tasers + cobra stunlight
February 28, 2005 Monday 4:46 PM EST
Analysis: Taser safety studies urged
BYLINE: AL SWANSON
LENGTH: 1002 words
DATELINE: CHICAGO, Feb. 28
Human rights groups are calling for safety studies on Taser stun guns following the death of a 54-year-old man and a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 14-year-old boy who went into cardiac arrest after being shocked.
The incidents occurred within four days in February.
“We’re looking at that now,” said Superintendent Phil Cline. “We remain confident that the use of Tasers in Chicago has made our streets, our citizens and our police safer.”
Chicago officers have used Tasers about 160 times since they were deployed two years ago.
About 5,000 law enforcement and correctional agencies in the United States using or deploying Tasers find themselves dealing with questions over use of the disabling devices amid increasing concern over their safety.
The devices deliver an incapacitating 50,000-volt jolt through two barbed darts that can penetrate clothing up to 21 feet away. Tasers also can be used to stun without the darts. Nearly 100,000 have been sold in six years, and a shorter-range consumer pistol was introduced last fall selling for $999.
The Arizona Republic identified 90 deaths attributed to use of Tasers in the United States and Canada since September 1999. The Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference linked Tasers to 85 deaths, and Amnesty International, a human rights group that fights torture, issued two studies in November saying 74 people had died after receiving electro-shocks from Tasers since 2001.
“There is no question that Tasers are being overused at this point,” William Shultz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The New York Times.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police wants all police departments to take a look at Taser use.
A police chief in Oglesby in central Illinois delayed ordering Tasers after a 54-year-old Chicago man died and a teenager was hospitalized in critical condition with cardiac arrest the same week.
Police stunned Ronald Hasse, of Cedar Lake, Ind., Feb. 11 as he tried to kick and bite officers. He died after his heart stopped beating. A 14-year-old ward of the state suffered cardiac arrest three days earlier when officers shocked him after he punched out security windows at the Ulich Children’s Home, a residential group home for juveniles.
A lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court questions whether the officer knew using a Taser on a 6-foot, 2-inch, 220-pound teenager on medication would be dangerous. Police said the teen aggressively approached a sergeant with his fist and leg raised, but witnesses said the boy was sitting down when he was “tazed.”
“Tasers have been used by police officers against unruly schoolchildren, unarmed mentally disturbed or intoxicated individuals; suspects fleeing minor crime scenes and people who argue with police or fail to comply immediately with a command,” Amnesty International said.
The sheriff in LaSalle County, Ill., decided not to order Tasers after seeing a demonstration — even though Illinois State Police reported no problems during a six-month study.
“After seeing the Tasers and what they do, I had a feeling there would be a liability issue,” Tom Templeton told the LaSalle, Ill., News Tribune.
A state police committee will decide whether to purchase Tasers for Illinois troopers.
The Detroit City Council, under pressure from community groups, decided not to buy Tasers for its police department in 2003.
“There needs to be more study done on the effects of Tasers,” Ron Scott of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality told the Detroit News. “There are a lot of things to be concerned about, including the disruption of pacemakers or proper training for police officers.”
An internal-affairs investigation ruled four police officers in Toledo, Ohio, were justified in shocking a 41-year-old man five times. He died Jan. 31 after being shocked four more times by corrections officers.
An internal study by Madison, Wis., police found officers used Tasers 92 times in 83 incidents over an 18-month period. Officers made 47 arrests without use of force by threatening use of a Taser.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser International Inc. markets the device as a safe way to paralyze and subdue a violent person. “This report by Madison Police Department is another in a long list of independent agency analysis that demonstrates the benefits of Taser technology and the tremendously positive impact it is having on law enforcement,” Rick Smith, Taser’s International chief executive officer, said in a statement.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice plans to name an advisory committee of law-enforcement officers and trainers to develop guidelines for use of the device.
A spokesman for the ACLU of Illinois said police departments should examine how the new tools are being used.
The Chicago City Council authorized an evaluation of the Cobra StunLight, a baton-like flashlight that targets with a laser beam and shoots pepper spray. Community activists call for more specialized training on use of less-lethal weapons.
“Before an officer is issued a Taser, there should be training in resolving tense situations — particularly those involving emotionally or mentally impaired persons who seem to pose a danger to themselves or others,” Mary Powers, coordinator of Citizens Alert, said in a letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun-Times.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an animal-rights group, urged the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to cancel a 2-year study for the Justice Department on the effects of Taser stun guns on anesthetized live pigs.
PETA says the pigs would be shocked until they suffered cardiac arrhythmia.
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Second Largest Police Agency Rounds Out Top Five Agencies With M26s
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ — TASER International, Inc.(Nasdaq: TASR, TASRW), a market leader in advanced less-lethal weapons, announced today that the Chicago Police Department has purchased 200 ADVANCED TASER M26s and will deploy them to sergeants on a citywide basis in early October. The total value of the order is just over $150,000.
