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Tasers Implicated In Far More Deaths Than We Previously Thought

tedlistens writes: Independent studies have showed that when deployed correctly — according to “guidelines” manufacturer Axon offers to police — Tasers reduce injuries among both officers and the people they subdue. But amid a lack of official data about their use and effects, a new report by Reuters found 1,005 incidents in the U.S. in which people died after police stunned them with the electrical weapons, most since the early 2000s. The Taser was ruled to be a cause or contributing factor in 153 of those deaths — far more than the 24 cases the company has counted. Reuters found that 9 in 10 of those who died were unarmed and one in four suffered from mental illness or neurological disorders; In 9 of every 10 incidents reviewed, the deceased was unarmed; More than 100 of the fatal encounters began with a 911 call for help during a medical emergency. Earlier this year, Axon rebranded, dropping the name Taser International to underscore its focus on body cameras and digital evidence, which is meant in part to add new transparency to fatal police encounters.

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