Non-Lethal Weapons News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on non-lethal weapons
A group of American diplomats stationed in Havana appear to have symptoms of concussion without ever having received blows to their heads, medical experts have found. The diplomats originally were said to have been victims of a “sonic attack,” a possibility that the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly ruled out. The experts’ report, published late Wednesday in the journal JAMA, does not solve the mystery, instead raising even more questions about what could have caused the brain injuries. The incidents occurred in 2016, when 18 of the 21 affected diplomats reported they heard strange sounds in their homes or hotel rooms. All but one reported immediate symptoms: headache, pain in one ear, loss of hearing. Days or weeks later, other symptoms emerged. The State Department asked researchers at the University of Pennsylvania to investigate. Their report confirmed neurological problems in the diplomats, including signs of what appear to be concussions. The study’s lead author, Dr. Douglas H. Smith [said], “This is ... concussion without blunt head trauma.” Like concussion patients, some of the diplomats improved on their own, while others recovered only after therapy. Dr. Smith and his colleagues do not think audible sound caused the injuries. Perhaps, they speculated, a device that produced another sort of harmful energy also produced an audible sound. Low-frequency infrasound, high-frequency ultrasound and microwaves have all been shown to damage the brain, the researchers noted.
In the most detailed study ever of fatalities and litigation involving police use of stun guns, Reuters finds more than 150 autopsy reports citing Tasers as a cause or contributor to deaths. Many who die are among society’s vulnerable – unarmed, in psychological distress and seeking help. As her husband stalked around the back yard, upending chairs and screaming about demons, Nancy Schrock ... dialed the police. “He needs to be in the hospital,” she told a 911 dispatcher. Tom Schrock had struggled with depression ... throughout their 35-year marriage. Police had visited the family’s [house] more than a dozen times. Typically, Tom was taken to the hospital, medicated and sent home after 72 hours. Not this time. Three officers answered the call, categorized by the dispatcher as a disturbance involving an unarmed man with mental health issues. Nancy took them through the house to the back; Santiago Mota, a veteran cop, drew his Taser. As officers came out the back door, Tom strode toward them. Mota fired the Taser. Tom buckled, then retreated. Mota followed, pressed the electric stun gun to Tom’s chest and fired again. The 57-year-old collapsed [and] never regained consciousness. “I called for help,” Nancy said. “I didn’t call for them to come and kill him.” Reuters documented 1,005 incidents in the United States in which people died after police stunned them with Tasers. 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 is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist. House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way. The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones. Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed ... to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones. Even “less than lethal” weapons can kill though. At least 39 people have been killed by police Tasers in 2015 so far. The Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department ... is hiding a full accounting of how many drone missions they’ve flown since 2012. The FAA notes 401 drone “operations” performed by the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department from 2012 to September 2014, while [County Sheriff Bob] Rost and [drone pilot Al] Frazier maintain just 21 missions have taken place. “We don’t make a practice of snooping on people,” Rost said recently. However, Rost’s statement was followed by an admission that the sheriff expects drones to be used in criminal investigations in the near future. Few noticed when HB 1328 passed with a clause allowing them to be armed.
Note: For more along these lines, read about the increasing militarization of police in the U.S. after 9/11. Also, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about ""non-lethal weapons", or read about how sophisticated and deadly some of these weapons technologies can be.
The U.S. Air Force gave official notice to Congress [on May 14] that it intends to dismantle the $300 million High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program in Gakona this summer. The shutdown of HAARP ... will start after a final research experiment takes place in mid-June, the Air Force said in a letter to Congress. David Walker, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology and engineering, said this is "not an area that we have any need for in the future" and it would not be a good use of Air Force research funds to keep HAARP going. "We're moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which the HAARP was really designed to do," he said. "To inject energy into the ionosphere to be able to actually control it. But that work has been completed." Comments of that sort have given rise to endless conspiracy theories, portraying HAARP as a superweapon capable of mind control or weather control, with enough juice to trigger hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. Scientists say all of that is nonsense, and that the degree of ionosphere control possible through HAARP is akin to controlling the Pacific Ocean by tossing a rock into it. Built at a cost of more than $290 million, the site has 180 antennas on 30 acres that are used to direct energy into the ionosphere, which is 55 miles to 370 miles above the Earth, and monitor changes in the flow of charged particles. Stevens was the godfather of HAARP, which he helped start two decades ago with annual earmarks slipped into the defense budget.
