FL City’s Taser Policy: Don’t Zap Skinny Folks in Chest


Palm Bay, Fla., police are under orders to avoid shooting “extremely thin” people in the chest with stun guns after an unarmed 17-year-old was hospitalized earlier this month with a collapsed lung, possibly linked to the weapon, reports Florida Today. Michael Hughes II, a 6-foot-3, 140-pound teen, was shot with the electronic stun gun, then handcuffed in his bedroom after a June 5 fight with his stepfather. About an hour later Hughes complained of chest pains, and doctors diagnosed a collapsed lung.

“The emergency room doctor stated he believes the Taser probe may, and I stress may, have punctured the chest cavity allowing air to enter and causing the lung to collapse,” Palm Bay Police Chief William Berger wrote in the memo issued to officers. Berger, whose agency has about 110 of the weapons, stressed that officers now should only aim the Tasers at the back or arms and legs of “small-structured” people.

Link: http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050618/NEWS01/506180322/1006

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