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15-year-old boy dies after being Tasered by police in Michigan

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i really hate these tasers. they are definitely excessive force. they should only be used in self defence, otherwise it is just good old fashion assault, even if you are a police officer.

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What ever happened to pulling the two parties involved apart from each other and slapping on the cuffs? The police are getting lazy these days, taser first and ask questions later.

police placed one officer on administrative leave

I suppose this will be WITH pay? Someone ought to taser this officer a few times. I bet he would never use the thing again.

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one of them “attempted to fight the officers.”

One of them may very well have attacked an officer. Is a 100 word news article really enough to judge what happened here?

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He attacked an officer? He should have been shot.

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Sounds like a case of officers hiding behind their (supposedly non-lethal) weapons. Hate to say it, but there are many instances in which members of law enforcement go for their guns (or tasers) when faced with the slightest possibility of a bit of biff. It has to be remembered that law enforcement officers are given extensive unarmed combat/suppression training just for such circumstances, why not use it? Whatever happened to the good old days of wacking (or threatening to wack) somebody with a billy club/night stick or chop-blocking them into submission? It seems like techniques such as a headbutting and eye-gouging have become extinct.

If officers aren't willing to mix it up a little bit with unarmed perps (either at time of arrest or down the cells), and instead out of reflex go for their side-arms (or tasers), then perhaps they should consider another line of employment.

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TokyoHustla said:

He attacked an officer? He should have been shot.

Michigan is in the U.S. not North Korea!

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timorborder: Whatever happened to the good old days of wacking (or threatening to wack) somebody with a billy club/night stick or chop-blocking them into submission?

I cannot say I have any hard data, but I imagine that whacking people over the head and chop-blocking them had a higher fatality rate, not to mention permanent injury rate. Until somebody shows me some hard data showing otherwise, I am going to defend the tazer over the nightstick.

If he attacked a cop, he gets stun-gunned. It follows quite naturally. You never know if one of these people are armed, or if their even deadly unarmed like some nuts and drug addicts are. Police have the right to defend themselves.

The only things I am keeping my open to are these: The cops are lying and they were not attacked and might have actually tried to break up the fight via stun gun (stupid) or 2) they tazed him and tazed him and tazed him until he died. They should taze a person until they (the cops) are out of danger, and taze them no more. But I believe that many cops and security personnel think they have to taze people until they just completely stop resisting, which is excessive and dangerous. I saw security guards do that on Youtube at a speech (think it was John Kerry). They tazed him as he begged them to stop. Such people don't belong in security and law enforcement. They seem to get off on tazing people.

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I am NOT jumping to conclusions with the above, but merely presenting things my mind is open to. Its a rare, rare moment, but I am with Helter on this one.

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Thanks for that likeitis, I agree that whacking people can be fatal, however, the threat to do so can be another way to resolve such situations.

Furthermore, the tazer, tazer, tazer argument does carry some weight. Let's face it, when you have somebody hooked up to the mains (either in Michigan, Gitmo, Lubianka or whereever), why stop if you are having fun? (that was a joke).

I think we have yet to hear "the rest of the story" (Paul Harvey)

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timorborder: Thanks for that likeitis

Sure thing!

the threat to do so can be another way to resolve such situations.

I agree with the threat part. I also don't mind if a cop actually uses the nightstick, so long as he has restraint and uses it only when he really really has to.

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ilcub76 - "Someone ought to taser this officer a few times. I bet he would never use the thing again."

I am not sure how many states require it, but it is required in some states that before an officer can carry a tazer she or he must get tazed while in training of said weapon. I don't think most officers take tazing people lightly. Hell, I know if I had to show up to break up a fight and one of the idiots in the fight came at me I would end it with 50,000 volts or how ever many volts those things pack. Even at 15 years of age you should know better than to rush an officer. Darwin HELP!

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Surely, we can now put to bed the lie about tasers being "non-lethal". I am of the mind that, generally speaking, tasers are over-used by the police precicesly because they are supposed to be "non-leathal". Regardless of the casualty rates, they are an instrument of pain and should not be used lightly.

However, in this particular case: "If he attacked a cop, he gets stun-gunned. It follows quite naturally." rings very much true.

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Do they have net guns? I thought the constitution states that people should not be subjected to cruel punishment.

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likeitis: I cannot say I have any hard data, but I imagine that whacking people over the head and chop-blocking them had a higher fatality rate

Agreed. I'm not sure why one would think the cracking someone in the head with a blunt object is a better solution to anything, except being shot. From what I've seen of tasers there is little to no long term damage.

Triumvere: Surely, we can now put to bed the lie about tasers being "non-lethal"

Well obviously if someone has a heart condition or if there is a malfunction then the result can be fatal. But the same thing can be said for roller coasters.

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Wonder if this kid was on something???

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I don't blame the cops here. This is how simple stupidity can take you 6" underground

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Hey Professor! Shouldn't that be 6' (feet) underground? Not 6" (inches).