Note: Why does this article contradict an article in the same newspaper nearly a year earlier stating that the HAARP facility had already closed? And why would the military spend nearly $300 million on a project just to study the atmosphere? Don't miss our excellent webpage on HAARP at this link, which presents powerful, reliable evidence that HAARP is used for weather control and much more.
Advances in neuroscience are closer than ever to becoming a reality, but scientists are warning the military - along with their peers - that with great power comes great responsibility. A future of brain-controlled tanks, automated attack drones and mind-reading interrogation techniques may arrive sooner than later, but advances in neuroscience that will usher in a new era of combat come with tough ethical implications for both the military and scientists responsible for the technology, according to one of the country's leading bioethicists. "Nobody knows where that technology is going" ... says Jonathan Moreno, author of Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century. "The goals of national security and the goals of science may conflict." Moreno says there is a fine line between using neuroscience devices to allow an injured person to regain baseline functions and enhancing someone's body to perform better than their natural body ever could. The Brookings Institution's Peter Singer writes in his book, Wired for War ... that "the Pentagon's real-world record with things like the aboveground testing of atomic bombs, Agent Orange, and Gulf War syndrome certainly doesn't inspire the greatest confidence." The staggering possibilities are further along than many think. There is already development on automated drones that are programmed to make their own decisions about who to kill. Other ideas that are closer-than-you-think to becoming a military reality: Tanks controlled from half a world away, memory erasures that could prevent PTSD, and "brain fingerprinting" that could be used to extract secrets from enemies. Should soldiers have the right to refuse "experimental" brain implants?
Note: For key major media articles revealing the disturbing power of these exotic weapons, click here. For an abundance of powerful, reliable information on mind control, see our information center at this link. For highly revealing major media articles on secret government mind control programs, click here.
If terrorists ever target Fargo, N.D., the local police will be ready. In recent years, they have bought bomb-detection robots, digital communications equipment and Kevlar helmets, like those used by soldiers in foreign wars. For local siege situations requiring real firepower, police there can use a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret. Until that day, however, the menacing truck is mostly used for training runs and appearances at the annual Fargo picnic, where it’s been displayed near a children’s bounce house. Fargo, like thousands of other communities in every state, has been on a gear-buying spree with the aid of more than $34 billion in federal government grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The federal grant spending, awarded with little oversight from Washington, has fueled a rapid, broad transformation of police operations in Fargo and in departments across the country. More than ever before, police rely on quasi-military tactics and equipment. A review of records from 41 states obtained through open-government requests, and interviews with more than two-dozen current and former police officials and terrorism experts, shows police departments around the U.S. have transformed into small army-like forces. Many police, including beat cops, now routinely carry assault rifles.
Rather than batons or rubber bullets, some police departments have started using an intense beam of sound to manage protesters, but the annoying tone has drawn criticism from some who say it can cause permanent damage. More U.S. police and emergency-response agencies are using the so-called Long-Range Acoustic Devices ... for crowd control. The leading manufacturer, LRAD Corp. of San Diego, said the product was developed as a nonlethal option for military use. Some people who have been on the receiving end call the devices "sound cannons." A woman is suing the city of Pittsburgh claiming the piercing tone from a police blaster during the 2009 G-20 summit permanently damaged her hearing. There were reports that New York City police used the punishing tone on protesters. The devices were developed for the U.S. Navy. They have also been used to deter pirates from attacking cruise ships. The products range from a 15-pound, battery-operated, hand-held unit to a 320-pound device with a range of nearly 2 miles. Even the smallest unit, the LRAD 100X, emits as much as 137 decibels at 1 meter, which is louder than a jet takeoff at 100 meters.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on so-called "non-lethal" weapons, click here.
