On Friday a 15 year old boy was Tasered by police in Detroit following a traffic stop and a short foot chase. Police say the teen was Tasered while struggling with officers inside an abandoned Detroit house about a kilometre from where officers stopped a vehicle for having an expired  license plate. The youth shouldn’t have run away and resisted arrest, if he did resist arrest; we only have the cops word for that. But I can’t help thinking what a tragedy it is that a 15 year old boy is dead because of an expired license plate and driving under age. Who knows whether or not race played a role in this or incompetence or whatever. I know this; the death toll due to these “life saving Tasers” is rising all the time. This means that more and more police are using them more and more often so the the odds of deaths rising can be correlated to the number times the Taser is “applied to a person”. That’s what the people who make Tasers and the cops will tell you. (see RCMP vs Polish visitor in Vancouver) The other side of this is; the damn things just aren’t as safe as they’ve been  made out to be. It seems to me that we had less deaths when they used nightsticks and pepper spray followed by the gun if necessary. I think the rise in deaths due to tasering is a good reason for them to be re-evaluated by the governments of Canada and the U.S before anyone else dies because of these devices.

                                               Jeff Allan