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Taser : des scientifiques indiquent que la décharge électrique serait 39 fois plus puissante que ne l’indique le constructeur

Le journal le plus informé aux Etats-Unis sur le Taser, AZcentral, basé dans le même Etat que l’entreprise Taser international révèle dans un article du 11 octobre 2006 qu’une étude scientifique publiée par le Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers indique que les chocs électriques adressés par les Taser peuvent avoir des conséquences mortelles sur le rythme cardiaque et que l’arme adresse en réalité des chocs électriques 39 fois plus puissants que ne l’indique l’entreprise Taser international.

L’article rappelle enfin que 169 morts ont été enregistrées depuis 1999 après l’usage d’un Taser aux Etats-Unis et au Canada.

Rappelons que cette arme est sur le point d’équiper de 3000 à 5000 policiers en France dans les jours à venir.

Lire l’article in extenso

Mesa police may get Tasers
600 patrol officers expected to get upgraded stun gun

Mike Cronin
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 11, 2006 12:00 AM

By early next year, all of the Mesa Police Department’s patrol officers could be packing electricity.

About 600 police may be armed with the X26, a smaller, sleeker and, Police Chief George Gascón says, safer version of the Taser stun gun.

Critics of Taser International products say they are not safe. They cite deaths, injuries and lawsuits due to the weapons.
Mesa officials have budgeted $514,000 to buy the weapons from Scottsdale-based Taser International.

The City Council still must approve the purchase. A vote is scheduled for Monday night’s meeting.

Holly Hosac, spokeswoman for the Mesa Police Department, said training is set to begin in December.

The 50,000-volt Taser shoots two darts up to 25 feet. The darts are connected to wires that deliver a burst of electricity, instantly immobilizing a suspect. The gun also can be used as a hand-held device, without the darts, by touching two metal probes directly against a person’s body in what police call a "drive stun."

Gascón and Sgt. Lee White told the City Council public safety committee last month that the X26, which debuted in 2003, is safer for suspects and officers than the model now used by Mesa officers.

During that committee meeting, Gascón said that deaths linked to Taser use have involved a pre-existing condition, be it medical- or narcotic-related.

Taser for years has maintained that its stun guns have never caused a death or serious injury.

Gascón is revising the department’s use-of-force policy to further reduce accidents that cause injury or death.

Taser use by Mesa police had not caused an injury in 18 months as of mid-September, White said.

But last year, Mesa paid $2.4 million to a man who was shot twice with a Taser by an officer. The man fell 10 feet out of a tree and now is a quadriplegic.

Across the country, worries over the weapon persist.

An article in the January issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers said that the shocks are powerful enough to cause fatal heart rhythms and that the stun gun was 39 times more powerful than the manufacturer claimed.

It is one of the few scientific studies of stun gun’s electric jolt in which Taser International did not participate.

The company responded to that study with one that it said showed the weapon met the appropriate specifications.

In a separate finding, the Army also concluded last year that Tasers could cause ventricular fibrillation, the irregular heart rhythm characteristic of a heart attack.

Since 1999, more than 167 people have died after police Taser strikes in the United States and Canada. Of those, medical examiners have cited Tasers in 27 deaths, saying that they were a cause of death in five cases, a contributing factor in 17 cases and could not be ruled out in five.

Several law enforcement agencies have filed lawsuits accusing Taser of misleading them about the stun gun’s safety and claiming that the company failed to conduct adequate tests before selling the weapon. Some police departments have delayed or halted Taser purchases because of safety concerns.

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