By David L. Miller, Columbia:
The following tips are offered to the .005 percent of the citizens who are at risk to be shot by a Taser.
1. When the police turn on the lights, STOP.
2. Be respectful of authority.
3. Obey commands of the officer that are time-honored requests that assure the safety of you, your passengers and the officer.
4. Shut your mouth. Don't start into a rant that shows your great command of the French and English languages.
5. Don't step on the gas and take off, endangering everyone in your path.
6. Don't challenge the officer to a foot race.
7. Don't drive with a suspended or revoked license or an outstanding warrant.
8. Don't down a few beers or smoke a couple of joints to enhance your courage.
9. Obey the darned law.
Gregg Bush responds:
10. Don't be a grandmother during a routine traffic stop.
11. Don't be restrained by law enforcment while on the ground.
12. Don't be a grandmother in your own bed on an oxygen machine.
13. Don't be unarmed and put your hands on the hood of a police crusier.
14. Don't be in your own home and call for the paramedics.
15. Don't go to the YMCA.
16. Don't go through police training in Columbia, South Carolina.
Anyone think of any more?
My additional response:
Gregg Bush has it perfectly! Here's the back-story:
Tasers were originally sold as being essentially perfectly safe. Many less-informed folks still operate under this misconception. In fact, as even Taser International has now been forced to admit (Training package, 1 May 2010), tasers can sometimes, almost randomly, kill.
Those departments that still haven't 'got the memo' allow tasers to be used even in non-violent circumstances. Basically as a human cattle-prods to electro-torture citizens to, as so eloquently explained by Mr. Miller, "Be respectful of authority", "Obey (without question) commands of the officer...", and "Shut your mouth." Yes indeed and 'Sieg Heil!' to you too.
Even the common sense advice to "Obey the darned law", if ignored, should lead to arrest and charges. Not a session of police-administered street-level electro-torture.
The fact is that tasers are fully capable of causing death and must be treated as such. Existing Taser Use Policy, too often cut-and-paste from Taser International, typically 'permits' civil rights violations and increases the risk of death where it is honestly not warranted.
The old ethical maxim of 'First, Do No Harm' applies to this quandary. Tasers can do, and actually do!, a great deal of harm in the torture and risk of death. At the very least, the Taser Use Policies need to be vastly tightened to permit tasers ONLY when the subject has already exhibited explicit violence. But even then, why would the police risk THEIR lives to a weapon that is ineffective in 10 to 30% of the real-world deployments?