"...One officer fired his Taser while trying to arrest Mr. Bowe, 30, but since one of the machine's prongs did not make contact, the stun gun did not work. ..." [LINK]
Tasers can still pass their potentially-deadly current through the subject (victim) even if only one of the taser darts makes contact with subject (victim). The taser circuit can be completed via the ground path if the subject (victim) is touching the ground [duh!] and the 2nd taser dart, the one that missed, is also touching the ground [duh!]. Given the reliability of the Earth's gravity field, having both touch the ground is hardly farfetched.
This third mode of taser deployment (there's also a similar fourth mode) has been discussed previously. [LINK] [LINK]
The punchline in this case is that there should be people involved in this investigation that would already be perfectly aware of this 3rd taser deployment mode. But maybe they're not offering any suggestions. That in itself might be worthy of further investigation...
Imagine that. The taser excluded as a possible cause of, or contributor to, death based on some extraordinarily bad and incomplete information. And with just a faint whiff of 'something' (maybe, perhaps...).
Update - 'XX' commented (private e-mail): "From what I gather this third mode of action will only work on surfaces like grass and dirt, not inside a house as with this incident."
Thank you for your comment. It's very important to me that this blog is kept as accurate and complete as humanly possible.
If the taser deployments occurred inside a warm and dry house, with a finished floor surface, then your point would very likely be perfectly valid. Dry and finished floors are normally good enough insulators that it would make the one-dart, ground loop, 3rd taser mode essentially an open circuit. In other words, most likely ineffective (and probably harmless).
But the linked version of the news report stated, "...in the basement of a vacant house...".
Basements are sometimes cool and damp. It is not specified if the flooring in this basement was finished or bare concrete. Keep in mind that the taser output is 50,000 volts peak (open circuit) and is designed to jump a two-inch gap through clothing. So a thin layer of finish materials over damp concrete might not be sufficient to provide a reliable open circuit (depending on any number of variables).
The incident is typical in that the subject (victim) was supposedly going to die all by himself due to drugs and "excited delirium". But he chose to wait until the police arrived and he was tasered repeatedly. Although proving anything (with certainty) one way or the other is virtually impossible, this incident fits neatly into the taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry".
Thanks for your input.
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