Tasers Can Be Deadly Weapons
Law enforcement frequently describes Tasers as being “less-lethal”, almost benign. The truth is very different.
Tasers are weapons that cause momentary paralysis. When law enforcement is faced with a citizen that does not choose to comply with arrest or detainment, Tasers are frequently employed. However, these weapons should be deployed only when absolutely necessary, such as when a citizen is acting out threateningly, or when an officer reasonably believes it is necessary for defense of themselves or others. Despite the fact that Tasers are commonly known as “less-lethal”, if these devices are misused, they can have fatal consequences.
On July 4th in Wilson, Oklahoma of last year, officers Joshua Taylor and Brandon Dingman used their tasers approximately 50 times on an unarmed man who had been previously acting in a “disorderly” fashion. 28 year old Jared Lakey, the victim in this case, had been observed running down a street and screaming, an act that could potentially be cause for concern, but had no likelihood of him having committed any serious crime.
Once called to the scene, these officers resorted to excessive and unnecessary use of Tasers, which were the leading causes of Lakey suffering several heart attacks leading to his unjust demise just two days. Officer Dingman, according to court documents, tased Lakey approximately 23 times, while Officer Taylor tased him 30 times.
The officers turned themselves in after warrants were issued, however they were released on $250,000 bond for a second-degree murder charges. The officers claimed that they used their Tasers on Lakey 4 times instead of the 50 that ultimately took his life. The difference in evidence versus the word of law enforcement is very stark and demonstrates that law enforcement officers can easily twist the reality of an incident with just their words. Lakey’s family has rightfully filed two lawsuits for the injustice done to Jared Lakey.
It is important to note that Tasers are weapons. Though their purpose is to gain control over a suspect in a difficult situation, the massive impact of these dangerous devices should never be forgotten. The stun of a Taser is powerful enough to stop someone’s heart, as well as induce a heart attack. Law enforcement officers have been known to use excessive force upon those who resist. When used improperly, a Taser can amount to police brutality.
There are reported cases every year of Tasers taking the lives of victims, yet not everyone fully understands the mortal danger these devices truly carry. Law enforcement officers are issued instruments of death, and it is vitally important that they be trained in how those weapons can be used appropriately. When officers use their weapons improperly, they should receive severe consequences.