New Report by American Heart Association Zaps TASER International

A new report released on-line by the American Heart Association magazine Circulation associates sudden cardiac arrest and death with the application of an electronic control device (ECD), more specifically a TASER International model X26.

Dr. Douglas P. Zipes, a cardiologist at the Indiana School of Medicine, conducted the study, which was peer reviewed for publication.  Zipes, coincidently has been paid over a half million dollars to testify as an expert witness against the police and TASER, according to TASER International.  Zipes has conceded he is paid $1200.00 per hour to testify as a witness against ECD’s, but he said that gave him no incentive to do the research.

Zipes studied eight cases from 2008, seven of which were fatalties, in which a TASER X26 was deployed and caused unconsciousness.  He concluded that TASER use can result in cardiac electrical capture and ventricular arrythmias, leading to cardiac arrest.  The eight cases Zipes studied were ones in which he was a paid defense witness.

As reported in the Vancouver Sun: “In the testimonies that I’ve given, when cross-examined by the TASER (lawyers), they would repeatedly say to me, ‘Well, Dr. Zipes, point to me to one peer-reviewed scientific article showing TASER produces cardiac arrest.’ And I could never do that because there never was one.  Now there is one.”

Although they continue to report over 500 TASER-related deaths in the U.S. since 2001, Amnesty International admits that in only 60 of the cases is the TASER reported as a cause or contributing factor in the death.  I’m unclear how they account the other 440 deaths to be the result of a TASER if the investigating medical examiners did not list the ECD as a cause.

In a 2008 report by Amnesty International, in the 98 cases studied for the report, 90% of the suspects were unarmed.  Pause for effect.  Yeah, that is whom the TASER was designed to control:  violently resistive, unarmed suspects.  If they were armed, they would be subject to lethal force.

TASER International states that worldwide there have been nearly 1,500,000 TASER deployments against suspects.  There are those who think the continued pressure of civil lawsuits and liability will eventually result in TASERs being removed from officers’ duty belts.

In my opinion, the number of deaths and serious injuries for suspects and for law enforcement would certainly be much higher if we went back to employing impact batons, marginally effective OC, and straight up hands-on fighting (though each still has valid uses), rather than use EDC’s for combative suspects.


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5 Responses to New Report by American Heart Association Zaps TASER International

  1. Alison Beil says:

    I thank Dr. Zipes from the bottom of my heart for publishing his research, and I hope all National leaders and Professionals who were victimized by false advertising of TASER INTERNATIONAL now take “in-loco-parentis” responsibility to sue that company for all sent-back “products”. I hope the US Patent Office revokes all TI’s licenses, for the sake of any “found” innocent homeless or financially destitute survivors, previously assumed to be unhurt, though wearing TASER burn scars. And I hope Taser International will OFFER pecuniary compensation packages for all the damages it aggravated, and listen to LEAP – Law Enforcers Against Prohibition. They can learn better now, not only about immoral DEA laws, but also what law-enforcement “tactics” firing publicly owned energy resources into human beings, without warning or consent, had on entire families striving to fund better education. What is the point of mother’s day if all men think they will never need to be their brother’s keeper? We who are hurt, and unjustly extorted in Canada of more than the $3.7 million on Commissioner Braidwood’s investigation, can’t chuck back the all the amps from 1,500,000 TASER deployments applied without even warning all the victims, or rendering nothing better than extra-or quasi-judicial capital punishment!

  2. Randall says:

    As an officer who has been kept safe from injury for nearly 20 years by use of a TASER in both SWAT and Patrol, I would like to thank the company for its products. The suspects taken into custody without injury should feel the same way.


  3. Alison Beil says:

    Randall, as a Canadian Teacher’s Federation Researcher, who has not been “kept safe” at all by Tasers, I ask you what about the Canadian “suspects” like myself, not ever taken lawfully into any police “custody”, except to be taken UNLAWFULLY to be tortured again, and again, and never brought before a Judge in the location in Canada where I was first tortured to provide identification of a similarly tortured, though innocent “suspect” victim? What of my privately extorted “legal and medical travel” costs for caring for and identifying two such victims of “accidentally” caused Post-Taser Attack blood infections by dirty darts, and severe burns and permanent scares and psychological wounds, that were never reported by any Police? They languished in my private property for more than six years while no credible medical authorities testified, other than Taser International’s non-university, non-educated “medical examiners” carted off many more such victims from morgues to crematoriums. Those I cared about are still alive, but still have no “unlawful use of United Nations prohibited, unconventional weapon use of force report” entered into their medical records for perpetuity. Thus nothing except their testimony, the photographs I engaged a privately hired RN to take of their burns, and the testimony of myself and our family doctor, explains that they were tortured without warning, nor summons, nor warrant or ever bringing any credible medical doctor to civil court to testify for them or myself as plaintiff of Taser-Torture. No one in my family was ever a “defendant” in a criminal court, except me, and I only was for attempting to report Torture, contrary to Section 269.1 of the Canadian Criminal Court to my Member of Parliament because her private security company (the RCMP) refused to accept prima-facie evidence from myself or the other victims. Now, by victim’s I mean all the university students that are rioting now, in Quebec, and elsewhere, because of tuition hikes, while Police Taser torture and extra-judicial executions continue! I would not mind so much if the Saanich BC cops who were so hopelessly insane and undereducated themselves, way back in 2005, while mislead by Taser International’s false claims and pretentious advertising, had actually returned to a legal process of serving even one real criminal a summons and bringing a witnesses to the criminal court in Victoria! Instead, they hired THEIR own “defence counsel” to perjure himself with just one affidavit to a judge who threw out his application for “dismissal with costs”. Am I to think the Saanich Police actually were looking for “BC BUD” (the most valueable export from that Province) to buy for themselves to smoke, without paying tax to Health Canada? I am the victim’s mother, and there was no “grow op” – not even really a sniff of the stuff when I searched. I still, eight years later have no reason to entrust any municipal cops, or even the RCMP! Who is going to provide for my grandchildren, now that I can’t gain employment, because I have been slandered and libeled and Canada is $3.7 million less wealthy for Commissioner Braidwood’s work on one case – that of Robert Dziekanski? We are all that much poorer now, less able to support our social assistance-program dependent refugee’s and returning vets that the USA will certainly not take, nor even for their own, provide any better educations or jobs for, nor any Canadian Heart Association, or Mental health-care services for.

  4. Alison Beil says:

    Dr. Zipes, if you read my comments here, and would rather testify for a plaintiff, at a rate of only $12.00 per hour, as my own publicly funded Medical doctors have, so that I could get my “Post-Taser Attack PTSD” disability Canada Pension, which is worth only about $5.o0 CDN per day, please feel free to contact me – I can get you an expert witness appointment on a contingency-fee basis to the BC Court of Appeal for the plaintiffs. And, if that is not successful – then probably a human rights award from the Supreme Court of Canada.

  5. Pingback: Evolution of the Police TASER |

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