactly what their product does to people. So they inoculated themselves by generating "scientific research" to shove in front of juries during a trial. "Oh look science! Victim was suffering from a case of excited delirium when officer Jones pressed the trigger. Here is a paper on it".
After serving on a jury, I believe this would totally fly there. Juries are not allowed to research or study the facts about the case on their own. Once "evidence" is shown or an expert is declared "an expert in <blah>" then you are told to base your judgment on what they present.
> Taser persuaded a judge to exclude a medical examiner and pathologist with 25 years’ experience whose testimony was central to the family’s case, arguing that it was “unqualified, unsupported and unreliable.”
Or even better, sue anyone who says Tasers are dangerous:
> Also in 2006, Taser sued electrical engineer James Ruggieri, who wrote a peer-reviewed study that said Taser shocks were more dangerous than the company stated. In its lawsuit, Taser said Ruggieri was mounting an “anti-Taser campaign,” was unqualified to do so, and made money from delivering anti-Taser presentations and appearing as an expert witness.
And make everybody afraid to implicate a taser:
> Such cases have an impact on medical examiners, according to a 2011 survey of 222 medical examiners nationwide. Its conclusions: 14 percent said they modified diagnostic findings due to the possible threat of litigation from Taser, and 32 percent said that threat could affect future decisions.
Can you imagine if jury members (some of whom might believe in homeopathy or other bizarre pseudoscience) were allowed to base their judgements on `facts` not presented by one of the parties involved? It'd be madness, very quickly.
But jury members are allowed to use their pre-existing knowledge of homeopathy, are they not? They're just prevented from learning more about homeopathy (or psychopathology) in a way that could influence their decision.
Now I wonder if an elementary textbook on a topic would be admissible evidence, and whether jury members would be allowed to ask for it.
Also, this is your weekly reminder that vaccines are homeopathy.
Homeopathy is characterized by the belief that 'like cures like'. They ingest poisons to innoculate themselves to fevers, etc. It is very, very different from simply gaining a resistance to specific compounds.
Based on instructions I received as a juror, I think it would be inbounds to send in a factual question to the judge, and maybe that question would lead to additional evidence that could be presented and also balanced with rebuttal or otherwise handled fairly.
What the judge instructs jurors is that they shouldn't research related information or talk about the case during lunch or if they go home and have to come back and so on.
So in this case you might hear the defense "experts" talk about "delirium" and presenting it as peer reviewed, settled science. A juror would want open up Wikipedia page on it and read about and find that it's mostly bullshit. But they are instructed not to. Now maybe the plaintiff's attorney is good enough to call their experts and testify against the other expert. Or maybe you already know or is familiar with these topics. No problem there then, but you might be struck out initially by the defense if they say "is anyone familiar or an expert in X" as a preventive measure to bolster their chances of winning.
Now here is something interesting to think about - maybe there is a way to find out a-priori about all the cases on the docket for that day you are called and research and learn as much as possible about them. For busy court house that could end being a lot of cases.
Do jury members get to go home overnight during their service, or is this actually enforced?
The judge instructed us not to look up research related to the case and I listened and didn't.
After the fact, I believe the verdict would have been different if we had been allowed to lookup how that type of case was being run and what happens and so on. It was an auto insurance litigation for injuries and medical bills.
More practically do you really want jury basing their verdict on whichever truth gets top Google result or who paid enough to have gotten their message repeated. In the era of Fox and other fake news?
In that case taser wouldn't either bother with the science and just bombard us with stories of tasering pedos and protecting YOUR daughter from rape.
We offer justice in the USA. We don't (except in limited circumstances) offer free or cheap justice. So, the side with the more money has "unfair" advantage.
This "justice favors the rich" is The Reason consumer protection and other regulation of companies is needed.
The tricky thing with a case like Shkreli's is that what you are being tried for, and what the jury wants to put you into jail for, are potentially different things. Very difficult to extricate. If he was in court for grand theft auto and he had a perfect alibi, he still might be found guilty just because it's an opportunity for the jury to deal out some "righteous punishment" given the opportunity. Is this judiciary morality and ethics? Is it a greater-scope of ethical absolution? It's really hard to say. The court tries you on a specific set of bullet points, and if you don't get convicted you're free to go, but the emotional closure may not have happened.
