Monday, November 19, 2007

Gunslinger cops in Frederick, MD non-lethally taser another target. He's dead.

taser gunslingerDo police departments get Most Frequent User awards from Taser International? The Frederick County Sheriff's Department must be up there in the standings. CNN reports that a 20-year-old man died Sunday after being tasered by a sheriff's deputy. Cpl. Jennifer Bailey of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said deputies responding to a fight tasered one of four people, who then fell unconscious and was pronounced dead at Frederick Memorial Hospital. The shooter is on administrative leave with pay pending completion of an investigation.

This is the same Jennifer Bailey who insists that Cpl. Jody Maybush acted with “necessary and reasonable” force when he tasered a Tuscarora High School student November 8 after threatening another with the same the day before. She said, "There's no information that indicates he did anything inappropriate at all." She's a busy lady. No word yet on whether FOP attorney Patrick J. McAndrew considers today's tasering as “heroic” as he did the Maybush incident. Stay tuned.

The manufacturer of the electroshock weapons claims that post-tasering deaths are not caused by the taser itself, but by related police action or the victim's excited delirium. Video of the Vancouver airport taser death of a Polish man that showed the victim continuing to struggle after being shot with the device "is proof that the Taser device was not the cause of his death," the company said on its website. Despite that, deaths are increasing as tasers become more common. Which of the following statements makes any sense?

“The man continued to struggle after being tasered. This proves the taser didn't kill him.”

“The catfish flopped around on the bank after I landed him. This proves the fishhook didn't kill him.”

“The buck ran a hundred yards after I shot him. This proves the shotgun didn't kill him.”

Amnesty International reported that since June 2001, more than 150 people have died in the US after being subdued with a stun gun and has called for police to suspend use of the devices pending study of their risks. Back-to-back electroshocks, one resulting in death, are reason enough for an immediate moratorium on their use in Frederick, MD.