Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Death by Taser

According to Amnesty Int.,  over 400 Americans were Tasered to death, since TASER International introduced their "more than likely to kill than not" torture weapon, and it appears Florida police can't get enough.

In, Tallahassee Florida, On April 26, 2011, Kevin Darius Campbell died after police Tasered him.

And on April 22, 2011, another Florida man, Adam Spencer Johnson,  with no prior history of arrest, who just turned 33-years old, died after police Tasered him.

Apparently, children are not off limits. An 11-year-old Florida girl  was stunned by a Taser in March 2008 after she swung at a deputy. The latter’s nose was bloodied. The girl was “taken to Florida Hospital East to have the Taser prongs removed.”

On October 14, 2007 (video below), Robert Dziekanski, a man who did not speak or understand English, died minutes after being shocked by Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the Vancouver International Airport.

Now, if you think TASER International's gotten away with murder...well, you're right.  In 2008, a federal jury in San Jose, California, found TASER International, Inc., responsible for  the death of 40-year-old Robert C. Heston who died after being Tasered in February of 2005.  The jury found TASER failed to warn police agencies that repeated TASER shocks can cause cardiac arrest. However, shorty after, the Judge threw out all punitive damages awarded in the case. 

On June 6, a jury had found TASER International 15 percent responsible for the death of Mr. Robert C. Heston during an arrest on February 19, 2005 in which five law enforcement officers discharged five (5) TASER M26 ECDs deploying six (6) cartridges. The jury also found that Mr. Heston's own actions, including toxic methamphetamine ingestion, were 85 percent responsible for his death.

"TASER International is obviously very pleased with Judge Ware's ruling with respect to punitive damages, which leaves $153,150 in net compensatory damages remaining," stated Doug Klint, General Counsel for TASER International. "The jury, in this case, clearly exceeded its ability to award punitive damages which are not permitted under California law on a finding of negligent failure to warn."

"Notwithstanding the favorable ruling on these motions, TASER International will continue to consider all appropriate legal channels available in this case, including filing an appeal," added Klint.

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