Cops using tazers is a good thing. Unfortunately, this person took an adverse reaction to it and died. However, I'm sure his reaction to a bullet would have been just as deadly. I am in full support of non-lethal force even if it means someone has to die. :P

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a brute police force in a so called civilised country.this incident will not happen here in Japan cos they ve one of the civilised cops

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I remember saying in the last tazer death earlier this year that they should be putting a little R&D into less lethal weapons, and some on here arguing that tazers were perfectly fine and non-lethal. Well, here's yet another example to the contrary, and this time a 15-year-old kid.

As has been pointed out, there is little or nothing to go no story-wise, so we cannot tell how much of a tiff this was, but I agree with some on here that it seems some police tend to whip out the guns or tasers with the slightest amount of tension in a given situation. Was it 'unavoidable'? If the kid was fighting the officer, something needed to be done, but what about all the training in how to suppress a criminal by hand? Surely the kid did not need to be killed.

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It is obvious that the tazer is a lethal weapon and its use had got to be abolished. It will save lives and consciences. I do not think that the cop who killed the boy is feeling good about himself at the moment.

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I remember saying in the last tazer death earlier this year that they should be putting a little R&D into less lethal weapons, and some on here arguing that tazers were perfectly fine and non-lethal... If the kid was fighting the officer, something needed to be done, but what about all the training in how to suppress a criminal by hand?

By hand is perfectly fine and non-lethal, expect it has resulted in many fatalities as well. I know of some cases where a person has been restrained by an officer's knee on the chest, and the result was a punctured lung or heart attack and ended up with the person dying.

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Something we have to accept about the term non-lethal is that it applies to a lot of things that do have the power to kill. The point is, it does not usually and is not designed to kill. If we start applying the term lethal to anything and everything that can occaisonally kill, then I am afraid nothing is non-lethal, not even water. Remember the woman killed by her own scarf on the escalator? How many die from mochi each year?

The term non-lethal is not an absolute nor was it ever intended to be. It was made simply to separate weapons from those very specifically designed to kill. If we nix it, then suddenly it becomes meaningless to say the hands of Chuck Norris are lethal weapons. Because anybody's hands could potentially kill. The point is that the hands of Chuck Norris have far more potential to kill. The hands of most people are not trained to kill so easily, so we could say they are non-lethal. Same with stun guns. The overwhelming majority of the time when used on people, they do not kill. Compare that to guns.

The desire for perfection is all well and good, but until the perfect non-lethal weapon is found, I am happy with the stun gun. It seems to me that the real problem is not the weapon but the user most of the time anyway. Like the cops that tazed the woman who needed a walker to get around not so long ago.

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why does Taser become a verb? Why don't they say that the officers electrocuted him to death?

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A taser is a non-lethal weapon. It's just common sense.

The circumstances surrounding the incident will decide if using the taser was appropriate or not, but that's a different question.

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SuperLib: "A taser is a non-lethal weapon. It's just common sense."

Hang on a sec... let me check the headline and contents of the article again....

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Good_Jorb: "By hand is perfectly fine and non-lethal, expect it has resulted in many fatalities as well. I know of some cases where a person has been restrained by an officer's knee on the chest, and the result was a punctured lung or heart attack and ended up with the person dying."

So, is that any reason why more research cannot be done for more effective and ...ahem... LESS lethal (since everything is lethal, I guess!) weapons? My point is that clearly cases in which tasers are killing people is on the rise, so why not look for something better? I like the vomit sticks in The Minority Report.

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So, is that any reason why more research cannot be done for more effective and ...ahem... LESS lethal (since everything is lethal, I guess!) weapons?

I don't know how much research is going into the Taser but there is a lot of research also goes into less lethal weapons; Bean bag guns, pepper spray paint balls, stun/flash grenades and so on.

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Repeatedly refuse to do as an Officer of the Law says or try to assault them then you deserve to be tazered. If you have a heart condition and knowingly attack an officer knowing they carry weapons like this then you take your own gamble. I applaud the officers for using this and not resorting to the revolver. They take the training and are subjected to this as well. Do a youtube search and see the videos.

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I wish they kept records of how many people are actually tazered a day, cops just seem to use it anywhere.

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The story says the kid tried to fight the cops so it is no surprise that they responded with force. I have no idea how many times a taser is used with no permanent effects but that would be a very interesting statistic. But saying a taser is non-lethal just doesn't seem to add up. Non-lethal most of the time? Isn't that like being "a little pregnant?"

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Articles on taser use...

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/587624

different view of the same study?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/01/24-3

and, finally, the taser propiganda...

http://www.taser.com/research/Science/Pages/TASERBlameForInjuries.aspx

Seems like the jury is still out but that, in general, proper training is one way to reduce deaths.

It was interesting to see the note in the first article, that the adoption of the taser is not lowering the rate of death due to cops using their guns. Rather, from the second article, the taser usually reduces injuries to the cops and the perps.

So the cops keep their firearms holstered unless they have to use them. The tasers are being used instead of hand-to-hand take downs. Guess it's all well and good unless you have a weak heart.

