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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Tasering of Brian Cardall Brings Out More Info On Tasering

Ok, As you know I'm usually talking about the tasering of black folks on my blog Tasered While Black. But I must say incidents of tasering involving people of every group, including the tasering of seniors in the United states are rising. Take for example the recent killing of Brian Cardell who was recently tasered to death. As reported by Electronic Village, Brian Cardall, recently diagnosed with bipolar disease, was driving home from a family wedding in Salt Lake City with his wife when he became disoriented. He stopped the car and got out. His wife called 911 to request medical assistance. More HERE

Now, as reported by KCSZ TV, A Hurricane man has come forward with an eyewitness account of Tuesdays tasering incident that led to the death of 32 year old Brian Cardall.

Witness Comes Forward Following Tragic Taser Incident

Lorry Stratton, a propane service man, was traveling on SR 59 Tuesday afternoon when two hurricane officers with lights flashing passed him going up the hill.

Moments later Stratton pulled up on scene and saw Hurricane City Police Chief Lynn Excell and another Hurricane officer standing near a man who was undressed and holding his clothes in his hands. Stratton said he watched the officer say something to the man and the man took a step forward.

That is when the officer deployed his taser causing him to drop to the ground. Stratton says the man did not seem to be a threat. More HERE The police killed Cardall with 50,000 volts of electricity from their taser gun.
As Villager from the blog Electronic Village said, "Brian Cardall is the 21st person in America to die from taser-related shooting this year. Torture isn't limited to Dick Cheney. Taser-torture is occuring all over our nation."

As reported by
KSL TV, Taser International says "exposure to tasering is not risk free, but there's no conclusive evidence [it says] for a high risk of serious injury." But the death this week of a 32-year-old man who was tased by police in Washington County is again drawing questions from cardiologists who specialize in the electrophysiology of the heart.

While police have experienced tasing themselves and the manufacturer has tested the device on numerous volunteers, cardiologists still question the effects of the gun's jolt on the heart.

Dr. Brian Crandall specializes in the electrophysiology of the heart. He says making a blanket statement about a Taser's low risk when users often don't know the medical background of the person they're tasing.

Crandall said, "If someone is going to get tasered, they're not evaluating their medical history going into it, so you don't know those things in advance, so it's difficult to make any blanket statements."

Dr. Crandall says the balanced electrical rhythm of the heart can be fragile even in a normal heart, depending on what's happening at the moment inside the body.

In a heightened mental condition where anxiety is pervasive, circulating hormones and the nervous system have an impact on the heart. Crandall explained, "The heart is heavily nerved and the nervous system has a big influence on the heart and the heart rhythm."

Also, a lot depends what part of the body is targeted by the Taser user. For example, if the victim is hit in the chest. "The proximity would definitely play a role," explained Crandall. "It would hit the heart much more there than if it were at a further distance away."

Tasing is simply not a "one-for-all" answer in disabling someone.

In an officer's judgment when to use the device, The U.S. Department of Justice warns, "Abnormal mental status in a combative or resistive subject may be associated with a risk for sudden death."

Crandall said, "A sick heart is one that would be at high risk … but it can even happen in people with normal hearts that, given the right circumstances, that if the rhythm is thrown off and there is no immediate remedy to it, that it could be a life threatening situation."

Crandall says physicians know a lot about electrical currents used in medicine to restart a failing heart, but researchers need more extensive studies on the effects of tasing. More HERE

AAPP: It's clear Police training for handling mental illness cases is lacking, Clearly it's time for all Americans to join the effort to have congressional hearings on taser torture. Please consider signing the petition.

1 comment:

  1. I, personally can't see the point of Congressional electrocution hearings if the only result is a more information about how electrocution devices can be used to torture and kill people.

    It's like having a Congressional hearing on waterboarding so that we can determine the circumstances under which waterboarding is appropriate. Of course on every police for there are cops who don't follow the rules and other cops who will lie and obscure facts to keep from getting fellow cops in trouble.

    So, the mere fact that waterboards were around would guarantee that they would be inappropriately used by at least some police on a regular basis.

    What about electrocution devices and the admissibility of evidence? Should confessions obtained after someone has been shocked eight times be admissible in court? Did the person confess only to avoid additional electrical shocks. Did the person confess only because the police had demonstrated how much pain they could inflict on a person who is "uncooperative"?

    There are NO appropriate uses for torture devices and torture devices in the hands of police officers will inevitably be used and misused.

    Why not arm police officers with pitchforks? They're less expensive and if the subject is stabbed in the legs then the risk of death may be less than that associated with electrocution devices.

    Why not arm police with brass knuckles? Certainly the risk of dying associated with brass knuckles is less than that associated with a gunshot wound and perhaps less than that associated with electrocution devices, at 2.5% to 5% of the price of "tasers." Instead of deciding when "Tasers" should be used, we should compare these devices with all of the other torture devices that have been used throughout the centuries and decide which are more cost-effective and have the least risk of killing the person upon whom the devices are used.

    "To tase or not" is like saying, "To rape or not". There are many other alternatives (like consent) and we should not allow one international corporation to seemingly narrow our alternatives to "law enforcement or not".