Monday, April 11, 2016

"Killing Them Safely" explores the use of the taser by law enforcement


Killing Them Safely” (originally titled “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle” (2015), directed by Nick Berardini, tells the story of the electric taser gun and its use in law enforcement as safer than conventional weapons.  The electroshock weapon is sold by Taser International, in Scottsdale, AZ, a company built by brothers Tom and Rick Smith, who developed the weapon after a friend was shot in a road rage incident in the early 90s.  There was early controversy over whether the device was a true firearm and had to be registered.

The weapon is supposed to deliver a shock that is not more strenuous on the body than a run up a flight of stairs. But the film documents a few cases of deaths from use of taser, including of a disruptive and disoriented passenger from Poland at Vancouver airport, and of a man in a Food Lion.

The company says that the media is focusing on rare events, rather on the idea that the availability of the taser probably reduces the number of shootings by police.



There is some technical discussion of how ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest may sometimes occur.  Yet, the shock is not supposed to affect even a pacemaker.

The official site is here (IFC and Sundance Selects).  The film is available on Amazon and Netflix Instant Play.

Wikipedia attribution link for Scottsdale Arts District, by Bobak Ha’Eri, under CCSA 3.0

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