McAlester News Capital has obtained video of a woman brought in to the Pittsburg County Criminal Justice Center allegedly being shot with a tazer gun at close range by a McAlester police officer. The incident is believed to have occured in late June, 2012.
Critics argue that the woman was not a threat, as she was handcuffed and surrounded by several police officers.
Critics also argue that Tasers and other high-voltage stun devices can cause cardiac arrhythmia in susceptible subjects, possibly leading to heart attack or death by ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest and death.
The police officer has since been suspended and sent to additional taser safety courses.
The United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) concluded on November 23, 2007, that the use of the electric pulse Taser gun constitutes a “form of torture” and “can even provoke death.” UNCAT oversees the application of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Also the UN declared in November 2007: “TASER electronic stun guns are a form of torture that can kill.”
A study led by William Bozeman of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center focused on about 1,200 persons subjected to Taser use, and concluded that 99.75% of the subjects had either minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, or none at all. Of the mild injuries, 83% were superficial puncture wounds from conducted electrical weapon probes. Three persons suffered injuries severe enough to need hospital admission. The injuries were intracranial injuries from falls and one case of rhabdomyolysis. Two other subjects died. Their autopsy reports indicated Taser use was not causal nor contributory in the deaths.
See also …
Bozeman WP, Hauda WE 2nd, Heck JJ, Graham DD Jr, Martin BP, Winslow JE. Safety and injury profile of conducted electrical weapons used by law enforcement officers against criminal suspects. Ann Emerg Med. 2009 Apr;53(4):480-9. Epub 2009 Jan 21.