How non-lethal is ‘non-lethal’? The myth of safe electroshock weapons



Photo courtesy of discount generic pfizer viagra Josh Hart

source url Staff Writer

go In 2013, graffiti artist Israel Hernandez-Llach was killed after being shocked in the chest by a Taser, fired by a member of the Miami police department. He was 18. The officer faced no criminal charges.

Hernandez-Llach is a part of the more than 500 people in the United States killed by Tasers utilized by police officers since 2001. That’s roughly 10 percent of the more than 5,000 people killed by the police since September 2001.

Despite this, the Taser is routinely touted by the police as an alternative to deadly force. The titular company says that Tasers “exist to save lives.” The ACLU disagrees, however. They emphatically deny that Tasers are a non-lethal alternative.

Certain police departments refer to Tasers as lethal weapons in their internal memorandum. A document presented to City of Mountain View, Calif., police department advising them on their use of Tasers recommends that they treat the weapon exactly like they would a gun.

Gemma Rodriguez, Denver Police Department officer of five years, had this to say about brandishing Tasers in the field:

“It’s a gamble every time you fire the thing. That many volts isn’t safe for anybody. I already have a gun. I don’t need a slightly less effective, electrical version of a gun.”

This brings up a good point. Tasers see url are a gamble. They are not a foolproof alternative to a firearm. This cripples the effectiveness of the police force and places the public at significant risk.

Few instances in which a person needs to be restrained by police necessitate the potential for death. There needs to be a real alternative to deadly force. The police need to be able to do their job; the public needs to be able to be restrained without the cruel possibility of death.