At any rate, I don't think "Punishment for the Crime" is the only adage we can continue with in our modern society. We also need to make provisions for rehabilitation, amelioration, healing, and in general promoting the psychic health and welfare of people who are deemed "perpetrators" instead of labeling them as lost causes (until of course they re-emerge into Society and the issues have been substantially compounded).
In general, I am in favour of the former two. But the fact is that you can get a "expert" to say anything you like. I expect this can be bad enough in a Civil Law court, because even educated judges can be bamboozled. It's worse in the Common Law system, because it provides a platform where made-for-the-event, fruadulent expertise gets the same platform as its opponent.
Usually (though sequestration does
happen in some cases), but...
> or is this actually enforced?
Yes; like most laws, it is enforced after-the-fact.
Ketamine is a very safe and effective drug when used properly. In many areas it's a first drug of choice for prehospital ("ambulance") sedation. Around here our protocols prefer benzodiazepines like Versed, but we have Ketamine on the rig, and use it in cases like this.
One has to be quite careful with type of comment. Of course humans are animals, but we are animals of a particular species and what one animal species eats or easily tolerates, can be deadly to another animal species.
Some simple examples to illustrate the point. Chocolate and grapes are dangerous, even deadly for dogs yet of course are not only tolerated, but even actively enjoyed by the vast majority of humans with no ill effects.
I was not claiming all substances safe for one animal are safe for all animals. I'm claiming "animals" is a superset that includes "humans".
Ketamine has very important human use. From article above:
"It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines"
Ketamine, I do believe, is an animal tranquilizer. Not being a veterinarian, I don't know much about that application. However, in humans it has shown tremendous benefit as an analgesic and a dissociative agent, with a tremendous safety profile.
"AED readings are important. Shock versus no shock" - this is basically allowing them to go one of two ways "Shockable", then they weren't 'fatally' injured by the Taser, and external circumstances caused the death. "No Shock Advised", well, they must have had a heart defect. Never mind that there are multiple rhythms beyond VF (Ventricular fibrillation), VT (Ventricular tachycardia) that can be recovered.
The next three are basically trying to imply typically drug use interfered with cardiac activity and that, not the Taser, caused the cardiac event.
It's basically "here's a laundry list of things that can exonerate Taser. Collect them."
Unless you're law enforcement. They're... uh, special.
Edit: downtopic, user:revelation said it best. It's called the Eggshell Skull Rule. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_skull
Could one argue that law enforcement would have used force that on average is much more lethal (gunshot), but instead used a Taser, and unfortunately they died because of the Taser? I'm a lot more comfortable with this defense than some sort of hot-potato "maybe it was the drugs, maybe it was the taser" excuse.
The example I have heard around this is that if you shoot, and kill, someone who is currently falling off a building you are still guilty of murder.
The reasoning, I believe, is that anything grayer than "if you killed them, you killed them" very quickly devolves into an argument over what "imminent" is.
Right, I'm sure he was extremely careful and objective in his research.
It's funny how scientists who do "double blind testing", where they avoid even themselves knowing if a person received the control or not, because it's proven that it could bias the result, somehow are totally immune from bias because of research grants where the grant giver has obvious interests.
You can literally rub graffiti off a wall, why would you risk killing someone for that.
I think that's the main point of the article. Taser markets these weapons as non-lethal, going to great lengths to make sure investigations point the blame somewhere else when a death occurs.
Police don't treat these weapons as lethal, which is clearly not true.
I don't believe the trigger is depressed during this, so it's just the contact shock, not a prolonged/repeated one.
I also have no idea what medical personnel are on hand, but all police officers are trained in CPR and I'd imagine they have an AED on premises, even if there are no EMTs right there.
They should do the testing a 30 minute drive from the hospital without medical personnel on hand at the top of a flight of cement stairs with no one around to catch their fall.
