After the maker of Taser stun guns warned police departments that repeatedly shocking someone could be deadly, Nashville Metro police Tasers were activated that way on at least 35 occasions, reports The Tennessean. Whether the Taser uses occurred during training, test firings, or in actual encounters with suspects has become the subject of a department-wide review launched by police after the death of a young man who had been shot repeatedly with the electronic weapon. The inquiry comes amid policy changes after the September death of Patrick Lee, 21, outside a nightclub. Lee was shocked up to 19 times by two officers armed with Tasers and died of “excited delirium,” a drug-induced state of agitation.
That was exactly the situation Taser International warned against in an advisory distributed to Nashville police officers nearly three months earlier. Whether the manufacturer’s warning was ignored by the two Taser-equipped officers in Lee’s case is under review. The Tennessean’s examination of Taser use records identified at least 35 occasions, since Taser’s June 28 advisory, in which police stun guns were activated repeatedly within minutes or allowed to emit energy for more than five seconds at a time.