Allen Kephart Taser Death Evidence Shuffle


The San Bernardino Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles field office of Federal Bureau of Investigation are both said to be conducting investigations into the May death of Lake Arrowhead resident Allen Kephart during or immediately after a multiple-taser engagement by sheriff's deputies. Neither agency will comment on its investigation. Reason is still trying to get more information on Kephart's death, which was detailed in this recent Reason TV video:

To check claims that the community's relationship with local deputies has deteriorated in recent years, we have been trying to get numbers on civilian complaints from the Sheriff's Department. 

Dedicated to your safety, San Bernardino County Sheriff

Statistics provided by SBSD may or may not support the idea that police abuse got worse over the past five or so years– as Lake Arrowhead residents claim – but the SBSD's numbers are vague. Here is the Sheriff's Department's record for complaints about police activity for the area served by the Twin Peaks substation at Lake Arrowhead: 

2006: 1 complaint

2007: 7 complaints

2008: 6 complaints

2009: 9 complaints

2010: 9 complaints

2011: 2 complaints

That's all the SBSD gave us. The Sheriff's Department declined to specify types of complaint, and its annual report [pdf] does not include civilian complaints against police as a category of crime. 

In a two-page letter, County Counsel Jean-Rene Basle and one of Basle's 34 deputies responded to our request for Kephart-related written records and recordings of radio traffic made between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on May 10 by saying that these materials are "exempt from disclosure pursuant to Government Code Section 6254(f)."

In the same letter, Basle and Deputy County Counsel Phebe W. Chu declined to give any more detail on civilian complaints, citing both Government Code Section 6254 (k) (which exempts from disclosure records that are confidential "pursuant to federal or state law") and Penal Code section 832.7 (which exempts peace officer personnel records). However, subdivision 832.7 (c) contains an exception for the type of records we requested: 

[A] department or agency that employs peace or custodial officers may disseminate data regarding the number, type, or disposition of complaints (sustained, not sustained, exonerated, or unfounded) made against its officers if that information is in a form which does not identify the individuals involved.

Our request for Kephart-related records from California Highway Patrol (the only other police authority on the mountain) has also been fruitless so far, netting us only a fax with a "Cannot be located" box marked with an X. 


NEXT: Gillespie on Real Time with Bill Maher's "Overtime" Segment

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  1. Good work. But keep on them, Timothy.

  2. Nothing else happened.

  3. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  4. “…during or immediately after a multiple-taser engagement…”


    If taser proximal deaths had nothing to do with the taser (as is often claimed by the stun gun salesmen), then how do they explain the asymmetrical distribution of such deaths (almost always during or after, almost never just before).

    Tastes kill. Directly. Through various mechanisms. This is a fact. Anyone that denies it is a liar.

    1. of course taser deaths have SOMETHING to do with the taser. being tasered causes an immense amount of stress, just like a wrestling match into handcuffs. both can be contributory factors in a death

      tasers (tastes lol) do not kill. directly.

      tasers, like any other form of stress – a wrestling match is another example, and especially followed by restraint – are going to sometimes result in deaths.

      these deaths happened long before a taser was even conceptualized, let alone deployed by police agencies.

      tasers have reduced officer involved shootings, on average, in agencies that get them.

      furthermore, out of the scores of thousands of police officers and journalists who get tased as part of training or demonstration – NONE have died.

      i’ve been tased twice. BFD

      of course i wasn’t high on cocaine and/or polydrug combo, involved in a long struggle with police, severely dehydrated, etc. etc. which are typical factors in ExcDel deaths WHETHER OR NOT a taser was used

      1. Ok. I’ll take a guess. You’ve been tazed when you knew it was comming. Let’s taze the cops after they run for a while or after they simulate a high stress home raid – i.e. when they are all jacked up – you know heart rate racing and full of adrenaline. I bet it won’t be exactly like when you were aware of it or as “harmless” as you believe.

        I would also bet the “lab studies” are also as equally sanitized with “are you ready, ok here comes the shock” type warnings and performed on calm stress free people.

        Lastly, a person may survive a high stress encounter, they may not be able to survive the high stress encounter and tazing. If so, the tazer (the variable) is the lethal blow.

        1. and all those factors contribute too.

          just like overall health, obesity, drug use, other factors i mentioned contribute

          wow, here’s a shock. adrenaline puts stress on the heart!

          the point is this happens with or without the taser

          i had a guy go flatline on me after a wrestling match into handcuffs

          would most healthy people have this happen? no

          a street person on cocaine, certainly malnourished, in a fight/flight situation, likely dehydrated, etc. – much more likely

          again, the taser is a contributory factor because it causes – wait for it – stress

          1. So how many volunteers for the “stressed tazer”? I’d bet they never test them that way.

            Also think evolution – our bodies have been conditioned for stress for thousands of years – So the body may be accustomed to those events

            yes some may die if their heart rate is up- but I bet
            the 50000 volts is more of a tipping point than you, the govt, or tazer

