Tasers And Drugged Up Perps Don't Mix

Like that should come as some sort of surprise, but still people keep unexpectedly dieing after getting 10+ Taser shocks in short order. The latest..

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The autopsy report of a man repeatedly stunned by police officers using Tasers labeled the man’s cause of death as “excited delirium” and not the direct result of the shocks.

State medical examiner Dr. Bruce Levy said in a statement released Friday that Patrick Lee’s manner of death could not be determined.

The 21-year-old died Sept. 24 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being shocked up to 19 times two days earlier by police.

“There is no evidence that any of the restraint techniques used that night, including the Taser, directly caused Mr. Lee’s cardiac arrest and death,” Levy said. “The combined effects of multiple applications of the Taser, pepper spray and physical force on someone in excited delirium are unclear and require additional research.”It’s pretty clear that the effects of all that non-lethal firepower aren’t designed to be “good” for you either…

From eyewitness accounts of the encounter Lee was said to be “out of it,” and was definitely acting crazy (marijuana and LSD were found on his person and in his system) – running around naked in the parking lot of a nightclub tends to flag you as a nut case to police.

What’s most odd about the coroner’s statement is that Taser International has done the research. Unfortunately they don’t think it’s such a hot idea to repeatedly Taser persons showing symptoms of excited delirium.

The company that makes Taser Guns is under investigation, along with two Metro Police officers who used the tasers on a Nashville man who died after being hit with the devices. But the manufacturer of the guns said it send a warning that might have prevented the death of Patrick Lee.

…A bulletin sent from Taser International in June was forwarded to Metro officers who are certified to use the devices. The bulletin was in the form of an e-mail, and warned against prolonged, or extensive multiple discharges, especially when dealing with persons showing symptoms of excited delirium. These subjects are at significant and potentially fatal health risks for further prolonged exertion and/or impaired breathing.

It was not immediately known if the two officers who tasered Patrick Lee read that e-mail warning.Clearly Lee placed himself in a position to be in confrontation with the police, and in his drugged up state he perhaps reacted to police efforts to restrain him in ways which required even more drastic response, but 19 shocks with the Taser (in a addition to batons and pepper spray) to subdue a 160 lb. man seems excessive.

Perhaps my perspective is distorted by too many viewings of Cops. They never seemed to have a problem taking down the crazy, shirtless guy (a Cops staple) with a little coordinated beat down. While they may have been battered and bruised, all those guys are still alive…

From trash to cash
Jay Tea and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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  1. Tom Dunson October 18, 2005
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