Keith Locke on tasers

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, July 20th, 2009 - 10 comments
Categories: greens, law and "order" - Tags: ,

Green MP Keith Locke investigates the claims of safety for tasers, and finds that other countries are concerned that the devices are not as safe as we have been told.

10 comments on “Keith Locke on tasers”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Of course tasers are not 100% safe. However, they are a much safer option than shooting people with guns.

  2. Ianmac 2

    Yes tricky. When I go berserk I think I would rather be tasered than shot with a bullet or two. After all police are trained to be lethal if they have to shoot.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Steven Wallace would probably still be alive if the policeman concerned had a taser rather than a gun.

    • felix 3.1

      Yeah well he’d probably be alive if the policeman concerned had a brain rather than a cabbage.

  4. outofbed 4

    A pretty amateurish video though. I thought
    Come on Greens get your act together

  5. It’s a shame that an outdated CBC story was linked to this page to justify false allegations based on scientifically-flawed data. TASER International stands behind the quality and safety of its products and is prepared to provide full cooperation and all information necessary to allay any concerns, which TASER International continues to maintain are without foundation.

    TASER International welcomes proper testing of its devices and has provided its factory test protocols to test laboratories in Canada so police agencies can avoid the scientific errors made by the CBC. Using proper test protocols will ensure that going forward decisions which affect officer and suspect safety are based on sound science and not based on scientifically-flawed data such as that presented by the CBC.

    According to the limited data provided to TASER International by the CBC from its testing, all 41 TASER devices tested by the CBC produced energy outputs consistent with the expected outputs published by TASER International. It also is apparent from the data that four devices each produced what can only be explained as an anomaly in peak current during one of six firings — the first firing of each device tested at 250 ohms — most likely the result of the testers failing to spark test the TASER device before the test a requirement made to all officers and agencies in the training as a check for proper function and to condition electronic components.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

    According to the data provided to TASER International by the CBC from its testing, all 41 devices tested produced energy outputs consistent with the expected outputs published by TASER International. It also is apparent that four devices produced what can only be explained as an anomaly in peak current during one of six firings – the first firing of each device tested at 250 ohms. It should be noted that the protocol for replicating human resistance for the TASER X26 varies from 400 ohms of resistance to 800 ohms. TASER uses 600 ohms as an equivalent load as that of humans for the TASER X26. All four of the devices which recorded an anomaly produced expected energy outputs when tested above the 250 ohm level.

    TASER International sent a letter to the CBC on December 2, 2008 (prior to the broadcast) explaining the probable reason for the four anomalies [letter is attached]. TASER International pointed out to the CBC that these anomalies most likely were the result of the testers failing to spark test the TASER device before the test a requirement made to all officers and agencies in the training as a check for proper function and to condition electronic components. This training is part and parcel of our certification training guidelines and protocols as well from our Training Bulletins as published on our website

    TASER International was told by the CBC on December 3 that the four devices were retested using the recommended spark test. Three devices produced energy outputs consistent with expected outputs published by TASER International on all firings; one produced a slight deviation on the initial firing. The CBC did not include the retest in its report and to date, despite our requests, the CBC and National Technical Systems (NTS) have been unwilling to share the data from the retests. The CBC and NTS also have refused to allow TASER to examine the devices in question and have been unwilling even to share the serial numbers of the devices in question.

    Sincerely, Steve Tuttle
    TASER International Vice President of Communications

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      Great steve. How do feel about the fact that your company’s products are increasingly used to gain compliance from citizens, rather than as a protection for law enforcement.

      I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

  6. frog 6

    thanks for posting this on the Standard. And thanks to Steve for fronting up to discuss the issue. I’m sure we can debate all day the nature and validity of the CBC testing, but what about the huge faulty return rate of the devices mentioned in the CBC piece but not covered in Keith’s video?

    More importantly, what about the growing use of tasers as a means of police forcing compliance, rather than as a means of protection, which in theory at least is their true purpose? Do we want to increase the violence level in our society at a time when it is actually decreasing?

    At least when a cop pulls a gun, you know the threat level has gone up dramatically and that (s)he is not likely to shoot you unless your and arsehole. I’d rather face that in a touchy situation than a taser, where the cop’s confidence gets overblown and isn’t taken for the serious nature that it is.

  7. frog 7

    Oh – and how about some links Steve, to where Taser International has formally rebutted the CBC’s claims, rather than just your word for it?

  8. As soon as the Green’s drop Keith Locke, the sooner it will increase its share of the vote.

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