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Taser manufacturer: Don't aim at chest

Posted November 2, 2009

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— The company that makes Tasers has asked law enforcement officers across the country to avoid hitting people in the chest, and several North Carolina agencies said they plan to heed the warning.

A bulletin from TASER International, based in Arizona, asks officers to avoid the face, neck and chest and instead aim for the stomach or below.

Taser manufacturer: Don't aim at chest TASER: Don't shoot at chest

Company officials said they are concerned that attorneys will file an “excessive use of force claim against the law enforcement agency and officer and try to allege that the Taser played a role in the (death),” especially when someone goes into cardiac arrest.

“By simply lowering the preferred target zone by a few inches to lower center mass, the goal achieving Neuro Muscular Incapacitation can be achieved more effectively while also improving risk management,” the memo states.

“The recommendations they're giving us today seem reasonable,” Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said.

Leaders of local agencies, like Raleigh police and the North Carolina Highway Patrol, said they will incorporate the new policy in their training. However, officers’ safety comes first and hitting the chest is allowed if necessary, leaders said.

“We've adjusted our training, we're in the process of doing that now, and the next classes that come through our training, we'll teach them to use the preferred areas,” state Highway Patrol spokesman Capt. Everett Clendenin said.

Highway patrol leaders said they have 600 Tasers. They will alert troopers about the new guideline by e-mail and in future training sessions.

37 Comments

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  • BubbaDuke Nov 3, 2009

    By the time you decide you need to use the tazer, you don't care where it hits.

  • rargos Nov 3, 2009

    Aiming it at the groin would probably be more effective anyway ...

  • fishon Nov 3, 2009

    All drugs aren't illegal...genius. I never said they were just like I never said someone should get a bullet instead of being tased. My guess is the people being tased are not just walking down the street minding their own business.

    People should have some responsibility for their actions. Drink too much and don't listen to LEO commands? Take illegal drugs and don't listen? Take Legal drugs with the notice; this drug causes drowsiness, don't operate machinery or take with alchohol, and drive, and don't listen? I think the LEO's have a tough enough time doing their jobs and it's easy to second guess them when you are sitting at a computer.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 3, 2009

    "Company officials said they are concerned that attorneys will file an “excessive use of force claim against the law enforcement agency and officer and try to allege that the Taser played a role in the (death),” especially when someone goes into cardiac arrest."

    I understand their argument. But I don't agree with ANY lawsuit about its use. First, they could have used a gun instead. Would that cause a lawsuit? NO! Second, this would not have occured if the criminal had not been a CRIMINAL! In MY opinion, once you cross the line, you should be at the mercy of authorities. If you don't like that, don't cross the line!

  • Travised Nov 3, 2009

    Before the taser was an issue, they were still using guns and spray. The issue at hand was the power of the ammunition. The 9mm was cutting through walls and even flesh and hitting targets unintended. We were seeing stories on the news and in print of people getting hit when there was an exchange of fire and a round went through the wall of a house and struck a child.

    So the officers went to the .40's that didn't penetrate as far. Then they went an additional step and used fragmenting rounds. The problem with the fragmenting rounds is they don't always do the job. They also developed rounds that were non metal and did not damage your barrels, but would bruise the suspect. Even those can have their downside.

    So the Taser became the hot ticket item. Only downside in MY eyes, people with implants and neurological issues. You have no clue IF that exists when you are about to use it.

    You can't develop a "perfect" device for LEO's and security.

  • LocalBoy Nov 3, 2009

    Just dont tase them in the chest and you will be ok. Or here is a better idea, defuse the situation instead of being agressive and get the person to calm down so you dont have to resort to force and run the risk out being slapped with an excessive force suit.gandalla

    This may be the worst comment I have ever read on this website. As I told you before, get the training and show us how it should be done. I will even offer to be your FTO (Field Training Officer).

  • WooHoo2You Nov 2, 2009

    gandalla stated "Or here is a better idea, defuse the situation instead of being agressive and get the person to calm down so you dont have to resort to force and run the risk out being slapped with an excessive force suit."

    We cannot get world ambassadors to agree on the fact that a war between two nations is a bad idea with weeks / months / years of talking. How the heck are we going to get LEO to talk down a crack head down in a matter of seconds when someone's safety is at stake?!?

  • Worland Nov 2, 2009

    Taser them all you want officers. No reason you should suffer from a broken nose, arm, bruises, etc... because someone won't follow commands.

    We give officers a less lethal option to deal with unruly thugs, and people still whine. Like bashing people in the skull with a night stick was safer to both parties involved!

    I take it a lot of people here have been been attacked before. Talk? Yeah right. How long is the officer supposed to talk and dodge attacks? If the officer doesn't drop the unruly person with the taser, the officer faces physical harm, death and the potential to have their firearm taken in a scuffle. More needless health care costs for the tax payer. Better to tase the loser at a standoff distance.

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 2, 2009

    Or here is a better idea, defuse the situation instead of being agressive and get the person to calm down...gandalla

    Wow. How has no one ever thought of that? Just reason with the drunk crystal meth adic that is in a rage, and then all will be butterflys and rainbow happiness.

  • Ban One Nov 2, 2009

    Go back to good ol' non-lethal beatings with a night stick!!!!

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