KSPR News - The head of Springfield police is questioning whether a taser actually shocked a man who died following a confrontation at a motel. A medical examiner ruled Michael D. Hawkins death as an accident. ... Interim Springfield Police Chief Ron Hartman says the taser may never have sent electrical pulses into Hawkins' body. The examiner’s report showed only one probe hit his body. "If two probes aren't touching, it makes it hard for that system to be closed and work," Hartman said. [LINK]
News-Leader - A copy of the autopsy report provided to the News-Leader says Adelstein found a single, small wound from a taser probe on Hawkins's upper left chest, indicating only one of the device's two probes made contact. Interim Springfield Police Chief Ron Hartman said two probes must have contact with a person's body -- completing the circuit of electricity -- for a Taser to have full effect. [LINK]
The medical examiner's report, however, says an "area of taser penetration shows a 1 millimeter area of burn artifact with sclerosis of collagen." [ibid KSPR]
Okay, let me explain this for you.
Burning of flesh in the context of a taser dart injury is most likely caused by the taser current. After all, the darts are "propelled by compressed gas" (not explosives), so they should be stone cold (not hot) when they impact the subject. Right!!??!!
In cases where the second dart misses the subject, then the stray dart is quite likely to land on the floor or ground (hey, it's called gravity). If the floor or ground is reasonably conductive ["...in a crawl space..."], then the taser circuit can be completed by the ground path.
This mode of operation is variously denied by Taser International's own on-staff "experts" (deception?) and at the same time is mentioned in the Clover patent and a taser training video (if not elsewhere).
See [LINK pdf].
So what are we to conclude when the Interim Police Chief repeats the same misleading statement?
Deception or ignorance?
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