Police taser comatose man; RCMP taser incident results in death

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Iscariot, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #1
    Two new stories about the use of tasers:

    From the BBC:

    And in Canada from the CBC:

    The first story raises questions about disproportionate reactions to percieved threats, and the second story raises questions about the safety of tasers as non-lethal weapons. Three Canadians have been killed this fall by the use of these kinds of stun guns, and 14 since 2003. Is it time we reconsidered aspects of their use?
     
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #2

    But it does raise the question how many more deaths where prevented by the uses of the stun guns. Deaths that would of been caused by the cops have no other choice but to go with lethal force.

    Bring up the numbers of how off police get into a shooting match and how often cops end up being killed or killed. Stun guns while for most people do nothing more than cause pain that do allow for the cops to use them a little sooner than their side arm.
     
  3. Iscariot thread starter macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #3
    That doesn't ring true in the first incident at all, nor arguably the second.
     
  4. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #4
    A sad attempt at justification. You are presupposing that death is the inevitable result of firearm use.
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #5
    That logic can be applied in both directions, mind you. Are policemen using excessive force in cases when a simple whistle would be just as effective, due to their beliefs that the taser is safe?

    Things aren't always as simple as they seem. For example, you would think that seatbelts and airbags have entirely positive effects, although in reality, such safety devices encourage drivers to drive more reckless, thus canceling some of the benefits.
    I would argue that death is often an inevitable result from firearm use when police are trained to use deadly force.

    That said, there's no justification for these cases (but that doesn't mean the taser cannot be a valuable tool for policeman: they just have to know how to use it).
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #6
    You obviously didn't read the story or watch the video. He was there for over 10 hours waiting for his mother to pick him up. With no food or water. He didn't speak English, he was just visiting his mother there, and they actually told her several times while she was there that he hadn't arrived yet. They wouldn't let her back, and no one helped him either. When the police came in, sure, he was irate. The police arrived and even though he was calming down and backing up, they tasered him after being there for only 24 seconds. He wasn't even threatening them. Then they pinned him to the ground while he was still writhing in pain. 1 of them putting his knee on the guy's neck. After he was down, still posing no threat. They used aggressive force as a first response. Not something they're supposed to do.

    It's cops like these that make the rest look bad. They went way too far over the top, beyond what they're supposed to do. They're supposed to be the good guys. They don't seem like it when they do things like this, and should be called on it so we don't have to accept it. They shouldn't accept it either, and should point out when things go wrong to show they aren't all like that and that things like this are unacceptable.

    But in this case, it caused more than pain, wasn't really protecting anyone from any viable threat, and the fact that the cops used them sooner actually makes them look worse as that seemed to be the first and only thing they tried, when it should be among the last recourses as a gun is.

    Seriously, go read up more on it and watch the video again. Imagine yourself in that situation. Just isn't right.
     
  7. Iscariot thread starter macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #7
    I find the first incident to be more disturbing in this regard. In the first story, the man was in a diabetic coma. He apparently didn't look white enough to have a medical emergency.
     
  8. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #8
    I don't know very much about the first incident, but I do know about the second, which is what I was referring to. I will definitely read up more on it now though. It's disturbing, and apparently more common than we'd think.
     
  9. Iscariot thread starter macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #9
    To give you a little background then, a hypoglycemic episode occurs when your blood sugar is critically low, and your brain is starved of glucose. It causes weakness, confusion, a sensation similar to hunger, tremors, motor weakness, partial paralysis of one vertical half, convulsions and eventually a coma that can lead to brain damage. As a condition, while it causes abnormal behaviour (before the coma part anyways) due to confusion, the tremors and overall weakness pretty much rule out someone suffering from a hypoglycemic attack acting in any kind of a dangerous way. You become confused, sluggish, slurring and eventually unable to communicate at all. Aside from a particularly violent convulsion, none of that has you acting in a threatening or dangerous manner. Although comatose patients have been known to beat up doctors and steal their lunch money.
     
  10. Iscariot thread starter macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #10
    This incident is now being investigated as a homicide by the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. I am reassured by how seriously the airport authority and the RCMP are investigating this situation.
     

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