Tasers, which happen to come in leopard print and hot pink, can be a very useful weapon that serves to quell without killing – usually.
Sometimes the suppression method can freakishly backfire and lead to death.
Other times the taser can be abused, misused or over-used and lead to death.
In still other instances, the taser can be used properly and according to procedure but still cause a stink because the victim happens to be somebody’s grandma.
If someone is mouthing off, resisting arrest and refusing to comply with the officer’s wishes, a zap with a taser seems like a reasonable answer. Even if the victim is somebody’s grandma.
Such was the case of a 72-year-old woman in Texas who claimed she was tasered for no reason. Then the dashcam video came out.
It shows her swearing, arguing and being a tad less than cooperative.
Why anyone would argue with Texas law enforcement is beyond me. They have too much to prove and definitely fall into the “just-say-yes-and-do-whatever-they-say” category.
In Tucson, a taser death in April was just ruled a homicide by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Gary Decker, 50, died in a motel after he lunged naked at officers who were called to the scene.
Original Day of the Dead post: Died after attacking police: Gary A. Decker, 50
Gary A. Decker, 50, died after he attacked police and was shocked with a Taser in the early morning hours of April 16. He died later that day in the hospital, a Tucson police spokesman said.
Decker, from Kentucky, was residing at the Extended Stay America at 5050 E. Grant Road, while working a temporary job as a furniture liquidator
Motel management reported hearing noises, music, banging and moaning coming from the upstairs room.
Officers entered the room with a passkey and found the room ransacked and furniture broken, (Sgt. Mark) Robinson said. Decker was in the bathroom, clutching a toilet seat he had ripped off the unit.
Decker grabbed one of the officers, Robinson said, and the officer shocked him with a Taser. The Taser appeared to have no effect on him.
Officers handcuffed Decker, got him out of the bathroom and called paramedics, which is standard practice when someone a Taser is used.
Decker became unresponsive, Robinson said, and was unconscious when paramedics arrived.
If someone is in a rage, ripping toilet seats off the basin and lunging naked at police, a taser may be just the thing to calm the guy down. It was later determined he had also been high on cocaine, which just adds to irrationality.
But was the taser overused?
According to the Arizona Daily Star:
Gary A. Decker, 50, died from a combination of cocaine intoxication, multiple blunt force injuries and being restrained after he assaulted three police officers (according to the medical examiner’s autopsy report)….
The Tucson Police Department is still investigating the case and has forwarded it to the Pima County Attorney’s Office for review. Neither agency would comment Wednesday on the incident.
According to the autopsy report, Decker suffered two puncture wounds to his chest and additional wounds to his right hip when he was Tasered.
He also received numerous rib fractures, the report states.
Decker had cuts and bruises all over his body, including his head, neck, abdomen, shoulders and arms, the report states.
How many tasers blasts did the guy get? Or were the broken ribs and other injuries from Decker throwing himself against the wall or toilet or some other cause?
Still too many questions that need answers, but the fact is clear: tasers can kill.
The smart thing would be not to get into a situation where you may have the opportunity to get zapped by one. The other smart thing would be to opt for the leopard print over hot pink.
What do you think? Are tasers too dangerous, especially to be readily available to the general public?