Flagpole Online, April 29, 2015


On Sunday, Apr. 19, 2015, an article in the daily newspaper in Athens announced that Athens-Clarke County Police have already received a shipment of 145 tasers and will soon begin using them on the citizenry of this county.

Although taser electroshock devices are technically classified as nonlethal weapons, this means only that their purpose is to avoid fatalities, not that they are incapable of resulting in fatalities. Use of a nonlethal weapon may and sometimes does result in death or serious injury. In recent years, at least 600 Americans, perhaps as many as 1,000, have died suddenly, unexpectedly, or shortly after being shocked by tasers deployed by police. An even larger number of Americans have gone into cardiac arrest, stopped breathing, been rendered comatose or have been otherwise seriously or permanently injured by police deploying this supposedly nonlethal electrical shock device that inflicts excruciating pain.

This article explores the reasons why Athens-Clarke County should not have tasers and calls for strict written rules for the use of tasers in this county.