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Wrongful Death and Injury Claims Raise Concerns about Taser Use by Law Enforcement

Posted on in Personal Injury

wrongful death claim, San Jose personal injury attorneys, taser use, personal injury claim, law enforcement officialsAmid the controversy erupting over officer-related shootings, people often wonder why law enforcement officials do not rely more on tasers as a way of subduing and disarming subjects. Unfortunately, a recent wrongful death claim in San Jose shows that in some cases tasers can prove just as deadly.

As police departments and policy makers debate the use of tasers in local districts, it is important for even law abiding San Jose citizens to be aware of the potentially deadly health effects.

San Jose Controversy over Taser Use

According to a September 2017 report by the Mercury News, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is at the center of a controversy concerning the use of tasers by local corrections officers. Tasers had been eliminated by the department more than two decades ago, after being used on a mentally ill man in custody who later died as the result of his injuries.

At the time, Smith was an investigator on the case. It ended up in a lawsuit in which the man’s parents received a settlement of $650,000, worth roughly $1.2 million today. When she recently pushed to have lasers reintroduced into the county jail as a less lethal option for dealing with overcrowding and gang related activity, critics cited the prior incident, claiming taser use did nothing to minimize the risks, while costing the city money.

Mercury News reports that concerns over the use of tasers among law enforcement officials is also creating controversy in neighboring communities. Activists are up in arms after a 40-year-old Oakland man tasered by police officers died as a result of his injuries on September 28, 2017. The man had fled a multi-vehicle accident and was attempting to board an AC Transit bus on Foothills Boulevard when he was detained. During the struggle, the man was tasered and later died at the hospital.

Effects of Being Tased

Taser International manufactures the tasers used by an estimated 17,000 law enforcement agencies. The company stands by its product and claims it helps to save both police officer and civilian lives.

In a Pacific Standard report, the company acknowledges tasers are not safe but simply ‘less lethal’ than guns. Numerous studies have been conducted concerning the potentially dangerous effects, which often depends on the person’s overall health. Potential adverse health impacts from tasers include the following:

  • Disruption of brain activity, causing Impairments in cognitive functioning that impact memory, reason, and judgment;
  • Cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, in otherwise healthy subjects, resulting in permanent impairments and requiring ongoing treatment;
  • Risk of cardiac arrest in those with pre-existing heart problems, with risk of sudden death.

It is important to be aware of your rights when pulled over or detained by law enforcement. To protect yourself, remain calm, cooperate with instructions, and do not resist arrest. If you or someone you love is a victim of police harassment or suffered injuries due to being tasered, contact Jachimowicz Law Group and request a free consultation to see how our dedicated San Jose personal injury attorneys can help.

Sources:

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/22/equip-jail-guards-with-tasers-old-taser-death-comes-to-life/

https://psmag.com/news/taser-dangers-effects-police-departments-crime-law-97366

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/28/oakland-police-investigating-in-custody-death-after-officer-used-taser/

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