“This is a tremendous boost in our campaign to deploy ADVANCED TASERs on the belt of every patrol officer in North America,” said Rick Smith, CEO of TASER International. “Obviously given the size of the Chicago Police Department and its position as a law enforcement leader, this 200 unit order is a significant milestone for TASER International, Inc.We hope to replicate the 94% successful incapacitation rates and significant reduction in injuries to officers and suspects just as we have with the nation’s 2,700 plus agencies using TASER technology. Moreover, with the addition of the Chicago Police Department we now have all of the nation’s top five largest police departments using the ADVANCED TASER M26,” commented Mr. Smith. TASRW) provides advanced less- lethal weapons for use in the law enforcement, private security and personal defense markets. Our flagship ADVANCED TASER(R) product has reduced officer injuries by over 80% in the Orange County (FL) Sheriff’s Office, and reduced suspect injuries by over 67% in the Phoenix (AZ) Police Department. The ADVANCED TASER is saving lives, reducing liability and creating safer jobs in over 2,766 law enforcement agencies worldwide. Call 1-480-991-0797 or visit our website at www.TASER.com to learn more about the new standard in less- lethal weapons.
For further information, please contact Steve Tuttle, Director of Government Affairs, at 1-480-905-2006.
Note: High resolutions photos are available at: http://www.taser.com/pages/pr/highresimages.html
SOURCE TASER International, Inc.
PR Newswire US
February 11, 2005 Friday
Universal Guardian’s Cobra StunLight(TM) Featured On ABC TV as Non-Lethal Alternative to Dangerous Less-Lethal Weapons
LENGTH: 936 words
DATELINE: NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. Feb. 11
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc. (OTC:UGHO) (BULLETIN BOARD: UGHO) , a full service provider of security products and services to protect against terrorist, criminal and security threats to governments and businesses worldwide, today announced that its Cobra StunLight was featured in an ABC TV special report entitled, “Less Lethal – More Questions” by Alan Krashesky, nightly news anchor in Chicago. The report aired Tuesday evening at 10:00 pm.
The ABC anchorman introduced the report by noting that, “Police departments across the country — and in Chicago — are using less lethal weapons designed to stop an offender without killing him. But along with the growing acceptance of these weapons comes growing concerns.” Krashesky went on to cite Police officers who are saying that, “the use of these weapons is saving lives, both the lives of those being arrested and the lives of police officers. But there is a debate going on — within law enforcement and outside of it — regarding how and when these weapons are used and the fact that sometimes, less lethal is still deadly.”
After reviewing a series of dangerous and deadly less lethal weapons incidents involving projectiles and tasers, the developing controversy is fueling a growing interest in a “Truly Non-lethal Alternative.” In the closing portion of the report Krashesky said: “Chicago’s now considering alternatives. One alternative is the Cobra StunLight. It’s a flashlight that with the flick of a switch targets with a laser beam and shoots out as high-powered stream of pepper spray.”
“In addition to being the real non-lethal alternative, the Cobra StunLight replaces the standard flashlight, mace or pepper spray, and the baton — if used properly,” stated Michael Skellern, of Universal Guardian, the Cobra StunLight manufacturer.
Following the report Michael Skellern, Chief Executive Officer of Universal Guardian commented, “We are looking forward to meeting with the Chicago Police and Fire Commission in the next two weeks to develop a Cobra StunLight Pilot Program designed to place a safe and effective non lethal alternative in the hands of Chicago police officers.”
About Shield Defense International
Shield Defense International (SDI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc., designs and produces non-lethal weapons and systems that provide law enforcement, military, professional security and consumers with multiple use-of-force options to address appropriate threat conditions in today’s growing global security and terrorist environments. http://www.shielddefense.com/
About SecureRisks Limited
SecureRisks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc, is a London based global security company providing practical business risk solutions and strategic and tactical security to governments, multi-national businesses, brand owners and financial institutions worldwide. Secure Risks operates from regional hubs located in London, Los Angeles, Zurich, Caracas, Dubai, Kabul, Cape Town, Islamabad, Singapore, Jakarta, and Hong Kong. http://www.securerisks.com/
About Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc.
Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc. (UGHO) and its subsidiary companies provide a comprehensive range of security products, systems and services designed to protect against terrorist and security threats to corporate and government assets. From strategic and tactical security services, business risk solutions, interoperable security systems, to non-lethal defense products, UGHO companies cover a broad spectrum of security applications for government and industry from corporate operations on every continent. http://www.universalguardian.com/
Safe Harbor Statement:
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements pertaining to future anticipated projected plans, performance and developments, as well as other statements relating to future operations and results. Any statements in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may be considered to be forward-looking statements. Written words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intends,” “goal,” “objective,” “seek,” “attempt,” or variations of these or similar words, identify forward-looking statements. These statements by their nature are estimates of future results only and involve substantial risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc.’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from expectations. These risks factors include potential customer interest in the sale and production of Cobra StunLight(R) and Python Defender(TM).
Further information is available on the Company’s website: http://www.universalguardian.com/
|Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc.|
|4695 MacArthur Court., Suite 300|
|Newport Beach, CA USA 92626|
|+ 1 949. 861.8295 ext. 211|
|Michael J. Skellern, Chief Executive Officer|
|Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc.|
|4695 MacArthur Court, Suite 300|
|Newport Beach, CA USA 92626|
|+ 1 949. 861.8295|
CONTACT: Investor Relations, ext. 211, or Michael J. Skellern, Chief
Executive Officer, both of Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc.,
Web site: http://www.shielddefense.com/
Web site: http://www.securerisks.com/
Web site: http://www.universalguardian.com/
SOURCE Universal Guardian Holdings, Inc.