A bizarre spate of television presenters dissolving into on-air gibberish has sparked claims that the U.S. military could be to blame. In four high-profile cases, the latest involving fast-talking Judge Judy, the presenters have started off speaking properly but have then descended into undecipherable nonsense - looking confused and unstable. The frequency of the 'attacks' - and the fact that recorded examples of the mental meltdowns have been popular on websites - has led to conspiracy theorists pointing the finger at shadowy government experiments. A popular theory being circulated online blames the U.S. Military’s supposed research into using microwaves as a mind control weapon. America has never admitted conducting such research but proponents say the effects - produced by microwave signals stimulating the brain with fake images and voices - exactly mimic those displayed in the recent on-air breakdowns. Serene Branson's garbled Grammys report became an internet sensation, while WISCTV's Sarah Carlson suffered a similar meltdown in January. Judith Sheindlin, the fast-talking judge on Judge Judy, was taken to hospital ... after she began speaking a nonsensical string of words during a live recording of her courtroom TV show.
Note: We don't normally use the UK's Daily Mail as a reliable source, but as the video included in this article clearly demonstrate something highly unusual, we've included it here. Another video of this highly strange phemomenon is available here. There is a possibility that some kind of HAARP technologies may be used in doing this. For more, click here. For reliable, verifiable information on secret government mind control programs, see the powerful two-page summary available here.
The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program. Over the past two years ... Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own. Behind Dimona’s barbed wire ... Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms. The operations [at Dimona], as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program. In recent days, the retiring chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, Meir Dagan ... told the Israeli Knesset in recent days that Iran had run into technological difficulties that could delay a bomb until 2015. That represented a sharp reversal from Israel’s long-held argument that Iran was on the cusp of success. The biggest single factor in putting time on the nuclear clock appears to be Stuxnet, the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever deployed.
Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on hidden realities of the "Global War on Terror", click here.
Some 500 dead and dying birds fell onto a Louisiana highway on Monday, just three days after a similar incident in Arkansas. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries [said] that necropsies on some birds indicated many "exhibited traumatic injuries." Two dozen of them had head, neck, beak or back injuries. In Arkansas, preliminary tests showed the blackbirds there, as many as 5,000, died after massive trauma. "The birds suffered from acute physical trauma leading to internal hemorrhage and death," the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said in a statement. "There was no sign of chronic or infectious disease." The injuries were primarily in the breast tissue, with blood clotting and bleeding in the body cavities. Dr. George Badley, the state's top veterinarian, told NBC News that the birds died in midair, not on impact with the ground. That evidence, and the fact that the blackbirds fly in close flocks, suggests they suffered some massive midair collision, he added. That lends weight to conclusion that they were startled by something. The commission noted that "loud noises were reported shortly before the birds began to fall from the sky," adding that blackbirds seldom fly at night. The commission also is trying to determine what caused the deaths of up to 100,000 fish over a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near a dam in Ozark , 125 miles west of Beebe. The fish were discovered on Dec. 30.
Note: Startling does not cause internal hemorrhage and massive trauma. The birds "suffered from acute physical trauma" and "died in midair." This sounds like a secret experiment from the government's HAARP program might be involved. For reliable information on the disturbing HAARP program, click here.
Protesters marching at the G20 summit next month may be greeted with ear-splitting “sound cannons,” the latest Toronto police tool for quelling unruly crowds. Toronto police have purchased four long-range acoustic devices (LRAD) — often referred to as sound guns or sound cannons — for the upcoming June 26-27 summit. Purchased this month, the LRADs will become a permanent fixture in Toronto law enforcement, said police spokesperson Const. Wendy Drummond. “They were purchased as part of the G20 budget process,” Drummond said. “It’s definitely going to be beneficial for us, not only in the G20 but in any future large gatherings.” But critics say they are really non-lethal weapons and infringe upon protester rights. LRADs can emit ear-blasting sounds so high in frequency they transcend normal thresholds of pain. LRADs are being increasingly employed as a crowd-control device and at last year’s G20 summit in Pittsburgh, police used them on protesters before deploying tear gas and stun grenades. The acoustical devices can also be pointed at specific targets, transmitting a “laser” of sound that is less aggravating for anyone standing outside its beam.
