Anyone that has a simplified view of the taser issue should review Judge Braidwood's 550-page report. [LINK]
I think that his report might even be longer than this blog! Yikes.
I've just spent the past few hours skimming through the report (at approximately 500 words per minute, ahem...). I'll obviously be reading it more closely over the coming days and weeks.
The report covers a lot of territory.
Braidwood's recommendations are extensive, sweeping, uniformly practical, highly moral and ethical, and (if fully implemented) potentially quite useful.
I'm a bit worried about the "if fully implemented" part. To be honest, that seems unlikely.
Overall the report is good; possibly very good.
But not quite perfect.
I strongly disagree with the report's off-hand dismissal of the street-level punishment and intimidation aspects of day-to-day taser use in the 'Touch Torture' (drive stun) mode. If he (or anyone, anywhere) disagrees, then they need to answer The 'glowing cigarette' taser challenge [LINK]. If you can't answer this challenge, then you have to admit that the taser is (sometimes? quite often?) nothing more than torture, plain and simple.
The report didn't really delve into the technical aspects of the various tasers. Not even to the point of reviewing the X26 spec sheet to see where the waveform actually trails off as compared to the oft-quoted 100 microseconds and 100 micro-coulombs. Let alone considering the implications of the little DC pulse on the X26 and the 2003-coincidence-my-ass step function increase in the monthly taser death rate.
But these relatively minor points are overshadowed by the formal conclusion, directly contradicting the dismissed-with-prejudice (LOL) "expert" testimony of Taser International's many bought-and-paid-for experts witnesses, that the taser can CAUSE DEATH.
That is a huge and critical slap in the face to Taser International.
TASERS CAN CAUSE DEATH.
Taser International claims it isn't so.
Judge Braidwood didn't buy their story.
Which was the correct judgement.
Bless his heart.
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