I'm sure the police would not volunteer for that test.
It says use of ECD (Taser), as non-lethal force, is warranted to prevent inter alia damage to property, section 4.b.1.b.
It also says verbal warnings should be given when they don't betray a tactical advantage.
Once a warning is given, if you run you're resisting arrest, which is for good reasons a serious crime.
Whatever the law says, the use of potentially deadly-force to prevent the application of graffiti is unconscionable. Graffiti may be aesthetically undesirable and property owners are within their rights to obstruct or remove it from their property, but adding a layer of paint to a wall does not damage the wall.
Should we let people graffiti other's property without any hindrance?
If you make something illegal, you have to allow police to intervene. If you allow police to intervene some people will run. Police are worthless, as are the laws they seek to enforce, if they don't have legal powers to physically stop people who flee from them, using appropriate force. Thus situations where people come to physical harm that outweighs the gravity of their (known) suspected crimes are inevitable so long as people choose to flee when confronted by police.
Point out the holes there for me?
I'd contend that an electric shock across the heart is too much force for stopping someone accused of spraying graffiti.
It seems to me that this is the grey area where the officer's humane discretion should come into play: "is it worth risking another human-being's life in order to prevent their evading capture for a crime of this level?"
It seems like this grey area often gets flattened into "is this human being complying? If no, pull trigger."
The situation would change a lot if, e.g., they were tasering someone already restrained as a punishment, or conversely if they were tasering someone who ran into a dead end, then turned to attack them. Given that the details in the article were quite thin, I'd want to see more evidence before rendering judgement.
There is inherent risk when you escalate an issue with the police. I'm not excusing the police for using deadly force, but he made a bad choice.
I mean... this is a truly hideous thing from a company whose history is already mostly hideous.
"We serve ourselves and protect our own."
Some police forces have procedures where they do things like
--keep their distance from agitated people.
--warn them several times and try to talk them down.
--then say "taser taser taser" before discharging the weapon.
These seem like good procedures to follow.
If I were to assault a person suffering from a condition such as "excited delerium syndrome", and that person died as a result of my assault, I would be guilty of a crime known as "felony murder." I'm pretty sure the legal priniciple is stated as "you take your victim as you find him." It's not a valid excuse to say, "I didn't know the guy had a heart problem" if he has a heart attack right after I assault him." And, if I say, "I knew he had a heart problem," then that makes my crime worse.
Axon is actually the new name of Taser... which makes now money by selling systems archiving, managing, and analyzing police officers body cam videos.
There is an obvious conflict of interest here: it could be so easy to conveniently delete a video incriminating a Taser device...
And are you saying they shouldn't be in the business of providing cameras to authorities because of a possible conflict of interest? They are a public company and have a responsibility to maximize profits. They made millions last year from evidence storage services.
And I would hope the engineers are building their infrastructure in a way that prevents tampering, otherwise the engineers could be held accountable for any very risky evidence deletion.
And I think body cams is a more ethical business than tasers anyway, helping to hold police and citizens accountable for their actions.
I would prefer if the vendor selling the video systems did not also sell weapons. They could be split in 2 companies and dissociate ownership of each.
Beyond Tasers guns, it also warns us how important the governance model for video archival/retrieval system is. Because if the police force is the client, there is a business incentive to absolve the police officers in case of issues. How to define that governance model is above my pay grade, but this is something very important, that goes beyond engineers in the trenches.
When they delivered him to the hospital he was in severe shock and no effort was made by the nursing staff or officers to warm him. He was handcuffed to a sheets bare
hospital cot. After begging with officers and nursing staff to provide blankets and water for about 15 minutes I finally appealed to the right cop (former marine) who got him blankets and water.
The jail staff showed up closely after this and they were going to cart him off to jail without any further ado...however a physician needed to sign off. I could see he was in extreme physical distress as a result of his experience and the tasering.
Thankfully the ER physician was competent and unbiased by police reported events and saw that my brother had the symptoms of cardiac related distress and related abnormalities and insisted that he be kept on site for monitoring and treatment. If it wasn't for a good cop and a diligent physician my brother would be dead now: I have no doubt of this.