Note: This is the sort of thing on which the $1 billion in security preparations for the upcoming G8 and G20 meetings is being spent. For revealing reports from reliable sources on the grave risks posed by so called "non-lethal" weapons, click here.
The latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. They are looking for contractors to provide a "Multi-Robot Pursuit System" that will let packs of robots "search for and detect a non-cooperative human". Given that iRobot last year struck a deal with Taser International to mount stun weapons on its military robots, how long before we see packs of droids hunting down pesky demonstrators with paralysing weapons? Or could the packs even be lethally armed? Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies. "The giveaway here is the phrase 'a non-cooperative human subject'," he told me: "What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed. We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed." Noel Sharkey, an AI and robotics engineer at the University of Sheffield, says "This is a clear step towards one of the main goals of the US Army's Future Combat Systems project, which aims to make a single soldier the nexus for a large scale robot attack. Independently, ground and aerial robots have been tested together and once the bits are joined, there will be a robot force under command of a single soldier with potentially dire consequences for innocents around the corner."
Note: For many revealing reports of new weaponry technologies in the planning and development stages, click here.
Whatever was behind the "sonic attacks" experienced by US government personnel in Havana, Cuba, starting in late 2016 remains a mystery - but a new study published Tuesday looks inside the workers' brains for clues. MRI brain scans from 40 patients - 23 men and 17 women - showed variations in brain structure and functional connectivity ... when compared with 48 other adults. "There were group differences all over the brain," said study author Ragini Verma. "Especially in an area called the cerebellum, which is also implicated in the kind of clinical symptoms that most of these patients were demonstrating, which is balance, eye movement, dizziness, etcetera." Differences in connectivity were also observed in the brain's auditory and visuospatial areas. These patterns don't fit a clear picture of a specific disorder. "It certainly does not resemble the imaging presentation of traumatic brain injury or concussion, although they present with clinical symptoms which are concussion-like," Verma said. "The sounds were often associated with pressurelike or vibratory sensory stimuli," according to the study. One patient reported hearing two 10-second pulses, while others said they could hear the sound for more than 30 minutes. State Department and federal investigators have testified that they were unable to determine the source or cause of the ailments in Havana, stating only that they "were most likely related to trauma from a non-natural source."
Note: Read more on these mysterious "sonic attacks." Sound weapons developed for war and increasingly used against civilian populations are well-documented. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non lethal-weapons from reliable major media sources.
Tasers have been misused or linked to accusations of torture or corporal punishment in U.S. prisons and jails. Reuters identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars, nearly all since 2000 – 10 percent of a larger universe of more than 1,000 fatal law enforcement encounters in which the weapons were used. Of the 104 inmates who died, just two were armed. A third were in handcuffs or other restraints when stunned. In more than two-thirds of the 70 cases in which Reuters was able to gather full details, the inmate already was immobilized when shocked. Tasers have “high potential for abuse” behind bars, said U.S. Justice Department consultant Steve Martin, a former general counsel for the Texas Department of Corrections who has inspected more than 500 U.S. prisons and jails. “When you inflict pain, serious pain, for the singular purpose of inflicting pain ... it meets the definition of the legal standard of excessive force, but it’s also torturous.” San Bernardino County paid $2.8 million this year to nearly 40 current and former inmates to settle a series of lawsuits that included allegations Tasers were regularly used for torture at the county’s West Valley Detention Center. The suits alleged an array of abuses at the 3,347-bed jail ... including guards stunning inmates in the genitals. Inmate John Hanson testified he was shocked nearly five times a day from February to March 2014 in “surprise attacks” as he delivered meals to inmates. Deputies were “truly enjoying the control and affliction of pain,” he said.
Note: For lots more, see the entire Reuters series on Tasers on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption and non-lethal weapons.
