Police Taser Injuries and Deaths in the United States

Police brutality has recently gained attention in the United States. Many of us have seen horrible videos of police brutality on television. Often, police brutality results in serious injuries and even wrongful death. And more often than not, Taser plays the devil’s role in cases of police brutality.

First, let us take a look at what Taser is all about.  “Taser” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”. This is not a child’s toy as the name implies in the acronym which is character that appeared in children’s books written in the early 20th century. This is a weapon that shoots two dart, each attached to a thin wire, to the victim. When these dart-like electrodes make contact an electrical currents is sent through the wires and into the victim to stun him or her into submission. The victim often feels helpless, thus he is easily controlled without the use of too much force.

When Taser was introduced and gained popularity of use in the early 1990s, it was considered as ‘non-deadly’ alternative to the use of firearms in subduing criminals. Be that as it may, serious injury and death cases have been documented to result from the use of Tasers by law enforcement officers. Further, the use of Taser by the police has alarmed civil right groups as this is often used abusively by the authorities to subdue criminals even though these criminals are unarmed. Civil rights activists say that instead of being used only as an alternative in cases in which firearms would be used, Tasers are more often used to merely restrain criminals in any type of arrest situation.

What has alarmed the public in recent years about the use of Taser by authorities is the fact that it has been used by the authorities not just on individuals who object an officer’s aggression but on mentally-disabled, handicapped, pregnant and non-English speakers as well. We have seen cases over the years of police brutality involving the abusive use of Tasers on internet video databases such as YouTube and LiveLeak. Often, these videos of police brutality incidents are quite astonishly graphic and disturbing.

In a report made by the Amnesty International, the use of Tasers by the police authorities has claimed 351 lives since 2001. Slightly less than ten percent of these victims were carrying a weapon upon their arrest. In Illinois, the first state in the US to require stun gun owners to get a license, use of Tasers on unarmed teenager, an 82-year-old woman, and three adolescents have been documented. This is completely alarming because the use of Tasers in these cases is unacceptable and unlawful.

Verdicts involving Taser injury and Taser wrongful deaths are not easy to win. In case you or a loved one is a victim, get a good civil rights lawyer to help you build a strong case against law enforcement officials who used Taser illegally. Often, it is difficult to look for witnesses to support your story against law enforcement authorities. Getting a reputable civil rights lawyer is a key to winning your case against these abusive law enforcers.

Charlie Prenicolas is a legal researcher who writes informative articles on Illinois civil rights, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases. For more information on reputable Chicago civil right lawyers, kindly visit Dolan Law Offices today.