The death of a Denver man after police used a Taser on him yesterday reignited a debate that has surrounded the stun guns ever since police began using them a decade ago, reports the Denver Post: How dangerous are they? Taser International, the Arizona-based manufacturer, says research shows them to be safe and nonlethal when used correctly. The company boasts it has a 52-0 record in wrongful-death and injury lawsuits.
Police departments say the Taser has become a vital tool to keep officers safe. “We have fewer officers getting hurt and fewer suspects getting hurt due to hand-to-hand combat,” Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. Mark Silverstein of the American Civil Liberties Union said Tasers have been involved in 300 deaths nationwide. In September, the Boulder County coroner listed a Taser blast as one causes in the death of Ryan Michael Wilson, 22, who was Tasered after running from police. “We’ve got a problem with these Tasers,” said Jack Wilson, Ryan’s father. “Unfortunately, it could take a lot of deaths to get this across.”