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(Miami Herald)   Maybe it's time we stop referring to tasers as 'non'-lethal   (miamiherald.com) divider line 38
    More: Scary, Mount Sinai Hospital, Miami Beach, Taser  
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6483 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Aug 2013 at 8:39 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-08 10:02:15 PM  
4 votes:
Tasers were never intended (except possibly by Taser, Inc.) to be "non-lethal". They've always properly been called less-than-lethal or other-than-lethal.

They were also never intended (except ditto) to be used as handy methods of enforcing compliance. They were originally meant to be used--as the "less-lethal" tag might imply--as an alternative to firing a gun. In other words, the Taser was meant to replace a bullet, so that the bad guy could be taken down and might not die in a situation where lethal force was the only other possible alternative. But clearly killing the suspect was still POSSIBLE when using a Taser, so it was not meant to be used except when the only other option was DEFINITELY killing the suspect.

Then it started being used instead of the PR-24, because it was perceived--by police and the public--as being less brutal, mostly because it didn't leave any visible marks; that was post-70's demonstrations, when the public was tired of seeing kids beaten into bloody pulp by blue-clad minions of Mayor Daly. Then along came the Taser, which SEEMED to offer a method of subduing noncompliant suspects without having to physically beat them, disregarding the fact that 50,000 volts of electricity was NEVER MEANT to be used that way.

Tasers were handed to cops basically as an alternative to batons and guns; lost in the translation was the idea that they shouldn't be using ANY of them unless they really really needed to. I know as well as anyone that it can be very difficult to restrain a stubborn, drunk or psycho suspect; that said, most of your suspects are not so drunk or resistant that merely going hands-on will not produce the desired result. But the public perception is that bruises = POLICE BRUTALITY while (so far) Tasers = no marks = not brutality. That's slowly changing, I hope.

It would be nice if all cops had the time and patience to politely talk even the most psycho drugged out killer into the back of a police car without ever having to touch him--that will never happen of course. In a more realistic vein, it would be better if a) Tasers were removed from all cops unless or until b) they can receive the correct training for when and how to use them: To wit, they're lethal weapons to be used only when a bullet would be used. And c) use of a Taser should be treated as use of a firearm for administrative purposes and any cop who uses one should be subject to the same post-incident investigations. And the public needs training too, that Tasers are not "non-lethal." Even if that means taking on Taser, Inc.
2013-08-08 09:06:14 PM  
4 votes:
Yeah, read the article.  Very sorry he died, but he was committing vandalism and resisting arrest.

That's not to say that he in any way deserved to die, but you can draw a line of causality from the choices he made to the end that he met.   If he hadn't been vandalizing private property, he would be alive today.  If he hadn't tried to run away from the police who caught him vandalizing private property, he would also be alive today.

Bad choices can occasionally produce bad outcomes.
2013-08-08 08:50:18 PM  
4 votes:
Nobody deserves to die for petty vandalism. But stop romanticizing him. Taggers are like dogs pissing on fire hydrants except that taggers' mess is expensive to clean up
2013-08-08 06:55:34 PM  
4 votes:
They're certainly much less lethal than a .40 S&W
2013-08-08 09:52:27 PM  
3 votes:
I hate the punk died but if he wasn't being a punk he may not be dead. Defacing someone's property don't make you an artist, it makes you a punk.
2013-08-08 09:47:39 PM  
3 votes:
Maybe if we stop referring to vandals as "artists".
2013-08-08 09:03:08 PM  
3 votes:
Cops use Tasers as punishment.  They are not used just to subdue unruly people, they are used to make you pay for inconveniencing them.
2013-08-08 07:50:12 PM  
3 votes:

Doktor_Zhivago: They're certainly much less lethal than a .40 S&W


Not this time.
2013-08-08 07:49:32 PM  
3 votes:
They're referred to as "less lethal" not "non-lethal" just like clubs, beanbag shot and rubber bullets.
2013-08-09 01:10:26 AM  
2 votes:
Most police departments allow the use of an ECD (Taser) at the level of active physical resistance. Active physical resistance includes evasive movements to defeat an officer's attempt at control; this include bracing, tensing, pushing, pulling and running or trying to keep the officer from getting close enough to affect an arrest. If you run, a taser will put a quick stop to the chase vs. tackling an offender and then having to wrestle them until you can handcuff them.

