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Friday, April 09, 2010

Officer Suspended After Shocking Handcuffed Man, Taser Malfunction

Thursday, April 8, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Columbus Division of Police officer was in trouble on Thursday, accused of shocking a handcuffed man with a Taser.

An investigation revealed that the Taser malfunctioned and the shock lasted about four times longer than it should have, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.

In May of 2008, police officers responded to a call from witnesses complaining about an intoxicated man who was yelling and threatening to kill himself with a knife.

Police handcuffed the man and put him in the back of a cruiser, but surveillance video from inside the cruiser shows he continued to be uncooperative and belligerent, Kocot reported.

Officers repeatedly ordered the man to stop banging his head on the window and kicking the door.

The officer warned the prisoner if he continued, he will be shocked with a Taser, but the man continued to kick the door and yell, demanding to talk to the officer's captain.

The man was shocked with a Taser, but the blast lasted 22 seconds. It was supposed to last about five seconds, Kocot reported.

The officer told investigators the Taser was flashing random numbers, an indication the weapon was rebooting.

Experts said if a Taser is deployed when it starts to reboot, it keeps sparking or shocking, Kocot reported.

"We have not had any repeat type of incident out of it since," said Columbus Police Sgt. Brian Bruce. "It's just a one time thing."

Investigators discovered a faulty gasket caused the Taser to reboot. Since the incident, police replaced the gaskets in 315 Tasers, and said the malfunction remains an isolated incident, Kocot reported.

The division has trained officers on how to recognize if a Taser malfunctions and what to do if it happens again.

The officer involved in the incident received a 30-day suspension for Tasing a handcuffed prisoner, but he is appealing that decision.

1 comment:

Excited-Delirium blog said...

With respect to the taser continuing to electro-torture while it is rebooting, this is a blatent design flaw. It is absolutely trivial to design a system such that the logic polarities are chosen to default to the off state. It's nothing complicated. It's nothing difficult. Even if the idiot taser designers have forgotten to consider such simple circuit architecture issues, then they could still patch the software so that the first thing the reboot routine does is to clean up the hardware states. This would at least reduce the duration of the uncontrolled activation to less than a second.

Plaintiff attorneys can use this as evidence that the designers and management of Taser International are flaming idiots. This is indisputably clear evidence that they are bad designers and make repeated bad decisions and fail to consider basic processes. Any engineer making more than $10 an hour would know all this.