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It is obvious that the tazer is a lethal weapon and its use had got to be abolished. It will save lives and consciences.

Following the logic a handful of accidental deaths merits a ban one could argue that nickles, hard cover books, and ballpoint pens are, in fact, lethal weapons. So until you invent a device with renders criminals imobile that is 100% non-lethal and can be distributed to every police officer in the world leave the tazers be.

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I wish they kept records of how many people are actually tazered a day, cops just seem to use it anywhere.

I wish they kept records of how many people attempt to fight officers, suspects just seem to do it anywhere.

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ban it?

I can think of just several items that have been taken away, which were for non-lethal purposes. As a kid, I seen my father get choked with a bully club, I've seen people get hit with tonfas and they bled pretty damn bad, and I have seen ER's with taser victims, but they were all a lot less lethal than gun shot wounds, which is usually used by police in extreme cases. My question is how much can we keep putting in to researching and banning what to use and what not?

I have a feeling, only a feeling, that something else happened to this kid that caused the taser to kill him. Maybe the location of the taser's target like in a very sensitive area or maybe he was high and his heart was beating at accelerated speeds. I don't know yet. But to call for a nation wide ban on a weapon that is used by police to subdue someone I personally think is uncalled for.

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This is gettig a bit silly. Ban tasers? So, you would have preferd that the cops shot the guy? Beat him with a truncheon? Put their own lives on the line by trying to restrain him by hand? Taser seems like a good alternative to me, though we can't know the details of the situation to say what would have been best.

I don't want to ban tasers, I just want to reconceptualize them as "less-lethal" rather than "non-lethal". I think that thinking about these things as "non-lethal" makes officers more likely to deploy them in, say, situations where suspects are being merely uncooperative rather than combative, which leads to unnecessary deaths. I don't see how you could apply that in this case, unless the police are lying to cover their asses (a real possiblity, sadly). If he attacked them using a taser is an appropriate response. But it obviously has "lethal" potential.

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Tasers need to be shaped, and look like guns. This is so that everyone will understand that a lethal weapon has been deployed. They should only be used to protect the life of others – not to subdue a verbally aggressive person, or someone that can be subdued through other less damaging means.

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helloklitty at 12:18 AM JST - 24th March why does Taser become a verb? Why don't they say that the officers electrocuted him to death?

Easy answer to that, if they say any other word other than "Tasered" it may scare folks. Now we do not want folks to be scared of that innocent little weapon, now do we?

Taser a man or women with one shot and they go down. But taser with a few more shots than one and......

Tasers are now used so often by officers that it has become an extension of their hands.

Someone speaks to laud, taser them.

Someone does not listen, taser them.

Someone looks at you kind of funny, taser them.

You just do not like someone, taser them.

Someone walks on the wrong side of the street, taser them.

If asked why did you taser them, answer with, "I felt that I was in danger". Pepper spray would be too easy, but it is not as fun.

Tasers are dangerous and should be considered as dangerous as a gun.

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Triumvere at 12:13 PM JST - 24th March This is gettig a bit silly. Ban tasers? So, you would have preferd that the cops shot the guy? Beat him with a truncheon? Put their own lives on the line by trying to restrain him by hand?

Hm now what is that saying......OH yeah to protect and serve.

Pepper spray is really good to stopping folks from fighting. Why would the cops go right for the taser?

Hell if they would have used a gun the guy may still have been alive. But they used a taser and I think he is DEAD.

BAY CITY, Michigan —Police in Michigan say a 15-year-old boy has died after being Tasered by officers who were trying to break up a fight.

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TheQuestion at 03:56 AM JST - 24th March Following the logic a handful of accidental deaths merits a ban one could argue that nickles, hard cover books, and ballpoint pens are, in fact, lethal weapons.

So how many folks have died from those dangerous ball point pens of yours? Please do tell, let us compare and see which is more dangerous....

LOL logic is a real funny thing that folks feel can be cast aside when it comes to their flawed beliefs of right and wrong.

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TheQuestion: "Following the logic a handful of accidental deaths merits a ban one could argue that nickles, hard cover books, and ballpoint pens are, in fact, lethal weapons. So until you invent a device with renders criminals imobile that is 100% non-lethal and can be distributed to every police officer in the world leave the tazers be."

I always love this logic; like people saying a gun is 'no more dangerous than a kitchen knife' in the correct hands, etc.

Just a quick note: a ballpoint pen is designed for writing, nickels are a form of currency, and hard AND soft-cover books are meant for reading/studying. Tasers are meant to subdue a person by non-lethal means, and is clearly failing. By YOUR form of logic people should be out renting tasers from the library, counting up the tasers in their pockets for a pack of smokes at the convenience store, and trying to use their tasers to write composition in their notebooks (which could also be tasers!).

Develop some better weapons that are actually non-lethal. Tasers are clearly lethal weapons.

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So how much current kills someone Smith? What are the conditions that determine how a person is affected by the electricity produced by these things? When you tell me that I'll go on to say if it's bad or not.

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