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A Tour of Taser HQ 334

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the don't-tase-me-bro dept.
Soychemist writes "Walk into the Taser headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona and it may seem like you are on an episode of Get Smart. The foyer is like a fortress, with giant steel doors and biometric identification systems. Inside, factory workers meticulously assemble the less-lethal weapons by hand and then put them through a battery of safety tests. In addition to making pistol-shaped devices, the company also produces the electronic equivalent of a claymore mine, which hurls dozens of electrified needles at the push of a button and electronic shotgun cartridges that deliver a powerful jolt."
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A Tour of Taser HQ

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  • by jdgeorge (18767) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:14PM (#29390983)

    Tasers going through "a battery of test"... Props for stunning punning.

    • I knew a correctional officer who frequently used stun guns [howstuffworks.com] on rowdy inmates. They called it "The funky Chicken" because of the inmates' jerks and spasms which were often so severe that they would shit and piss on themselves.

      Stun guns != tasers, but keep that in mind the next time you mess with authority.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        Now, what someone needs to come up with, is a method to shield oneself from a taser 'attack'.

        Maybe something analogous to body armor for bullets...something you can wear, that will prevent the taser from shocking you. Is such a thing possible?

        I'd think there would be some $$ to be made with that one.....

    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:34PM (#29391209)
      The law enforcement officers can now properly charge the suspects with battery. What a hair-raising idea!
  • Just like a club is less lethal than a sword... but it still does 1d6.

    Also "the electronic equivalent of a claymore mine, which hurls dozens of electrified needles": W.T.F.

    What exactly is the intended non-lethal purpose of such a thing?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mweather (1089505)
      There is no intended non-lethal purpose, because it is non non-lethal.
      • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by megamerican (1073936) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:27PM (#29391139)

        There is no intended non-lethal purpose, because it is non non-lethal.

        Yes, non-lethal, except for the 100's of times it has killed people. Tasers are nothing but a torture device used like a cattle prod when people don't "comply" with police orders.

        They were originally intended to be used in cases where a gun would have been used. These devices would never be used against people in the manner they now are in a truly free society.

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:31PM (#29391175) Journal

          "And here we have the Legal Department, which pursues county coroners who suggest that our device could possibly interfere with heart rhythms. That's Doug over there, yes, the one with the horns and the tail. He came to us after a stint with Adolf Hitler. He's responsible for, ah, marketing."

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Or the police could just go back to using guns...
          • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bcmm (768152) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:45PM (#29391359)
            Yeah, because when they used guns exclusively it was commonplace to shoot someone in cuffs for struggling against being put in a police car, or shoot someone, yell "get up" at them, then shoot them again cause they can't.

            Using Tasers instead of guns is a good thing, but they are constantly being used in situations which would not warrent the use of a firearm, and Taser International's own training and marketing material is a least partly to blame.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ari_j (90255)
              The rest of the blame can be attributed to how fun it is to taser someone, of course.
        • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jgtg32a (1173373) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:50PM (#29391435)
          I see what you did there, you changed the words. Tasers are called less than lethal not non-lethal.

          But I do agree with you they are over used. Personally I think that the officer should draw their gun when they would normally be allowed to tase the perp. If that doesn't work and its save to switch from a gun to a taser they should then do so.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by KC7JHO (919247)
            The truth of the matter is simply that the perps know you (as a police officer) can not shoot them unless they are offering deadly force against you or another. It is however legal to taze them if they offer resistance. If you pull your pistol on a perp and he knows you have no right to shoot, he will laugh and keep doing what he is doing, pull a tazer and he will change his mind. It is legal for a police officer to taze some one anytime they have a reason to place their hands on them, this IMHO is inapprop
        • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Shakrai (717556) on Friday September 11, 2009 @02:40PM (#29392047) Journal

          They were originally intended to be used in cases where a gun would have been used.