Mike Beck, a National Security Agency counterintelligence officer, could always bang out 60 words a minute. But in early 2006, Beck struggled to move his fingers at their usual typing speed. Soon after, a brain scan showed why: Beck had Parkinson's disease, the second-most-common neurodegenerative disorder in the United States. He was only 46 - unusually young for Parkinson's. No one in his family had ever had it. Then, in an unsettling coincidence, he learned that an NSA colleague — a man he'd spent a pivotal week in 1996 with in a hostile country — had also just been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Eventually, Beck read a classified intelligence report that convinced him that he and his co-worker on the trip were likely the victims of a covert attack that led to their illnesses - and that has prompted a highly unusual workers' compensation claim. Beck believes that while he and his colleague were sleeping in their hotel rooms, the hostile country, which he cannot name for security reasons, deployed a high-powered microwave weapon against them, damaging their nervous systems. For the last four years, Beck, 57, has been trying to persuade the Labor Department to award him 75 percent of his salary, or about $110,000 a year. But the Labor Department won't approve Beck's request without solid evidence that he was targeted. In Beck's case — short of obtaining proof from the hostile nation's spy service — he'd need the endorsement of the NSA, which has refused to provide it.
Note: To learn about how electromagnetic weapons can be used to torture anyone without legal recourse, listen to this revealing interview. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and non-lethal weapons.
After years of testing, the Active Denial System -- the pain ray which drives off rioters with a microwave-like beam -- could finally have its day. The Army is buying five of the truck-mounted systems for $25 million. But the energy weapon may face new hurdles, before it's shipped off to the battlefield; a new report details how the supposedly non-lethal blaster could be turned into a flesh-frying killer. The announcement arrives on the same day as a new report from less-lethal weapons expert Dr. Jürgen Altmann that analyzes the physics of several directed energy weapons, including Active Denial, the Advanced Tactical Laser (used as a non-lethal weapon), the Pulsed Energy Projectile (a.k.a. "Maximum Pain" laser) and the Long Range Acoustic Device (a.k.a. "Acoustic Blaster"). Dr. Altmann describes the Active Denial beam in some detail, noting that it will not be completely uniform; anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the center will experience more heating than someone at the edge. And perhaps more significant is his thorough analysis of the heating it produces -- and the cumulative effect if the target does not have the chance to cool down between exposures. In U.S. military tests, a fifteen-second delay between exposures was strictly observed; this may not happen when the ADS is used for real. "As a consequence, the ADS provides the technical possibility to produce burns of second and third degree. Because the beam of diameter 2 m and above is wider than human size, such burns would occur over considerable parts of the body, up to 50% of its surface."
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, that secretive band of Pentagon geeks that searches obsessively for the next big thing in the technology of warfare, is 50 years old. So what's hot at DARPA right now? Bugs. The creepy, crawly flying kind. The Agency's Microsystems Technology Office is hard at work on HI-MEMS (Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical System), raising real insects filled with electronic circuitry, which could be guided using GPS technology to specific targets via electrical impulses sent to their muscles. These half-bug, half-chip creations — DARPA calls them "insect cyborgs" — would be ideal for surveillance missions, the agency says in a brief description on its website. Such bugs "could carry one or more sensors, such as a microphone or a gas sensor, to relay back information gathered from the target destination." Scientist Amit Lal and his team insert mechanical components into baby bugs during "the caterpillar and the pupae stages," which would then allow the adult bugs to be deployed to do the Pentagon's bidding. "The HI-MEMS program is aimed at developing tightly coupled machine-insect interfaces by placing micro-mechanical systems inside the insects during the early stages of metamorphosis," DARPA says. DARPA declined TIME's request to interview Dr. Lal about his program and the progress he is making in producing the bugs. But in a written statement, spokeswoman Jan Walker said that "living, adult-stage insects have emerged with the embedded systems intact." Presumably, enemy arsenals will soon be well-stocked with Raid.
Note: For many disturbing reports on threats to civil liberties, click here.