            1. Is willing to acknowledge

              1. first of all, the 50,000 volt thing is a bit of a canard. it’s disingenuous at best

                iow, 50,000 volts is NOT what it delivers . i could get into the physics of it ( i LOVE physics) if you REALLY want.

                that aside.

                i would have no problem with volunteering for a “stress taser”. granted, i am a competitive athlete

                i can’t even get my agency to get us some fucking DIM LIGHT shooting (when the majority of police shootings happen in dim light), let alone “stressed shooting” (ditto), so i feel you

                the point is, and you can google excited delirium to your heart’s content that

                anytime somebody is involved in a protracted fight or flight struggle, but ESPECIALLY when factors (one or more) are present such as – drug use (specifically cocaine due among other things to potassium issues), polydrug use, dehydration, obesity, chronic untreated medical conditions, malnutrition, electrolyte balance, etc. – there is a risk of death.

                that occurred (and still does occur ) with OR WITHOUT tasers.

                mental institutions used to get a lot more of these (struggles and restraint invariably involved) until they improved medical monitoring etc.

                also, these types of deaths spiked markedly during the crack cocaine years (80’s) because cocaine does specific things to the body that makes it especially prone to excited delirium deaths.

                1. first of all, the 50,000 volt thing is a bit of a canard. it’s disingenuous at best

                  Is it a peak voltage sort of thing, or disingenuous marketing, or variances in target electrical resistance, or (?)?

                  Not being a dick, I really would like to know the details.

                  1. fair enuf

                    taser can deliver up to 50,000 volts in an open air arc. it delivers about 1200 volts on average to the person and less than .03 amps usually

      2. tasers (tastes lol) do not kill. directly.

        Neither do handguns. In fact, I cant think of a single weapon that kills directly…well, one that disintegrates the body probably counts, so bombs and phasers.

        1. points for sophistry


          2. It isnt sophistry. Tasers kill directly, in those rare cases they kill. Just like handguns. Handguns arent 100% kill weapons, they are more likely to kill than tasers, but both are deadly weapons.

            1. they are not deadly weapons. you can keep repeating it until you are blue in the face, but it’s still false.

              we haven’t had scores of thousands of people VOLUNTEERING to be shot w/ a deadly weapon. but they have with a taser

              1. So because a taser does not injure you when you survive it, that means it doesn’t kill???

                1. that’s not what i said. if you can’t comprehend simple english , i don’t know if i can help you

      3. Dunphy, as much as I appreciate a good hairsplitting, this is a bunch of crap. You saying that the taser didn’t kill him is as disingenuous as if the cops had clubbed him to death and saying the baton didn’t actually kill him, the subsequent brain hemorrhage did and some unhealthy people just can’t take a stick to the head the way a healthy person can.

        1. a stick to the head *is* deadly force. for obvious reasons.

          a tasering is not.

          sticks to the head are likely to cause death or serious bodily injury

          tasers are not

          people also go flatline after wrestling. i know. it happened to my arrestee. that wasn’t any more deadly force than a tasering. if he had been tasered, you would say “the taser caused his death”


          1. But dunphy, some people can take a stick to the head and walk away. Some people die.

            Same with a taser.

            people also go flatline after wrestling. i know. it happened to my arrestee. that wasn’t any more deadly force than a tasering.

            Depends. When you killed the arrestee, what sort of “wrestling” had you done to him? Joint-lock? Compression hold? Takedown? Slam? Chokehold?

            “Wrestling” without restrictions as to the holds and techniques one is allowed to use, can be used to quick and lethal effect, especially against an opponent with no wrestling knowledge.

            1. again , you don’t understand what deadly weapon or deadly force means.

              a baton strike to the leg can, in exceptionally rare circs, cause death.

              it is NOT considered deadly force.

              the wrestling example was simply a matter of EXERTION and much like taser deaths (btw, the guy was revived. notice i didn’t say he died. i said he “flatlined”. which he did) isn’t caused by a deadly force incident, but by a syndrome and a host of factors

              again, you can claim a falsehood but it doesn’t make it true.

              some people have died AFTER being tasered. some people have died after prolonged struggles. some people have died after jogging. none are deadly force.

              this is a matter of law, and of common sense.

              by the way, non-cops can carry tasers in my state, too.

              when they tase people, it is ALSO not considered deadly force.

              1. again , you don’t understand what deadly weapon or deadly force means.

                Oh, but I do, dunphy, and I know that even weapons which are not designed or intended for lethal purposes but used to threaten or cause lethal injuries can be considered deadly force.

                Wrestling is a bad example as wrestling is, IMHO, a martial art whereas the 100-meter dash is not. So either you “wrestled” the guy with the intention to subdue, injure or kill him, or just tuckered out under your bulk and you arrested. And you should know that you take your victim as you find him, sick, healthy, old, young, strong, weak, male, female. You apply force, they die, you’re responsible.