          No they weren't. Guns (deadly force) can't be used unless the life of the police officer or an innocent bystander is in imminent risk. No sane police officer whose life is seconds away from ending is going to reach for his TASER. The TASER is useless against multiple opponents, is useless against someone hopped up on drugs or with certain mental illnesses, only gives you one shot and has an limited range compared to handguns. In a scenario where his life or the life of another is in mortal danger the smart police officer is going to draw his firearm and squeeze the trigger as many times as are required to end the threat.

          TASERs were intended as a replacement for the police baton. They were not intended as a replacement for deadly force. The use of deadly force (firearm, knife, claymore, etc) has an entirely different set of standards that need to be met than does regular force (fist, taser, mace, pepper spray, etc). Deadly force can only be used under specific circumstances, generally to save the life of the officer or another. Regular force can be used to affect an arrest, halt the commission of non-lethal crimes, halt the escape of a suspect, defend against the use of non-deadly force, etc.

          These devices would never be used against people in the manner they now are in a truly free society.

          That part I'd give you. It seems that there are quite a few incidents wherein police officers have reached for their TASER rather than reaching for their deescalation skills. I don't think you can blame this on the tool though -- you have to blame it on the operator. These same personalities would probably have wielded the police baton in the same inappropriate manner.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Hatta (162192) *

            I don't think you can blame this on the tool though -- you have to blame it on the operator.

            In most cases, the operator is a tool.

    • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oldspewey (1303305) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:25PM (#29391099)

      What exactly is the intended non-lethal purpose of such a thing?

      I'm gonna take a totally wild guess here: to make profits for Taser Inc.?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      crowds.

    • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:27PM (#29391131)

      Just like a club is less lethal than a sword... but it still does 1d6.

      I think the key here is that the "less lethal" concept means to many that "you can use it more than a gun and get away with it" which is a problem because in a small subset of its use it does become lethal or causes situations that cause death when normal restraining methods would have sufficed without incident.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Not "non-lethal", "less-lethal".

      And yes I would prefer to be standing in front of that when it went of that be standing in front of a claymore mine when it went off.

      And the purpose is obviously to fire into a crowd at a choke point in order to hurt as many of them as you can.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bakkster (1529253)

      Just like a club is less lethal than a sword... but it still does 1d6.

      Personally, most taser incidents where the perp is not threatening the officer's safety should be replaced with a rap on the calf or elsewhere with a smaller billy-club. Still hurts, without resorting to electric shocks. Less likely to die from 'mysterious circumstances' from a sharp rap on a muscle than from electrical pulses (and less of an uproar, probably, when they do).

      • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Duradin (1261418) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:34PM (#29391221)

        You don't want to rely on pain for compliance. It just doesn't work on all people. The electric shock of a taser screws with the target's muscles, it's not just pain.

        Grab on to a non-pulse electric fence sometime near the fencing unit. Try to let go.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bakkster (1529253)

          Right, but that should be reserved for times when otherwise an officer would use a firearm to subdue the perp. Tasers have expanded their role to include instances where the officer would have just hit the perp and been rough with them.

          There are some times when a taser can fit between these two places (some massive dude high on PCP is threatening to pummel a cop with his fists, I'm not going to require the cop to subdue him physically if he has access to a stun gun), but in general, I think that most of y

          • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by schon (31600) on Friday September 11, 2009 @02:09PM (#29391673)

            Tasers have expanded their role to include instances where the officer would have just hit the perp and been rough with them.