I've personally tased two men. The first was running and when we caught up to him he was fighting to get away. He was tased as he charged me after pulling away from my partner. He was 6'2, 250lbs and drunk.  The second was a burglar who I chased for about 50 feet before I put an end to the chase. He was like 5'8, 220lbs. It was safer to end the chase with a taser than get into a fight. Both times the taser did its job and was used within the use of force guidelines of my department.

The taser is not an alternative to a gun or for use against a subject armed with a gun. Taser loses to gun because the person with the gun can kill you. Also, if you tase someone with a gun, they might spasm their hand closed and fire off some rounds. Deadly force is met with deadly force. A gun, knife, bat, machete, crowbar, pipe or potentially deadly weapon pointed at an officer will get you a gun pointed at your face or several bits of lead in your center mass.

The tasing was justified to end the foot chase, the outcome was the offender's fault. Police respond to your actions. Those officers didn't make that young man run, he chose to run and the officers acted accordingly to out an end to the resistance. It's a shame he died, but his actions dictated what occurred.
2013-08-08 11:32:54 PM  
2 votes:
I would be outraged if he was innocent.

1. He was vandalizing private property.
2. He resisted arrest.

No need to read further. Outcome was harsh, but avoidable by not being a punk. No loss to society IMO.
2013-08-08 09:55:37 PM  
2 votes:

shaddix: Kiwimann: Yeah, read the article.  Very sorry he died, but he was committing vandalism and resisting arrest.

That's not to say that he in any way deserved to die, but you can draw a line of causality from the choices he made to the end that he met.   If he hadn't been vandalizing private property, he would be alive today.  If he hadn't tried to run away from the police who caught him vandalizing private property, he would also be alive today.

Bad choices can occasionally produce bad outcomes.

You are a goddamned moron.


Nope he's pretty much right. Stupidity is it's own reward.
2013-08-08 09:26:20 PM  
2 votes:

rev. dave: Cops use Tasers as punishment.  They are not used just to subdue unruly people, they are used to make you pay for inconveniencing them.


Well, as Chris Rock says, "If the police have to come and get you, they're bringing an ass kicking with them."

/don't tag and don't run from the cops and maybe you won't get tazed
2013-08-09 08:21:39 AM  
1 votes:
First, he shouldn't have been vandalizing.
Second, he shouldn't have run.

It's his own damn fault, cops were right in this case.
2013-08-09 03:15:05 AM  
1 votes:

fnordfocus: vrax: tortilla burger: I hope criminals start using tasers as defence against cops. That would really stir up the pot. If the cop lives, then great - it's a nonlethal weapon. If he dies, that's great too -- because current legal precedent says you didn't murder the guy. The tables aren't so pretty when they're turned, are they?

They certainly could charge someone with assault, but it would be really interesting if they tried for attempted murder or murder.  I don't see how they could do it without setting precedent that would forever be used against them.

Felony murder rule, actually.  Assault on on Officer is a felony, so even an unintended death leads to Murder 1.

Assault by an Officer on a civilian isn't illegal, so it isn't comparable.


So, no evidence, just instant guilty verdict?
2013-08-09 03:08:21 AM  
1 votes:

Litterbox: iq_in_binary:

I'm all for LTL weaponry being issued to police, don't get me wrong. But any cop who gets in front of me and tells me that it's a tool that saves lives and then turns around to say that having a Taser pointed at them is justification to shoot somebody has just dropped completely off the list of people who I'd ever do a favor for. Ever. No statements, no questions answered, no aid rendered.

I was trying to make a point about safety of the device.  With all the cops being Tased for the benefit of training, I don't believe there has ever been a fatality.  The "justification" comes when the person is not complying with you, is fighting you, is assaulting someone etc.  The Taser is very effective most of the time.


I've had my Edison cherry popped too, I know what it's like. And it's a serious weapon. I didn't carry one because it wouldn't do ME any good to use it if things went pear shaped, I don't have backup on the way or a dispatcher to send help. Police officers have Glock, Motorola, the Justice system and a whole brotherhood of people with the same to back them up. Pain compliance methods, hand to hand training, verbal judo, physical restraints, capsaicin, night sticks, nunchaku (in more and more PDs, yes), sap gloves, batons, you show me a picture of the contents of your average duty bag and I'll show you a picture of what would normally be considered ITG porn by the majority of folks looking at it if it were posted by non LEO p ...