If applying Bayesian reasoning to determine the likely veracity of the Excited Delerium defence of taser-related deaths, then ED deaths in the general non-tasered poulation should be an important prior.
Mancur Olson is also interesting on the topic of interest groups and rent seeking more generally: https://www.amazon.com/Logic-Collective-Action-printing-appe...
I suspect part of the problem is that police forces run by smallish localities, which can't have the same level of training and oversight as larger jurisdictions. But that's only part of the problem: major US cities also seem to have problems.
> the 18-year-old graffiti artist. The teen had been spotted spray-painting the blackened windows of an abandoned McDonald’s.
> Within seconds, Officer Jorge Mercado caught up with him, drew his Taser and fired a single shot to the chest. The recent high school grad and aspiring art teacher collapsed on the sidewalk in cardiac arrest. The chase lasted six minutes. It was 5:20 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2013. At 6:18 a.m., he was pronounced dead.
Whyyyy is using a taser against a teenager who’s running away even nevessary? Dude was doing some vandalism. If you can’t catch him on foot just let him get away. It’s not like he’s selling drugs to little kids or trying to punch you in the face.
Edit: from a NYT article:
> One of the things they learned, he went on, was that Officer Mercado explained his use of the Taser as having occurred as Mr. Hernandez-Llach was running toward the officer.
It appears that is in dispute though.
I haven't heard anyone realistically call a Taser "non-lethal" in a long time. They're called "less lethal" for a reason: They're less likely to kill someone than a gun. (You can survive gunshots too! Just... less often.)
It's hard to imagine a reasonable case for firing ANY weapon at a graffiti artist. Using a Taser is just one of many levels of a use of force, and it's hard to imagine a justification for it with such a minor offense.
How about personal inconvenience due to an itchy trigger finger? And if the graffiti was in any way subversive, you could make a case for attempting to commit journalism.
Obviously the more liberal the police are with tasers, then the more accidental deaths there will be. So if the police treated them like firearms, then Axon wouldn't need to get so involved to try and defend itself. Gun manufacturers are never liable for gun related deaths.
Is the problem how tasers are marketed as non-lethal? Do people want to see tasers outlawed and have the police go back to using guns?
EDIT: if this isn't a relevant contribution to the discussion, I don't know what is.
There is zero difference in their actions and directly adding a LD50 does of cyanide as a seasoning at a school lunch. Sure, your not going to kill everyone there, but that's not safe.
PS: Arguably it's worse as the average mass murder does not go around stating their victims would have died anyway.
Well.. these laws suck and Taser's marketing probably allowed for this to happen in the first place? "less lethal" -> "zero consequences"?
And I don't think your italicized quoting of the national anthem contributes anything to the discussion. It just shows how emotionally invested you are.
Aren't you? Shouldn't everyone be, in light for such stories?
the thing about stories is that there are always 2 sides.
There is practically no evidence supporting his "recommendation" that the police use it routinely (if it doesn't delay CPR, then sure, give 'em a punch in the chest, but the evidence behind it is _very_ shaky).
While with low probability (1 in 6000), there is specific conditions when Taser will almost for sure cause ventricular fibrillation - it is when dart hits 1cm2 patch right over the ventricle in people with heart located closer to skin (i guess usually it would mean smaller and/or thinner people, and there have been other studies that shown reverse correlation of [probability of] damage [and VF in particular] with body weight) :
Basically each 6000 times Taser is deployed there can be expected a death.
Seriously, Reuters? Were you concerned the results of your investigation wouldn't stand on their own so you had to appeal to emotion just in case?
The whole idea of law enforcement is they have the training to deal with confrontational situations with some degree of control and maturity.
They have the training, weapons, access to backup and near endless resources. Any confrontation with an individual is already heavily biased towards their side, to lose control is more than reckless.
For situations beyond basic law enforcement involving more than one person, for instance a riot or a gang, usually there are more specialized teams and strategies.
You can die from >100 milliamps this way with no drugs in the system.
