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Multiple Taser shocks increase risk of death

Campaign Against the Taser
P.O. Box 10230
Dominion Road


November 20

Press Release

Multiple Taser shocks increase risk of death

The Campaign Against the Taser is seriously concerned about the double tasering of Edward Savaii in Porirua last week. Mr. Savaii has continued to feel the effects of the Taser for days afterwards.

‘Tasering someone more than once suggests not only that the Taser was not immediately effective on the first shock, but that it may have caused the individual to become more agitated, leading to further use of force,’ Marie Dyhrberg said. ‘In fact, the company that manufactures Tasers produces a training manual which advises officers to "be prepared to deliver more than one cycle from the Taser, and be prepared to use strikes, impact weapons and other uses of force in conjunction with the Taser to gain compliance". What happened in Porirua shows that this is the reality with the Taser.’

The company, Taser International, claims that multiple uses are safe. But questions remain about the harm and stress caused by subjecting someone already in an agitated state to multiple electro-shocks.

Marie Dyhrberg refers to an investigation by Amnesty International into 72 cases of death following Taser shocks. In at least 41 of these, people had received multiple Taser shocks. ‘The reported fatalities involve a disproportionate number of multiple discharges, an issue which Campaign Against the Taser believes requires urgent review by independent experts,’ Marie Dyhrberg said.

‘Jon Neilson, Police media officer, commented recently that the fact a Taser had been fired more than once in a single incident is not ‘relevant’. This is simply not true. Multiple tasering multiplies health risks, the risk of serious injury and death. Until we know more about these risks, the Taser trial should be halted,’ she said.


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