            Actually, they've expanded their role to include instances where the officer just wants to punish someone when they don't do as they're told, like when they can't move because they're lying on the ground with a broken back. [alternet.org]

          • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Bobb9000 (796960) on Friday September 11, 2009 @02:34PM (#29391987)
            I'm not sure why you're such a fan of officers beating people with clubs or their fists. I have a friend who recently became a police officer, and as part of their training they get tased. It can kill, yes, but the chances are pretty slim. Frankly, if I'm going to be subdued by a police officer, I'm going with the taser every time. I don't have numbers (does anybody?), but I'd guess the chances of lasting harm from being hit with an expandable baton are significantly higher than from being hit with a taser. That's why it's ridiculous to confine it only to circumstances where otherwise a gun would be used. Have they been overused? Yes, but so have clubs and fists. Bad or scared cops will will abuse whatever weapons you put into their hands.
          • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Shakrai (717556) on Friday September 11, 2009 @02:53PM (#29392207) Journal

            Right, but that should be reserved for times when otherwise an officer would use a firearm to subdue the perp

            Firearms are not used to subdue perps. Firearms are used to end a threat to the life of the officer or another innocent person. The only occasion I'm aware of where firearms are allowed to be used to "subdue" people is in the case of a prison guard shooting a prison escapee. Your regular beat cop is not allowed to use his firearm to "subdue" someone. He's only allowed to use it to save his own life or the life of another.

            Tasers have expanded their role to include instances where the officer would have just hit the perp and been rough with them.

            That's exactly what they are intended for. Situations where non-deadly force would have been used. Their role hasn't been expanded at all. What's been expanded is the willingness of officers to use force during inappropriate times. Tasing someone in handcuffs just because he said something nasty to the Judge is no more appropriate than hitting him would have been.

            but in general, I think that most of your taser stories ('don't tase me bro' guy or the naked wizard) would be better handled by just cuffing them roughly.

            Why? So you run the risk of injuring two people (the officer and the perp) instead of one? How is that better? Have you ever been trained in restraint techniques? I have been -- as part of my employment at a mental health facility. It's not that easy to take someone down without injuring them or yourself. How is injuring the perp while subduing him with your hands any better than injuring him while subduing him with a Taser?

            Of course, when you have a dude covered in kerosene charging you with a lighter, a taser seems like a better alternative than an officer dying or needing to shoot the guy in the kneecaps.

            You wouldn't shoot for the kneecaps in such a situation. You'd shoot center of mass. Shooting someone's legs/kneecaps/hand-holding-the-knife is a Hollywood myth. It's just too hard to pull off in the real world. If you shoot a 2" group with a handgun at the range with paper targets you are going to shoot a 10" group when being charged by some nutjob intent on ending your life. That's what happens when you get an adrenaline dump and your fine motor skills go to hell. That's why police officers are trained to shoot center of mass.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Artraze (600366)

          Actually, it's essentially pain. True, it's not exactly same, but neither are burns and cuts. The muscular interference effect is largely unimportant as it tends to be both short lived (i.e. duration of shock) and fairly localized. If someone is high PCP and charging you, zapping them on the arm isn't really going to do much better than a billy club. Unless, of course, you keep the current on until they're dead, but that kinda misses the point, doesn't it?

          If the money spent on tazers and tazer training

          • If the money spent on tazers and tazer training (and defending tazer death suits) was instead spent on billy clubs and (here's the important part:) close combat classes, officers would generally be better off.

            Right, because when someone is charging a cop, it's much better they be allowed to get up close and personal before the cop can begin to disable them with a club than it is to have the cop shoot them at a distance with a taser.

            The whole point of both guns and tasers is to keep the person away
          • by ScentCone (795499)
            billy clubs and (here's the important part:) close combat classes

            Yeah, I'll mention that to a cop I know. She's 5'-2". I'm sure she'd much rather get into a physical fight with PCP-stoked guy twice her size than simply drop him, alive, like a sack of potatos. Though it sounds like you'd prefer she used a firearm in that situation.
          • by KC7JHO (919247)
            Yet at the same time, take a look at the Texas officer who tazed the 80+ grandmother, He was a very large man she was a crazed little old lady, she was trying to attack him, trying to run out into the highway, according to the video it even looked like she was attempting to grab his pistol. He was faced with a choice of tackling her and most likely breaking something like an arm, hip, or ribs, etc. or as you suggest hitting this lady with his baton (~24" steel pipe) or just tazing her which provided just th
        • by jgtg32a (1173373)
          So we need Combine stun sticks, leave them off unless you need a takedown
    • Re:Less Lethal... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bobb9000 (796960) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:35PM (#29391227)

      Less Lethal...Just like a club is less lethal than a sword... but it still does 1d6.