Im thankful for having a Taser as a tool.  Its very presence in situations has helped resolve them.  Simply displaying the Taser is often all it takes to gain compliance.  My department only allows ASP's, OC and Tasers.  No nunchaku, no night sticks, PR24 etc. Pain compliance is a joke for the most part...its difficult to stay proficient with all that and you better hope the guy you are using it on has a pain threshold.  Some mental people Ive dealt with don't.  Same with OC.  Sap gloves will get you a lawsuit here al ...


I've read that you're from San Antonio, I'm surprised they care about sap gloves but then again I know TX is strangely more strict about CCW and weapon laws than even "liberal" Colorado.

No, that's not my point. My point is: IT'S YOUR JOB. Proficiency, training, practice and evaluation should be at LEAST %15 of your duty hours. I want my cops well trained, well educated, well paid, well taken care of and to reap the professionalism that damn well should come along with those incentives. You damn well better keep up proficiency on pain compliance. You farking better put at least 100 rounds through that duty pistol a week and be given shiat if you aren't qualifying.

But that's a rant for another time. You have a shield. In the state of Texas you have a statewide and pretty damn well wide ranging set of rights granted to you as an LEO. You get to do a TON of things legally in the pursuit of conserving the peace that nobody else does. You better treat it with respect, and you better hold yourself to a higher standard, both physically and mentally, in order to use those rights and duties in the best interest of the people while doing as little harm as possible.

I won't argue your point with the prisons, sorry right there is a tailor made application for Tasers, extreme close quarters sucks when they're CONFINED extreme close quarters. I know, I'm the guy that nobody wants to get into the box with on situational night. I view that as a good use of the Taser.

This situation? No. Wide open space? No weapons? That's not justifiable, in fact it is so asinine that were I on the UOF panel I'd recommend suspension and probation. You're an LEO with a partner on scene. Break out the elbow grease and go to work, it's surprisingly easy when someone is there to help. Or to do it yourself if you're even halfway worth your salt. This was a KID, getting cuffs on him should be considered not just trivial but something you see a suspension for if you fail to do it with as many resources as you had available to you.

My problem isn't with the use of a Taser, my problem is the asinine way in which it was used.
2013-08-09 12:14:17 AM  
1 votes:
As a shop owner I have one comment for a vandal dying by misadventure while committing a crime:

Good
gja
2013-08-09 12:04:58 AM  
1 votes:

doglover: gja: And the taxes in Miami will go up to cover the cost of yet another wrongful death suit.

Awesome work, ignorant cops. crazy vandal charging directly at police who are telling him to stand still.


It's the kid's fault 99%. If you really are an artist, act like one. Own the work. It's only a misdemeanor.


So......2 cops couldn't manage 1 little punk without resorting to a taser?

Pussies. FTR, go DIS an image of him. He's so skinny I could throw him like a javelin, and I'm not all that big.
2013-08-08 11:28:39 PM  
1 votes:

Gyrfalcon: Smackledorfer: MFAWG: Smackledorfer: MFAWG: Smackledorfer: MFAWG: dr_blasto: They're referred to as "less lethal" not "non-lethal" just like clubs, beanbag shot and rubber bullets.

I've been assured in the Zimmerman threads that clubs, or flashlights that are marketed as clubs, are completely harmless.

So there's that.

I was also told on fark that both claw hammers (in a case where cops shot someone charging them with a hammer) and baseball bats (apparently worthless unless you can do a windup swing) should hardly be called weapons.

I'll wait for more info to surface on this one. Iirc it is always folks who would be unlikely to survive a physical encounter in the first place who die after being tased.

Glad we can agree that a club is a dangerous weapon, and if someone follows me into an alley carrying one after 'legally following' me, I should prepare to stand my ground.

See how that works?

Still really stuck on zimmerman eh?

I'm seeing the same pattern here: a supposed 'Thug' ends up dead for no real good reason, and a certain, predictable portion of the population think it's OK, and not just OK, but a good thing overall.

Completely different situation here, imo.

Same response from the hoipolloi, though. Different segment of them, perhaps, but "Oh, he was breaking the law, he should have been doing something else and he wouldn't be dead, it's too bad he died, but still...."


