First Scientific Study Contends Tasers Can Cause Cardiac Arrest


The American Heart Association journal, “Circulation” published the first ever scientific, peer-reviewed evidence that Tasers can cause cardiac arrest and death, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Written by electrophysiologist Douglas Zipes of Indiana University, the article looked at eight cases involving the TASER X26 ECD. The controversial electroshock devices administer 50,000 volts designed to immobilize a person's muscles temporarily so officers can gain control of the subject. They have a range of 35 feet.

About 16,000 agencies internationally use the device, which was marketed as non-lethal. Of­ficials have cred­ited them with help­ing to reduce fa­tal po­lice in­cidents. Cinc­innati po­lice began us­ing Tasers af­ter the Nov. 30, 2003, death of Nathaniel Jones in po­lice custody. The 41-year-old man’s vio­lent struggle with offi­cers ended when his heart stopped. Jones had cocaine, PCP, and methanol in his system. Critics argue that Tasers too often have a deadly outcome. Since 2001, more than 500 people have died after Taser stuns, charges Amnesty International, which contends that stricter guidelines for its use are “imperative.”

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