      Yep - that's why they started calling them "less-lethal" weapons rather than "non-lethal" weapons...though if we're doing dnd references, I'd argue that many of them do subdural damage and something more like a 1d2 with a 5% chance of causing death.

      What exactly is the intended non-lethal purpose of such a thing?

      What lethal uses did you have in mind, exactly? It doesn't sound very effective at killing people. As a less-lethal weapon, however, it sounds useful for crowd control, remote perimeters where you'd rather capture than kill, ambushs where you'd rather capture than kill...any number of things.

      • by xrayspx (13127)
        "1d2", you mean, like a coin?
        • by Bobb9000 (796960)
          That would work, but unless it was a coin that you'd personally stolen from a dragon's horde, covered in eldritch runes of unfathomable power*, it'd be kind of lame. *Now available for $59.99 at ThinkGeek!
        • by ari_j (90255)

          "1d2", you mean, like a coin?

          Like a coin, but +5 Nerdiness.

    • by Jared555 (874152)

      In addition to what others have said (crowds), it would probably be more effective (maybe cheaper depending on bulk discounts) when it comes to automated defense than attaching a taser to a couple motors and using a computer to track a target.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:23PM (#29391081) Homepage

    The front entrance is very impressive. But it's security theater. Google StreetView shows the entrance to the loading dock [google.com], where the gate has been left open.

  • by MRe_nl (306212) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:24PM (#29391089)

    The term electronic police state describes a state in which the government aggressively uses electronic technologies to record, organize, search and taze its citizens.

    If you treat me like an animal don't be surprised when i bite you in the face.

    • The term electronic police state describes a state in which the government aggressively uses electronic technologies to record, organize, search and taze its citizens.

      If you treat me like an animal don't be surprised when i bite you in the face.

      We each only get one trip on this ride. Don't lightly throw it away.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sponge Bath (413667)

      Be a man and not an animal: buy a gun, plan an ambush, and them shoot them in the face.

  • "And to your left - if everyone will put on their goggles, please - you'll see our product tester of the month, Jorge. Let's all give Jorge a hand!"

    "Stand back a little there, ma'am. Thank you."
  • Were your first words, "Don't tase me, bro!"
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:26PM (#29391111)

    The foyer is like a fortress, with giant steel doors and biometric identification systems...

    Security like that for a business like theirs is just for show. It's there for all the "foreign dignitaries" with their big pocket books. Which makes me think of other elements of their corporate identity. These people market "non-lethal" weapons and then cover up the research that says that blasting tens of thousand of volts through the human nervous system might just have some negative effects. Not that there isn't a ton of historical evidence saying that when you science and law enforcement meet, a conspiracy usually results. Taser's products are not "non-lethal", they are "less lethal"... But the police and people who buy their equipment love to watch people scream and fall over because they smarted off to them, and for this, Taser Corporation delivers. And although their products could easily be designed to be more humanitarian, curiously these changes never make it to market.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:33PM (#29391199) Journal

      Based on the following excerpt, from page 19 of the X26C operator's manual, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that "more humanitarian" would be seen as a defect. The last three lines are particularly... Suggestive.