Not real sure who thinks tazing is non lethal... its less lethal advertised as non lethal
Also forgot "vandal suspect"
'Vandal Suspect' added in there somewhere does absolutely nothing to help me relate to the decision to shoot a TASER at a non-violent vandal.
Why bias the reader one way?
My argument: he was a teacher, recent grad, and a vandal [the victim/suspect was painted one way, biasing the reader].
Refuted argument: His being a vandal was irrelevant, because death as a punishment does not fit the crime of vandalism.
You're saying its relevant; they're saying its irrelevant. We aren't computers we don't need to declare every variable.
Well no that's not at all what I was saying. I took issue with the author attempting to make Israel more sympathetic, instead of treating him objectively. Rather than paint a right vs wrong, police accountability should be based on facts and the merits of the circumstances according the policies and processes of the police department.
But, since you raised that point, the fact that he was a vandal, and he was fleeing police, was actually material in making the use of non-deadly force (a TASER is not considered deadly force), lawful.
Your use of 'lawful' is a weasel word.
You are trying to have it both ways.
Trying to slur the dead young man as a 'vandal' and a criminal (I don't think graffiti is a felony in most jurisdictions) but then insisting that the news article should have been objective.
You yourself are not being objective. You used an emotionally loaded term, but then in your subsequent arguments are insisting on defending it by logic alone, when you know your comment was meant to have an emotional impact.
It was Lawful because the officer was justified in using non-lethal force to apprehend a suspect who was evading arrest. The intent of using a taser is to incapacitate with non-lethal force.
For Israel, the combination of shock exacerbated a health condition that caused him to go into cardiac arrest.
Calling him a vandal balances out the emotional impact of referring to him only as a "recent highschool grad, and aspiring teacher."
The article describes the offence he was being chased for (according to the police).
Do you have a problem with that?
The author was clearly trying to subjectively paint him, glossing over the fact that he was caught (allegedly) committing a crime.
Did he deserve to die, of course not. That's not the point.
The point, reporting on policing should be objective. Biasing your readership towards one point of view over another is only going it that much harder to get accountability.
Okay, but I'm talking about police accountability.
Taser claims its guns are safe and do not cause lethal injuries, marketing them as such. Deaths related to Taser usage are typically attributed to "excited delirium" through a complex web of relationships between the company, law enforcement personnel, and medical examiners. Excited delirium seems to be a questionable medical condition where several researchers studying this condition have financial ties to Taser.
Assuming that Tasers don't cause any long-term damage I'm actually okay with them as firearm alternatives. Just so long as we communicate that if an officer wouldn't pull out their gun, they shouldn't pull out a Taser.
I'm certain that tasers have saved many more lives than they have cost simply because they have as much stopping power as a gun, and sometimes you really need that much stopping power.
We need to treat them as dangerous, because they are dangerous. But they have a place in the law enforcement toolkit and it's a very important one.
Officers are always +1 on the force level. If you are combative, they use mace/taser, if you have a knife they use a gun, etc.
The only exception to this is when an officer has backup on scene and they can coordinate enough to allow one or more to provide lethal cover (guns) while the others try to employ less lethal tactics (taser, mace, beanbag shotgun, etc). This way, if those less lethal items dont work (and they dont 30% of the time) they are not scrambling for their gun while a pissed off suspect is charging with a knife.
What people don't realize is that before tasers the method of making someone comply (when fighting handcuffs being put on) was batons or actual punches. Yes tasers may cause health issues in 0.001% of uses but batons and punches would cause many more.
Also, a lot of officers don't even carry mace anymore as it generally sucks for everyone when its employed. They are going to get it on them via wind or handling the suspect and it impacts their ability to function.
It might not seem obvious, but I suspect that people tend to be a lot more careful with direct application of force that they can feel (if you have ever punched or hit someone else hard, you know what I mean). Tasers make it much more... impersonal? I dunno what the right word is, but it seems like it's much easier to kill with a Taser while remaining cool, than to do the same with a baton.
This is simply not true and weakens your argument quite a bit.
