Watching coverage of Tim Russert’s death on CNN.com I happened upon 2 disturbing videos. Someone at CNN must love Taser International because the videos posted about Tasers over the past week were positively lighhearted.
Did you know you can have a Taser Party?
CNN’s most recent Taser video, (Women choose a taser demonstration for their party’s entertainment) opens with a woman using a PINK taser on a practice target. The camera pulls away to show a room of women and then a pot bellied gray bearded company representative in a Taser ball cap admonishing them that “when the economy is bad, crime dudn’t (sic) get better.” The voice over sells protection without killing your assailant – in the company words a “win win” situation.
The video includes footage of a male volunteer being tasered while supported by 2 company reps who lower him to the ground when the taser hit. The video doesn’t disclose the level of voltage.
The company rep goes on to state that the taser does not affect heart, lungs or involuntary muscles, only skeletal muscles.
The other video, Producer Gets Tased, Bro! (CNN’s Jim Spellman talks about some serious but non-lethal law enforcement technology) features Spellman being tasered a police trade show. Watch and Listen the female anchor giggles and says “Tasers come in all different shapes and sizes for every taser lover.”
Watch as Spellman falls to the floor screaming after being tasered with what is reported to be 1200 volts for 5 seconds. On Taser International’s website their is no taser listed with either an advertised or actual peak voltage of 1200 volts. The lowest lowest actual peak voltage listed is 1100 volts – most have a much more powerful actual peak voltage.
Throughout the video the female anchor is giggles and smiles. Nauseating.
I commented on this video asking CNN to disclose whether the producer was asked health questions and/or whether he had to sign a release. My comment was not posted and the video was removed from the listing although I could find it by searching the site.
It is interesting to note that Spellman fell to the ground screaming while the subject in the party video was lowered to the ground grunting. I wonder how much the voltage is manipulated for demonstration purposes.
Write to CNN – tell them to provide balanced reporting on Tasers and full disclosure on subjects voluntarily tasered including the voltage used in demonstration versus in regular use, whether volunteers are screened for health issues and finally whether subjects are requested to sign a waiver releasing Taser International from liability.
Why is this important – since Ohioan Kevin Piskura’s tasering and death on April 25th, in North America alone, 6 9 10 11(updated June 16th), more people have died after being tasered:
340. April 24, 2008: Dewayne Chatt, 39, Memphis, Tennessee
341. April 27, 2008: Paul Thompson, 24, Greensboro, North Carolina
342. April 28, 2008: Jermaine Ward, 28, Jackson, Tennessee
343. May 4, 2008: Joe Kubat, 21, St. Paul, Minnesota
344. May 6, 2008: James S. Wilson, 22, Alton, Missouri
345. May 28, 2008: Ricardo Manuel Abrahams, 44, Woodland, California
346. May 31, 2008: Robert Ingram, 27, Raceland, Louisiana
347. June 5, 2008: Willie Maye, 43, Birmingham, Alabama
348. June 6, 2008: Donovan Graham, 39, Meriden, Connecticut
349. June 8, 2008: Quintrell T. Brannon, 25, Vincennes, Indiana
350. June 9, 2008: Tony Curtis Bradway, 26, Brooklyn, New York
via Truth Not Tasers