      "Page 19
      TASER® X26C Operating Manual

      DRIVE-STUN BACKUP
      Drive-stun capability is available with or without a TASER Cartridge installed. The drive-
      stun mode will not cause NMI and generally becomes primarily a pain compliance option.
      Probe deployment is usually considered more desirable, even at close range. Some of the
      advantages include:
      Drive-stun is only effective while the device is in contact with the subject or the
      subject's clothing. As soon as the device is moved away, the energy efiect stops.
      Deploying the probes allows the user to create distance between the user and the
      subject while maintaining control.
      Due to automatic reflex actions, most subjects will struggle to separate from the
      TASER device. When the TASER device is used in the drive-stun mode and the subject
      struggles to get away it may be difficult to maintain contact between the device and
      the subject.
      If the probes are deployed, even at very close range, the user may be able to use
      drive-stun to another portion of the body that is farther away from the probes,
      thereby resulting in enhanced NMI effect.
      If the drive-stun is not effective, evaluate the location of the drive-stun and consider an
      additional cycle to a different pressure point.
      When using the drive-stun, push (drive) the front of the TASER X26C firmly against the body
      of the subject. Simply "touching" the X26C against the subject is not sufficient. The subject
      is likely to recoil and try to get away from the stun electrodes. It is necessary to aggressively
      drive the front of the X26C into the subject for maximum efiect.
      The drive-stun works more effectively when aggressively applied to pressure points on nerve
      bundles. This includes the brachial area, common peronial, mastoid, and pelvic triangle. The
      TASER X26C must be actively depressed or aggressively driven into the nerve bundles in a
      "drive-stun" manner to be effective in the drive-stun mode.
      RECOMMENDED DRIVE-STUN AREAS FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT
      Drive the X26C into the following areas for maximum effectiveness.
      Carotid (sides of neck) (see warning below).
      Brachial plexus tie-in (upper chest).
      Radial (forearm).
      Pelvic triangle (see warning below).
      Common peronial (Outside of thigh).
      Tibial (calf muscle).
      WARNING: Use care when applying a drive-stun to the neck or pelvic triangle. These areas
      are sensitive to mechanical injury (such as crushing to the trachea or testicles if applied
      forcefully). However, these areas have proven highly effective targets."

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SOdhner (1619761)

      Security like that for a business like theirs is just for show. It's there for all the "foreign dignitaries" with their big pocket books.

      For show or not, it really is a more-secure-than-average place. Until recently I worked for the company that cleans it and while I don't have (and wouldn't give) details I know I was told the security is closer to a bank than an office building. The president of the company was also told that if he volunteered to be Tazed they would give him a free shirt. He passed.

  • Tasers are lethal (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:26PM (#29391121)

    Taser are NOT "non-lethal."

    They have killed many times. Amnesty International says 351 people have been killed by tasers in police hands. Although they are marketed as non-lethal and safe, they are most definitely not.

    Information on taser deaths:
    http://www.amnestyusa.org/us-human-rights/taser-abuse/page.do?id=1021202
    http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2009/08/31/dallas-wrongful-death-lawyer_200908312018.html
    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/05/14/crimesider/entry5013690.shtml
    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0730taser30.html
    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jun2009/tasr-j19.shtml
    http://www.startribune.com/13841301.html
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126936.100-taser-guns-raised-deaths-in-custody.html
    http://www.taserdeaths.org/

    Their marketing is part of the problem. Because they are seen as "safe," officers are more likely to use them in situations where it is unnecessary. There are many viral videos where the police officer goes directly to the taser as soon as the person asks a question or protests in any way. (I would post them, but youtube is inaccessible from my work.) They are more likely to escalate a situation and use force because they believe the taser to be safe. For example, there was one incident a woman was tased in front of her kids after protesting an unjustified traffic ticket. The officer in question was about a foot taller and outweighed her by around 100 lbs, yet felt threated enough that using a weapon was justified even though the woman made no aggressive movement against him at all. Thankfully she didn't die, the ticket was dismissed and she is currently in the process of filing a lawsuit. (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/mom_in_minivan_tasered_in_traf.html)

    • Re:Tasers are lethal (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jdgeorge (18767) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:46PM (#29391369)

      Taser are NOT "non-lethal."

      ...

      Thankfully she didn't die, the ticket was dismissed and she is currently in the process of filing a lawsuit. (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/mom_in_minivan_tasered_in_traf.html)

      The summary says "less lethal". Read The Fine Summary, please.