I'm not sure I'd agree that aggressive and violent force is the appropriate response to an asshole tagger. Even less-lethal is potentially lethal and I don't agree that the public's interest in arresting the dude is high enough to warrant tasing. They should have chased him off if he ran.
2013-08-08 11:27:40 PM  
1 votes:

gja: And the taxes in Miami will go up to cover the cost of yet another wrongful death suit.

Awesome work, ignorant cops. crazy vandal charging directly at police who are telling him to stand still.



It's the kid's fault 99%. If you really are an artist, act like one. Own the work. It's only a misdemeanor.
2013-08-08 10:24:03 PM  
1 votes:

vpb: Zombie Butler:

No, no he's right.  When, in the line of duty, a police officer uses less-lethal force to "subdue" a person expressing himself on a wall (which human beings have been doing since we had walls. In fact, it's odd that we insist on perfectly clean walls in this society.) and he/she accidentally murders the youth then the officer should loose his/her badge and face other consequences. Bad choices = bad outcomes amiright?

See what I mean?  A piece of shiat criminal has a heart attack and it's "murder".


There's also the minor detail of the 50,000 volts that triggered his "heart attack."
That wasn't caused by cheeseburgers, in case you were curious.
2013-08-08 10:02:26 PM  
1 votes:

shaddix: Kiwimann: Yeah, read the article.  Very sorry he died, but he was committing vandalism and resisting arrest.

That's not to say that he in any way deserved to die, but you can draw a line of causality from the choices he made to the end that he met.   If he hadn't been vandalizing private property, he would be alive today.  If he hadn't tried to run away from the police who caught him vandalizing private property, he would also be alive today.

Bad choices can occasionally produce bad outcomes.

You are a goddamned moron.


He may be, but he is also right.
2013-08-08 09:53:47 PM  
1 votes:
You know, i would have felt some sympathy had I not read that he was involved in Graffiti. I have assholes graffiti my walls all the time and though obviously i don't believe capital punishment is the solution i certainly don't care of they get killed in the process if there was no intention to kill them.

Having said that, i disagree with state thugs carrying tasers. Horrible devices.
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-08 09:49:25 PM  
1 votes:
Zombie Butler:

No, no he's right.  When, in the line of duty, a police officer uses less-lethal force to "subdue" a person expressing himself on a wall (which human beings have been doing since we had walls. In fact, it's odd that we insist on perfectly clean walls in this society.) and he/she accidentally murders the youth then the officer should loose his/her badge and face other consequences. Bad choices = bad outcomes amiright?

See what I mean?  A piece of shiat criminal has a heart attack and it's "murder".
2013-08-08 09:44:33 PM  
1 votes:

shaddix: Kiwimann: Yeah, read the article.  Very sorry he died, but he was committing vandalism and resisting arrest.

That's not to say that he in any way deserved to die, but you can draw a line of causality from the choices he made to the end that he met.   If he hadn't been vandalizing private property, he would be alive today.  If he hadn't tried to run away from the police who caught him vandalizing private property, he would also be alive today.

Bad choices can occasionally produce bad outcomes.

You are a goddamned moron.


No, no he's right.  When, in the line of duty, a police officer uses less-lethal force to "subdue" a person expressing himself on a wall (which human beings have been doing since we had walls. In fact, it's odd that we insist on perfectly clean walls in this society.) and he/she accidentally murders the youth then the officer should loose his/her badge and face other consequences. Bad choices = bad outcomes amiright?

/Wait this is America, I forgot 3 week vacation for the officer, job. well. done.
2013-08-08 09:40:06 PM  
1 votes:
Meh, running from the cops, either via vehicle or on foot, never has a gentle ending.

/kid was probably not used to such intense running
//possible undiagnosed arrhythmia
2013-08-08 09:33:41 PM  
1 votes:
I was a lawn artist in high school. My RWD pickup truck a tool of my craft.
2013-08-08 09:25:05 PM  
1 votes:

Kiwimann: Yeah, read the article.  Very sorry he died, but he was committing vandalism and resisting arrest.

That's not to say that he in any way deserved to die, but you can draw a line of causality from the choices he made to the end that he met.   If he hadn't been vandalizing private property, he would be alive today.  If he hadn't tried to run away from the police who caught him vandalizing private property, he would also be alive today.

