Two More Deaths from the “Non-Lethal” Taser

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

One in North Carolina of a man arrested for shoplifting. Another in Louisiana of a man arrested for drug possession.

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14 Responses to “Two More Deaths from the “Non-Lethal” Taser”

  1. #1 |  Robert | 

    As I drove home this morning listening to WBT Charlotte Morning News, newsman Al Gardner announced that the man killed with Tasers was handcuffed at the time of his death. Not good, especially coming so quickly after another Charlotte Police Department incident in which a suspect was tasered for 37 seconds.

  2. #2 |  Red Green | 

    Definition of Taser, modern day bull whip.

  3. #3 |  MacK | 

    I had read that the LA taser death victim was hit at least 2 times after he was dead, and while in the backseat in handcuffs.
    How much resistance was he putting up those last two times the taser was used?

  4. #4 |  Jozef | 

    MacK: He refused to cooperate with the police.

  5. #5 |  nobahdi | 

    At least in that case the officer was fired and the coroner ruled it a homicide. (We’ll see if it goes to trial)

  6. #6 |  Michael Leatherwood | 

    Its a well-known fact that Tasering dead bodies prevents zombies.

  7. #7 |  TomMil | 

    The NC case appears to have more going on than just a tasering. The family alleges there was internal bleeding, knots on his head and lacerations. Could be the old fashioned police tune up not the high tech variety.

  8. #8 |  MacK | 

    Jozef, are you being facetious?

    He did not refuse to cooperate, he was unable to due to being dead.

    nobahdi, I was astonished that it was ruled a homicide myself, and yet they have not charged him as yet with murder.

  9. #9 |  claude | 

    “He did not refuse to cooperate, he was unable to due to being dead.”

    I really dont think the officers would consider that an acceptable excuse for not obeying their every order, command, whim.

  10. #10 |  Frank | 


    Modern-day legal torture device.

  11. #11 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    I wonder if the world of electro-shock devices has the equivalent of gunsmiths. Gunsmiths can take a good firearm and make it better. Perhaps a Taser-smith can, well, shall we say, increase the capacity a little bit to make it a better weapon?

  12. #12 |  Edintally | 

    Here is a paper that someone needs to right:


    This paper will ask several questions:

    Does the use of a taser on the human body cause the same basic damage to everyone and does that damage affect everyone in the same way?

    Does a bullet hitting a human body cause the same basic damage and does that damage affect everyone in the same way?


    The mechanism for causing damage, the bullet, does not cause consistent damage every time it is fired and hits a human target. Damage occurs to specific body parts which may or may not have a lethal effect. The accuracy of the officer shooting is one mechanism which may increase or decrease lethality. However, given the stressful environment of police encounters, chance is certainly a factor as it relates to accuracy such that an officer may or may not hit the exact spot he/she is aiming for. Diminished accuracy in hitting a lethal spot on the body, diminishes the overall lethality of the bullet.


    The mechanism for causing damage remains consistent as long as the prongs attach themselves to the skin. The same dosage of electricity will be delivered to the human body regardless of where the electricity enters the body. The lethality of the weapon is directly related to a persons overall health. Some people will seize up and fall to the ground with no lasting effects. Some will seize up and possibly cause injury to themselves either when they fall or possibly when muscle contractions are so violent they cause short term damage to the body. Still others may die as a result of the shock to the heart or due to a complication with an ongoing ailment.

    In the first case, the bullet, lethality increases or decreases based on officer accuracy, proficiency, and stress factors. In the second case, the taser, the lethality depends on the person being electrocuted and is not under the officers control except as it relates to hitting and missing.

    Someone feel free to run with this :)

  13. #13 |  Edintally | 

    *needs to write*

    (someone needs to proofread) :P

  14. #14 |  Death by Taser. | The Unspun Zone | 

    […] Radley Balko points out that two more deaths occurred from the “non-lethal” taser.  This time a man from North […]