November 13, 2008
PITTSBURGH -- On Thursday, the Allegheny County District Attorney held the first meeting of the Use of Force Working Group to investigate the use of Tasers.
At the meeting, members of the group heard expert testimony on the use of Tasers.
The task force was formed after the death of Andre Thomas, who died in August after Swissvale police used a Taser to subdue him.
An autopsy on Thomas showed the Taser did not kill him, but m edical examiner Karl Williams said, "I believe we as a community need to continue to investigate incidents where lethal force is used. "
Peter Holran, who is with the Scottsdale, Ariz., company Taser International, testified in City Council chambers that research supports the claim that Tasers do not kill.
He said there are 17 studies on Taser devices and they dispute that the weapon has lethal potential.
Holran said, “In each of these studies, the conclusions have shown that electrical impulses from a Taser device is incapable of causing death in a human being."
Jay Kehoe, another Taser International employee with police experience, testified that he volunteered to have a Taser used on him 28 times.
Kehoe described the experience, "If you could imagine having the worst muscle cramps in your arms and legs. To me it was a very uncomfortable feeling. I could hear everything --feel everything."
The panel plans on having additional hearings in the future and will eventually make recommendations on police Taser use.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Thursday, November 13, 2008