The New Orleans Police Department is testing stun guns, despite the death Monday of a man who had a heart attack after being shocked by a Taser issued to a state trooper under a similar testing program. Tasers have come under question after more than 75 deaths nationwide of suspects who have been shocked by the guns, including four in Jefferson Parish. Yesterday, New Orleans police completed a training session in which 25 officers received several hours of instruction by Taser representatives. On Monday, a state trooper with the Hurricane Katrina Task Force used a Taser gun when he and other officers confronted a knife-wielding man in the French Quarter. The man had a heart attack on the way to a hospital and died several hours later.
At the training session, Sgt. Anthony Micheu volunteered to be “Tased” as his fellow officers looked on with great curiosity, two of them holding him up for his inevitable flop to the floor. After Micheu was jolted in the back, he groaned loudly as he lost neuromuscular control, falling forward instantly. “Damn, that hurt,” he said from the floor. “That hurt. That ain’t no movie.”