The article listed states 276 related reports of death after taser use since 2000. I'd imagine tasers are used a few hundred times per day across the US, if not more.
Use of Tasers varies pretty widely from department to department -- according to  the Richmond County SD reports about 0.053 uses per officer-month, Miami-Dade PD about 0.0074 uses per officer-month, and Seattle PD about 0.056 uses per officer-month.
Extrapolating the RCSD value across the US, with over 800k officers total , it comes out to about 43k uses per month. Given the ~200 months over which this data was gathered, that's 9.2M uses, which makes the 276 fatalities only 0.003% of all incidents (as a best-guess).
Obviously that in no way implies Taser's behavior was ethical; but it's actually a surprisingly low fatality rate for a weapon still considered somewhat lethal.
I think Police should carry stun guns, but they need to be treated like the potentially deadly weapons that they are.
Then again, many members of the police have a hard time chasing a suspect by foot and are nowhere near in condition for even basic martial arts.
Fun story: my massage therapist witnessed someone running away from a morbidely obese policeman and asked him if he needed help. Policeman agreed so he chased him accross a small parking lot. The policeman took his car to meet them a few hundred feet away and was still winded from his earlier attempt at running.
Well say goodbye to women serving as patrol officers. Also, elbows, knees, and fists are lethal weapons, just ask Eric Garner.
So do a lot of other methods.
> At least before they shoot someone they think twice
doesn't hold in practice. Fight or flight translates to shoot or run, few police have the discipline to think twice and exercise caution despite personal risk.
Tasers were adopted because they are a safer option for both the public and police - situations like this play out with both weapons, but the taser is less likely to be fatal.
I think a more effective change is adjustable tasers, with a lower default power level. For most situations, the sheer shock of being electrocuted is enough of an immobilizer - the police don't need to start with enough power to paralyze a PCP fiend...
Then shouldn't police departments improve their hiring and training practices until this is the case? These are people who are sanctioned to use violence in defense of society. They are widely considered heroes for putting their own lives on the line. It's not too much to ask that they are held to the highest standards of discipline.
To me, this incident highlights a design flaw in tasers - too strong and too inflexible. Years of evidence already highlighted the training failures in some regions.
All the examples in that sentence of “non-lethal” weapons are, really, merely less-lethal (than firearms); non-lethal is a factually-inaccurate label used for misleading propaganda purposes.
That said, Tasering someone seems like an extreme over-reaction to this sort of vandalism.
> The message, marked “confidential” and not previously reported, provided guidance on how investigators should proceed, from collecting hair and nail samples to recording the teen’s body temperature and documenting his behavior before he was stunned. It included a sample press release and an “evidence collection checklist.”
It seemed reasonable to me.
What I (and many others) think is significantly more nuanced:
1. Using a taser against a violent person is humane only because it posses a smaller (but still important, and still present) risk of harm to the person than that person poses to bystanders and to the police.
2. Using a potentially lethal weapon like a taser against a nonviolent person is inhumane.
3. Manipulating science by funding supporters and suppressing critics to pretend your potentially lethal weapon is non-lethal is unethical.
The use of force in the article should have been measured against "if this fails we might have to chase this guy who spray-painted an abandoned building more, or we might not catch him at all... or we might kill him."
A) Assume you can probably take them physically, and they are a reasonable person who's just punching you because they've had a bad day, if you're wrong innocents may die. But wrestle and punch them anyway.
B) Hit them with a stick, they will probably go down. If they manage to grab your gun while you're doing this, you and many innocents nearby may die. If they rush you, the stick may become ineffective.
C) Assume the person who is punching you may be trying to get the gun, draw your gun so they can't grab it first, then if they don't immediately stop, shoot them.
Taser is like C. You have a taser, if you try to "punch them back" or "wrestle them down" or even "grab your baton", the person may just grab the gun and kill you and other innocents.
No one should ever resist arrest EVER -- just comply, go to the station, argue your case, and hire an attorney. If the police tell you to get in the cuffs, just do it.
No one should ever resist arrest EVER -- just comply, go to the station, argue your case, and hire an attorney. If the police tell you to get in the cuffs, just do it.