      The real complaint seems to be not that Tasers are anywhere near as lethal as handguns, but that they are more likely to be abused due to the expectation of the users that a Taser won't cause serious injury or death.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rickb928 (945187)

      It's not the size of the dog in the fight.
      It's the size of the fight in the dog.

      Trust me on this.

      I knew two female police officers, neither of which I would challenge, despite outweighing them. being significantly taller, more reach, and stronger by every objective measure. EVEN^H^H^H^HEspecially without their gun being handy. They do not need anything but their hands.

      And one of them died when a drunk driver ran her over and then went back and beat her to death.

      Tasers are no doubt used inappropriately, an

      • by liquidsin (398151) on Friday September 11, 2009 @05:05PM (#29393713) Homepage

        When I get pulled over, I put my hands on the dash, ask the officer what they want me to do, tell them what I am reaching for, where, and what it will look like. I want the officer to be confident they know what is happening. No surprises, nothing unexpected. I don't want to become a victim of bad judgement, knowing it will probably be my own mistake that sets off that series of events.

        wow. just...WOW.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

          Yep.

          That there is a man who has fully accepted that it is the people's job to make the lives of the police easier rather than the police's job to make the lives of the people easier.

    • by Jared555 (874152)

      Drinking (not inhaling) clean water is typically considered non lethal too but people have died from that. You can't define anything as non lethal because there is a chance it could be come lethal under the proper circumstances. I am not defending the ways tasers are used (I disagree with some of the uses of tasers), it is just a fact.

      Handcuffs could be lethal due to the positioning they cause aggravating an injury/other medical condition or causing a loss of circulation.

    • by kent_eh (543303)

      Taser are NOT "non-lethal."

      They have killed many times. Amnesty International says 351 people have been killed by tasers in police hands.

      Which, on it's own, is a pretty useless number.
      What percentage of taser uses does that 351 deaths represent?
      Go find some actual relevant stats to prove me wrong.
      I don't have a real answer, but I'll bet it's down in the single digits.

      Also, a +1 to the previous poster who pointed out that "bad cops" is a very small subset of "all cops"

  • Taser Use (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Petersko (564140) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:27PM (#29391135)
    I know this is offtopic (somewhat) so I won't mind if it's moderated out of usefulness, but I'll get on my soapbox at this point.

    A taser should only ever be used as an alternative to shooting somebody. If you wouldn't shoot them in the same situation, you shouldn't taser them.

    Resisting arrest alone should not mean tasering is on the table, even with a difficult struggle. Law enforcement is getting way to used to tasering simply to avoid any kind of physical confrontation.

    If tasers didn't have the lethality question hanging over them I would think differently, but according to Amnesty International [www.cbc.ca], at least, 334 people died after taser shocks between 2001 and 2008.
    • Police officers are armed. Any time they engage in a physical confrontation, there is a chance their firearm will be taken and used against them.

      Police officers are not he men. People they arrest can be high, holding a concealed weapon, or can flat out over power the officer.

      You have a beef with a ticket? Being arrested? Have your day in court. Sue afterward for unlawful prosecution. Knock yourself out.

      No where in the constitution does it give you the right impede the police officers duty. If

      • by MobyDisk (75490)

        In theory, your advice is sound. In reality, your advice is too expensive for the average citizen.

        You have a beef with a ticket? Being arrested? Have your day in court.

        People have had careers destroyed because they were "charged" but not convicted.

        If he is wrong, it will be found out in a court of law.

        And often times, a police officer is wrong, but it is not handled by the court.

        Any time a suspect does not comply with the officers direction, it is a life or death situation.

        I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that statement was made in frustration or anger. Certainly, every case where an officer does not get his wait (rightfully, or not) is not a life or death situation.
        Officer: "You can

      • Re:Taser Use (Score:5, Informative)

        by bcmm (768152) on Friday September 11, 2009 @02:18PM (#29391769)
        You make a number of point, but no attempt to link them to each other.

