A man was killed in Wilmington, Delaware Thursday after police shocked him with a taser to break up a fight. The incident has sparked renewed opposition from advocacy groups who oppose police use of tasers.
The local chapter of Amnesty International re-iterated its years-old call for a moratorium on police taser use following the death. Dr. Micheal Riley, with the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, says the evidence surrounding deaths connected to taser use is murky.
Healthy people shocked during experiments undergo temporary muscle paralysis but suffer no lasting effects. But real life situations are different.
Riley: In the real life situation, often the individuals are very agitated, often they have ingested drugs, so how the taser interacts in a situation more real life, it’s hard to know what the differences are.
Riley says as a result it’s hard to tell whether deaths following taser shocks are actually caused by the shocks or not.
Delaware law enforcement officials say there are currently no plans to change police policy or training on the device.
The three troopers involved in the case have been placed on administrative leave pending a police investigation into the incident.