B’ham Police Waiting For Stun Guns

The cause, as with pay increases for the police, appears to be foot-dragging by the Mayor’s office. On this occasion, though, I hope the delay continues indefinitely. 

It’s not that I want the cops to be without a necessary tool; it’s that the Taser Guns, though marketed as a non-lethal way to control suspects, have killed a lot of people. The company that makes them is based in Arizona, and the Arizona Republic has investigated the weapons:

The Arizona Republic, using computer searches, autopsy reports, police reports, media reports and Taser’s own records, has identified 167 cases in the United States and Canada of death following a police Taser strike since September 1999. In 27 cases, medical examiners said Tasers were a cause, a contributing factor or could not be ruled out in someone’s death. In 35 cases, coroners and other officials reported the stun gun was not a factor. Below is a synopsis of each case. The Republic requested autopsy reports for all of the cases and so far has received 50. 

If these things kill people, fine. But market them as lethal lethal and train the officers to use them as lethal force. Do not market them so that officers think like this:

Allen Treadaway, president of the Birmingham Fraternal Order of Police, said Tasers offer police a non-deadly option to control suspects. Without such an option, he said, both suspects and officers are at a greater risk.

Tasers don’t offer a non-deadly option, they offer a most-of-the-time non-deadly option. The problem is that the officer, thinking Tasers are non-deadly, will use it in a situation that calls for non-deadly force. But there is a good chance that the force will in fact be deadly. So the officer – through no fault of his own – ends up using deadly force where such force is not justified.

The result? Yet another unnecessary killing. Surely that’s the last thing B’ham needs.

Explore posts in the same categories: Birmingham, Birmingham Crime, Police Issues

5 Comments on “B’ham Police Waiting For Stun Guns”

  1. Willie Says:

    My little village police all have them, at a cost of thousands of dollars, and the only use since getting them was on a dog. During the initial training session, one our finest had to go to hospital with heart irregularity. We have a retired police captain from a big city as chief, in a Mayberry by the sea town, equiping our force like it was in Bagdad.

  2. wheeler Says:

    “During the initial training session, one our finest had to go to hospital with heart irregularity.”

    there are several instances when cops have gotten seriously hurt during training. at one time i think there was even a lawsuit by the cops against the company: taser says they are fine, so the cops test them on each other but then get seriously injured. there may be a story on this in the arizona republic link.

  3. Southtrek Says:

    While they might not be exactly as advertised, they’re still a viable option – somewhere between a night stick and a Glock. Have a range of reponses to a situation is a good thing.

  4. wheeler Says:


    no arguments on the second sentence.

    the problem is that these things are, in a manner of speaking, a night stick that occasionally acts like a glock. so, even though the cop only intends to use the night stick, and even though only a night stick is needed, a person can end up dead.

  5. spyware Says:

    My name is Danny, I am 24 year old, and doing research on wordpress. I would like to show my stuff I have been here. Is that ok? I like your blog.

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