Over 1,000 Americans Died After Being Tased By Police

A new report says that 1,005 people died after being electrocuted by police armed with supposedly “non-lethal” Tasers since the early 2000s.

Reuters notes that there is a “lack of official data” on Taser use by police because there is no “government agency tracks fatalities in police incidents where Tasers are used.”

“Autopsies are not public in some states. And coroners and medical examiners use varying standards to assess a Taser’s role in a death. The language of their rulings ranges from detailed and rigorous to thin and opaque.”

According to Reuters, “a quarter of the people who died… were suffering from a mental health breakdown or neurological disorder. In nine of every 10 incidents, the deceased was unarmed. More than 100 of the fatal encounters began with a 911 call for help during a medical emergency.”

“It’s impossible to know precisely what role the Taser played in many of the deaths documented by Reuters. A review of more than 400 of the fatal encounters – those in which court documents provide a relatively detailed account of what happened – indicates Tasers were the only form of force allegedly used by police in about one in four of the cases. The rest involved both Tasers and other forms of force.”

(Source: Reuters, Photo Credit: Jason Bain/Flickr)

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