What if we told you the Pentagon has a ray gun? And what if we told you it can stop a person in his tracks without killing or even injuring him? Well, it’s true. You can’t see it, you can't hear it, but ... you can feel it. Pentagon officials call it a major breakthrough. It's a gun that doesn't look anything like a gun: it's [a] flat dish antenna which shoots out a 100,000-watt beam at the speed of light, hitting any thing in its path with an intense blast of heat. An operator uses a joystick to zero in on a target. Visible only with an infrared camera, the gun, when fired emits a flash of white hot energy -- an electromagnetic beam made up of very high frequency radio waves. Officially called the "Active Denial System," it does penetrate the body, but just barely. What makes this a weapon like no other is it inflicts enough pain to make you instantly stop whatever it is you’re doing. But the second you get out of the beam the pain vanishes. And as long as it's been used properly, there's no harm to your body. So far, the ray gun has been tested only against make-believe adversaries, protestors whose rage is about as real as the placards they're carrying. The ray gun has been tested on humans more than 11,000 times over ten years. The early tests, recorded with an infrared camera, were against people in their underwear so scientists could measure skin temperature. Their backs were turned so their eyes would not be exposed. Out of 11,000 tests there have been six cases of rashes and blisters, and two of more serious second degree burns. It’s now cleared for full power on any part of the body.
Note: How strange that the tests involve "protestors" with "placards." What sort of enemy does the Pentagon have in mind? You and me? For many revealing reports on "non-lethal" weapons, click here.
For years, the U.S. military has explored a new kind of firepower that is instantaneous, precise and virtually inexhaustible: beams of electromagnetic energy. "Directed-energy" pulses can be throttled up or down depending on the situation, much like the phasers on "Star Trek" could be set to kill or merely stun. Such weapons are now nearing fruition. The hallmark of all directed-energy weapons is that the target -- whether a human or a mechanical object -- has no chance to avoid the shot because it moves at the speed of light. At some frequencies, it can penetrate walls. "When you're dealing with people whose full intent is to die, you can't give people a choice of whether to comply," said George Gibbs, a systems engineer for the Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad Program who oversees directed-energy projects. "What I'm looking for is a way to shoot everybody, and they're all OK." Among the simplest forms are inexpensive, handheld lasers that fill people's field of vision, inducing a temporary blindness to ensure they stop at a checkpoint, for example. Some of these already are used in Iraq. A separate branch of directed-energy research involves bigger, badder beams: lasers that could obliterate targets tens of miles away from ships or planes. Such a strike would be so surgical that, as some designers put it at a recent conference here, the military could plausibly deny responsibility. The directed-energy component in the project is the Active Denial System, developed by Air Force researchers and built by Raytheon Co. It produces a millimeter-wavelength burst of energy that penetrates 1/64 of an inch into a person's skin, agitating water molecules to produce heat. The sensation is certain to get people to halt whatever they are doing.
At least 442 wrongful death suits have been filed over fatalities that followed the use of a Taser, almost all since the stun guns began gaining widespread popularity with police in the early 2000s, Reuters found in a nationwide review of legal filings. Police departments and the municipalities they represent have faced 435 of these suits. The manufacturer was a defendant in 128 of them. In all, wrongful death lawsuits were filed in at least 44 percent of the 1,000-plus incidents Reuters identified in which someone died after being stunned with a Taser by police. In more than 60 percent of the resolved cases against municipalities, government defendants paid settlements or judgments. Reuters documented at least $172 million in publicly funded payouts to resolve the litigation. Yet one party is increasingly absent from the courtroom: Taser International. From 2004 through 2009, the company was named as a defendant in more than 40 percent of the wrongful death suits filed against local governments. Typically, those suits alleged the company failed to warn adequately of the risks posed by its weapons. Late in 2009, as evidence of cardiac risks mounted, Taser made a crucial change: It warned police to avoid firing its stun gun’s electrified darts at a person’s chest. The manufacturer’s warnings have made it far more difficult to successfully sue the company. So now ... plaintiffs are suing governments, not the manufacturer. Behind these legal battles is a troubling truth: Many officers aren’t aware Tasers have the potential to kill.
Note: For lots more, see the entire Reuters series on Tasers on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.