        Before tasers, an officer wasn't allowed to just knock a suspect out with a nightstick if he was worried he'd try and run. How is using a Taser different? Both are incapacitating, and both carry a risk of fatal injury.

        You have a beef with a ticket? Being arrested? Have your day in court. Sue afterward for unlawful prosecution. Knock yourself out.

        No where in the constitution does it give you the right impede the police officers duty. If he is wrong, it will be found out in a court of law.

        I don't understand the relevance of this point, unless you're trying to imply that people who dislike indiscriminate use of tasers are dislike it because it makes it harder for them to kill cops at traffic stops.

        Any time a suspect does not comply with the officers direction, it is a life or death situation. Period.

        Saying "Period." after a sentence seems to be some sort of shorthand for "please don't question that bit; it's a little shaky". If an unarmed shoplifter is running from police, and is asked to stop, and doesn't, why is it life or death situation? Should he be tasered (which, after all, carries the risk of fatal complications)? If this had happened before the use of tasers, should he have been shot?

    • at least 334 people died after taser shocks between 2001 and 2008.

      Tasers less lethal than swine flu!

    • Way off Politically Correct here (and I'm not saying we shouldn't have women or asian police officers), but it has been observed that use of tasers went way up in step with the hiring of women and some minorities. The stereotypical 6'2" 240 lb Irish beat cop has more "intimidation factor" going for him than a 5' 4" 140 lb woman or Asian guy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      at least, 334 people died after taser shocks between 2001 and 2008.

      Let's see other stats, too. How many of those people were armed? How many people died from police guns? How many times was the taser used? A random stat from an opponent of tasers is not going to help anything, probably, more than a random stat from an advocate of tasers...

    • A taser should only ever be used as an alternative to shooting somebody. If you wouldn't shoot them in the same situation, you shouldn't taser them.

      While I agree with your other points - tasers shouldn't be used for compliance, or for suppressing civil disobedience - I disagree here... If shooting someone is justified - they are posing an imminent and deadly threat to the officer or someone else - then shoot them. You wouldn't pepper spray them in that situation, you shouldn't tase them either.

      • by Petersko (564140)
        "If shooting someone is justified - they are posing an imminent and deadly threat to the officer or someone else - then shoot them.

        I would say that if it's possible, taser them instead. However, tasers are inherently a short-range device, so their usefulness is quite limited. A taser should be a short-range and situational alternative to shooting. I do, however, believe in using lethal force if justified.
  • Claymore mine (Score:2, Insightful)

    by onedobb (868860)
    I understand the less lethal part, but doesn't anyone see the inherent danger of hurling electrified needles into the air. It could poke your eye out then send a electric charge right to the head. Into your mouth if your screaming or yelling. The jugular vein is basically unprotected and a unlucky shot there could puncture it. On another note, wonder if their testing includes a person wearing different types of clothing for like summer and winter. Also if the voltage needed to subdue someone fluctuates
  • by catbertscousin (770186) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:38PM (#29391269)
    How dare they manufacture a product that could harm people! They should change their company and make harmless, useful equipment like baseball bats, kitchen knives, and tire irons.
  • Security Theater (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:41PM (#29391313)

    This foyer may look like the entrance to the Control headquarters from an episode of Get Smart, but this is the front door of the Taser plant. The corporation has plenty of reasons for high security. It recently launched an online warehouse for digital evidence, so keeping trespassers out is a top priority.

    Looking at the image [wired.com], my impression is that this is more about appearances than real security. It's all about looking high-tech and security oriented.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ksevio (865461)
      Yeah, seeing a chunk of the spikey ceiling falling down doesn't really scream "high security" to me.
  • It looks like they're using antistatic mats on their quality control stations. I would have thought they'd want to limit the conductive surfaces, given the voltages they're using.

  • I've always wondered if wearing a tin foil suit would be sufficient to conduct the charge from a taser though it instead of me. If so, that would go great with my tin foil hat!

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