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Monday, March 23, 2009

'Excited Delirium' Discussed In Pittsburgh Taser Meeting

March 23, 2009

PITTSBURGH -- A government meeting Monday morning focused on the use of Tasers by police in Allegheny County.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala assembled the group of professionals from police, law and medical communities, to come up with a standard rule for police use of Tasers in the Pittsburgh area.

In previous meetings, several health professionals and representatives from Taser manufacturers testified that the devices are incapable of killing people.

The investigation was prompted after Andre Thomas, 37, died after Swissvale police used Tasers on him in August.

An autopsy revealed, however, that the Taser did not cause Thomas' death. A medical examiner ruled that he died from a condition called excited delirium. On Monday, a physician testified there is no clear way to tell who has it.

Following the death, Zappala and Allegheny County formed the committee to investigate the physical effects of being stunned by a Taser.

The panel has been meeting at regular intervals since last year. They plan to have a final report for Zappala by late May or June.

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