The Portland Police Bureau is evaluating a shocking new advisement by Taser International, and will decide about changes in its Taser policy training, according to bureau spokeswoman Mary Wheat, this afternoon.
Canadian Mounties were instructed last Friday to aim Taser probes away from the suspect's chest area, after Taser International raised new concerns about its weapons causing cardiac arrest.
Taser International issued the directive at the end of September, saying that cutting back on chest shots “avoids the controversy about whether [electronic control devices] do or do not affect the human heart.”
Taser said in its bulletin that the “risk of an adverse cardiac event” related to taser use is “deemed to be extremely low.” However, the company adds that a number of factors come into play, including drug use or underlying cardiac problems that cannot be diagnosed by police officers on the spot.
Here's a graphic from the newspaper in Canada:
AIM AWAY FROM THE CHEST: TO STOP CARDIAC ARRESTS
Until recently, Taser has claimed its weapons are completely safe. Now, it's suggesting they're completely safe, but you might want to not shoot people in the chest to avoid "controversy," like the suspect dying?
"Our training division is aware of the Taser International advisement," says Wheat. "We are evaluating it and will decide about changes in our Taser policy training."