Darryl Bain, 43, was tasered twice and died in the Long Island home of his mother in Coram, New York. [LINK]
An important fact with this incident is that Mr. Bain was reportedly high on cocaine at the time.
This circumstance led the first commentor to suggest that the tasering was justified. It's a reasonable suggestion, but only if the underlying assumptions are true.
My comment in response was this:
The “justification” is certainly an important aspect. But the justification needs to include consideration of the actual safety. If the claims of taser safety are not accurate, then preference for use of the taser (replacing other approaches) may itself be unjustified.
In cases where the subject is a drug addict, and is high on drugs, one needs to be very careful with the logic.
An addict probably takes drugs on a regular basis. Then one day the police arrive and taser him, and he dies. Obviously there will be cases where the subject coincidentally took a lethal overdose, and the taser hit just happened to coincide with a death already in progress.
But that’s ‘unlikely squared’. Unlikely that this day was the day that he happened to take a lethal overdose, and unlikely that the timing would line up so exactly.
So – keeping a close eye on the time axis – it seems that the restraint (including, perhaps, the taser) was a contributor, if not a cause, of death.
And if that is true, then perhaps they should not have assumed it was safe in these circumstances. Perhaps other approaches might be safer. Making such decisions is difficult when Taser International will not admit that the taser can cause or contribute to death, “directly or indirectly” (to quote the AMA).
Here is a post I made on the subject of drug addicts and taser “associated” deaths.
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