Bad choices can occasionally produce bad outcomes.


You are a goddamned moron.
2013-08-08 09:21:51 PM  
1 votes:
"He was also a graffiti artist, vandal known as "Reefa," who sprayed colorful splashes of paint on the city's abandoned buildings"

FTFTFA. You do not have the right to treat private property as your personal canvas, no matter how good others might think you are.

"He was on the ground and the cops were making jokes," said 19-year-old Thiago Souza.

I doubt very much that at this point they knew he was dying. For all we know, they may have been trying to catch this guy for some time and were justifiably happy to have finally caught him.

I don't think anyone should die for an act of vandalism, but I really don't think the cops were trying to kill him. Unfortunately, the dangers of Tasers are greatly downplayed by their makers and the authorities who deploy them. That being said, the cops on the beat are not doctors, if Tasers are presented to them as low-risk devices there is a good chance that they will use them.  I have a-fib, a Taser shot would probably kill me, but I don't expect a cop to know this so I intend to never provoke one into Tasering me.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/07/3548779/graffiti-artist-dies-af t er-tasering.html#storylink=cpy
2013-08-08 09:19:34 PM  
1 votes:
I've never heard the term less than lethal. Usually I hear the term "Less lethal." One word missing but a huge difference.

On other notes.
1. High fiving is a major dick move. It also means you are paying atrention to your fellow officers rather than the guy you just tasered.
2. If the damn kid showed so much promise why did he need to go vandalize buildings.
3. Schools need to start teaching kids that they won't change the world with art, but that they can change it by working their asses off.
2013-08-08 09:02:47 PM  
1 votes:
...or maybe it's time for artist^D^D^D^D^D^Dpunks to stop tagging buildings.

Death-by-taser is just another occupational hazard of being a graffiti artist.
2013-08-08 08:54:46 PM  
1 votes:

scottydoesntknow: Now I'm wondering how fast would you have to fire a teddy bear to make it lethal.


Depends if you properly soaked it in water and kept in the freezer overnight.
2013-08-08 08:50:52 PM  
1 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Doktor_Zhivago: They're certainly much less lethal than a .40 S&W

Can't argue with that


Yep, I'd rather be tased than shot or clubbed, any day of the week.

Personally I think cops are generally good, but I think there is a lack of accountability and a failure to punish those who abuse the public trust.
2013-08-08 08:45:46 PM  
1 votes:

dr_blasto: They're referred to as "less lethal" not "non-lethal" just like clubs, beanbag shot and rubber bullets.


I've been assured in the Zimmerman threads that clubs, or flashlights that are marketed as clubs, are completely harmless.

So there's that.
2013-08-08 08:43:14 PM  
1 votes:
They're referred to as 'non-lethal' by news media.

Other folks say 'less-than-lethal'.

// there's no such thing as non-lethal, given a large enough dose, or sufficient force or temperature.

// which is what makes the rock-it launcher in fallout so much fun
2013-08-08 07:52:03 PM  
1 votes:
At just 17, Israel Hernández-Llach was already an award-winning artist, on the threshold of acclaim in Miami Beach art circles. He was a sculptor, painter, writer and photographer whose craft was inspired by his home country of Colombia and his adopted city, Miami.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/07/3548779/graffiti-artist-dies-af t er-tasering.html#storylink=cpy

Layin the bias on pretty thick there author. You'd think he was one week away from discovering a cure for cancer.

He was also a graffiti artist, known as "Reefa," who sprayed colorful splashes of paint on the city's abandoned buildings while playing cat-and-mouse with cops, who, like many property owners, consider graffiti taggers to be vandals, not artists.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/07/3548779/graffiti-artist-dies-af t er-tasering.html#storylink=cpy
Ahh so he's a vandal.

It does suck that he died from a single taser shot. No one deserves to die for graffiti, but he shouldn't have run. I highly doubt the cops thought the taser would kill the kid.

But if the cops actually high-fived, that's a real asshole move.
2013-08-08 07:44:41 PM  
1 votes:
It's not referred to as "non-lethal" in the first place.
2013-08-08 07:01:33 PM  
1 votes:

Doktor_Zhivago: They're certainly much less lethal than a .40 S&W


Can't argue with that
 
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