Nonsense statements like that open the door to police abuse and invite it right in. A police uniform does not alleviate the wearer of moral responsibility. On the contrary, it creates an incentive for crooked police officers to cover up abuse or even kill people who might testify against them. What if you never make it to the station?
The results were published this spring in the journal Injury Prevention. The study revealed information that surprised Swedler. First, an overwhelming number of the officers—93 percent—died from gunshots. "We expected guns to be commonly used," Swedler says, "but we thought that homicides would be perpetrated by other means as well. We were really surprised by that 93 percent." In 10 percent of cases, officers were shot with their own guns. In 43 percent of the homicides, the victims were working alone, often responding to domestic disturbance calls. "They would arrive on the scene and they would be ambushed and they weren't prepared," Swedler says.
In both the scenarios you present, it is far to late to draw anything. By the time the person is punching or charging you from less than 22 feet away (google the 21 foot rule) you do not have time to draw a weapon, taser or baton. Your only option at that point is direct physical altercation. If you try to draw something it's going to get knocked out of your hand during the altercation and then it's a scramble to see who picks it up. As for getting the weapon taken away from you, while it's in the holster, cops really, really ought to be using and training with level 2 or 3 retention holsters. These make it easy (if you train with it) to draw a weapon from a holster on your hip, but almost impossible to get the weapon out when it's on someone else. If a cop chooses not to use a retention holster, that's their choice, but it's trading safety for convenience.
As to the Prevention article, it seems to me that if we want to reduce the number of cops killed with guns, then the low hanging fruit is that we need to stop sending lone officers to domestic disturbance calls. This study makes it clear that DD calls are an extremely risky type of call and police should approach them extremely carefully. " they would be ambushed and they weren't prepared," Swedler says. No less-lethal weaponry is going to solve that problem.
The point I and others are trying to is that there are very few scenarios where using a taser actually makes sense. Most of the time when they get deployed it's as an alternative to deescalation, or to punish a perp for not 'complying'. They're not intended as a substitute for a firearm, they're a substitute for a baton or physically taking down a suspect, and I think the evidence at this point is pretty clear that they are not any better at being less-lethal.
But to get back to the subject of the article, the issue isn't cops using tasers (although there are issues there), the problem we're having is that Taser the company is inappropriately inserting themselves into the legal process, and using bad 'science' and the threat of lawsuits to prevent the actual real-world safety of their product from being analyzed. This is bad and wrong, I think we can all agree.
It was later found out that "attacking" meant that one of the cops hurt their fists while punching him (it nicked the tooth and got scratched, or something like that). And "damaging equipment" was when the guy bled on the cop's shirt and stained it.
"Resisting arrest" is that magic charge that shows up every time the police does something wrong, and tries to cover their ass. If it comes with a license to kill... yeah. No. Just no.
Seriously, many European countries do this, e.g. the UK. Even in the poorest neighbourhoods in London, which Republicans referred to as "no-go zones" in the last election, regular cops on the beat don't carry.
This line of reasoning would make more sense if life was a TV show and every armed interaction was a Mexican standoff, but in reality most criminals with guns are already far from being rational actors.
Not under any system of ethics I'm familiar with. Indeed, I would imagine that a big part of most ethical systems is about _not_ abusing your power.
For example, most people would consider it unethical for a company to manipulate, bribe, intimidate, and discredit people in order to suppress evidence of the harmful nature of that company's products.
> Is it wrong to hire the best attorney for your defense just because they may be friends with the judge
Are we talking about the godfather to the judge's child, or somebody who has coffee with him a few times a month?
If it's the former, any decent judge would recuse himself - and the other attorney would rightly kick up a fuss if he didn't.
> Also, how can you expect police and others to be unbiased when this device has probably helped them or saved their own life at some point. Are they supposed to ignore the fact that this is a critical tool in their belt?
No. But, an ethical person would weigh the benefits Tazers offer against the risks they introduce: and it's hard to do that when Tazer systematically suppress evidence of those risks.