A Taser shock has been called the “longest five seconds of your life.” It incapacitates the nervous system. It produces a 50,000-volt shock from up to 10 yards away that pulsates through the body and causes every muscle fiber to recoil and stiffen. Yet Taser International and the Minneapolis Police Department stress that the Taser is an extremely safe non pain-compliance tool. “It saves lives,” they insist, reports the Minnesota Independent. Despite these reassurances, in November a United Nations Committee said Taser use constitutes a “form of torture” that can result in death. Recently, the company lost its first wrongful-death lawsuit, a $6 million verdict.
Taser hopes to boost earnings jumping 50 percent this year, partly by expanding its reach in the consumer and overseas markets with more “fashionable” devices. The St. Paul Police Department purchased 230 additional Tasers, so that it will have one each for all of its 370 officers, just in time for the Republican National Convention. The newspaper says that Taser has turned its original weapon-focused marketing initiative upside down by insisting the Taser is a hand-held lifesaver.