                Again, bad comparisons. Tasing involves another party (while it is possible to taze yourself, haven’t heard of anyone doing that), and a struggle also involves someone else. Jogging…usually doesn’t require another party.

                I’m not surprised people can carry tasers as it is legal to do so in 43 states. And case law pertaining to the Taser is still developing. Brooks v. Seattle was in your neck of the woods, isn’t it?

                1. if ytou apply force and they die, you are NOT responsible (legally) unless your force was UNreasonable. wrestling a resistant warrant suspect is not unreasonable.

                  similarly, if a cop or a civilian tases somebody, and the tase is justified and (a very rare occurrence) they die, the person who tased is NOT responsible.

                  i don’t care if he’s a cop or not.

                  the point was about activities. tasering, wrestling, running, whatever. none are “deadly”, however all CAN result in death in very rare circ’s, especially when combined with a HOST of oteher factors.

                  1. No, wrestling him isn’t unreasonable. KILLING them is very unreasonable and unless they possessed a threat to one’s life, the person in question should take an involuntary manslaughter charge, cop or not.

                    Also, tasing someone multiple times is questionable behavior in any circumstance, which is what happened to Allen Kephart.

                  2. so is 5/5+ tasers considered unreasonable when the person is just laying on the ground after you threw his face into the ground?

              2. But please, dunphy, let your fellow LEOs continue to…be party to the deaths of others while using Tasers. I’m sure the judges will get a huge kick out of it.

                1. being the party of deaths to others has happened for decades in custodial situations with or without tasers in police, as well as mental institutions, etc.

                  death is (almost always) tragic. but tragedy doesn’t imply fault.

                  tasers SAVE lives. statistically speaking, that’s the case.

                  1. dunphy, when someone is in you’re custody, you should owe them some duty of care.

                    Tell you what, I’ll make you a deal. Let me hit you in the chest with an AED defibrillator, by surprise while you are in a calm, relaxed state, about 4 or 5 times, then we can see how you your health is afterwards.

                    After all, a defibrillator isn’t deadly force. You’ll be fine.

      4. Guns don’t kill directly…first it is the bullet that penetrates and the bullet does not even kill it is the trauma from the bullet that kills not the actual bullet

        See guns and tasers don’t kill.

        durp ey durp bla bla bla derp

        1. non -responsiveness noted

      5. Have you ever been tazed multiple times in a short time window? I mean, I’ve been stung by a bee, BFD, but if I was stung repeatedly, numerous times, it might be more of a potentially life-threatening situation.

      6. these deaths happened long before a taser was even conceptualized, let alone deployed by police agencies.

        Prove it. And listing deaths that occured while in restraint with no autopsy results is disingenous at best, and flat out lying at worst, since those deaths include anything and everything, from strangulation to smoke inhalation.

  5. Great work. I hope you have a libertarian-minded lawyer in CA to appeal the Public Records’ denials.

  6. The guy was murdered by a cop, and Nothing Else Happened??. Therefore, leprechauns shit cyanide and cops are harmless, selfless demigods.

    1. rush to judgment noted

      1. Note how I used the new Nothing Else Happened meme, indicating I was making a joke, or being a dick.

        I’ll always be highly cautious of cops, and I know that many, many of them are shitheads, but I know that not all of them are, so I’m not one of those people. Don’t worry.

        1. personally, *if* this guy was tasered 5 times that *is* problematic. i also noted he was a smoker and morbidly obese and that is almost certainly a major contributory factor.

          a mile (at low speed) and turning into a gas station certainly wouldn’t qualify as “eluding” (a felony) but maybe would be “failure to yield” a misdemeanor (i am sure cali laws are similar) so the issue wouldn;t be whether a custodial arrest was warranted, but whether the force used was

          i am certainly NOT saying the force was justified. which people will assume i am. i am saying i don’t know

          1. Yeah. I’m sensing another Rambo Syndrome cop.


            DISPATCH, THIS IS A *number-laden clustefuck of an incident code*, CALL SWAT, THE NATIONAL GUARD, AND GET THE PRESIDENT ON THE HORN — WE MIGHT NEED THE ICMBS!@#@!$!$%&^@#$%^$#@$@#$”

            1. *ICBMs.

              Fucking keyboards, how do they work?

            2. i’m sensing that IF they needed to tase a morbidly obese motorist merely for failing to yield 5 FUCKING times (again, assuming), it was most likely excessive.

              1. An ordinary person would get his ass fucked in court if he used excessive force by, for example, shooting a kid that tried to grab his gym bag 17 times in the face, and the cop deserves his ass to be fucked just as thoroughly, and with a similarly harsh punishment.

                1. and IF he used excessive force and that excessive force rose to a criminal (and not merely civil level) i agree

                  i called for the prosecution of paul schene after that incident (and he was tried) and I called for the prosecution of the SPD cop who kicked the robbery suspect (and he has been charged)

  7. Isolated incident.

    res ipsa loquitur

    1. kind of difficult to say it’s an isolated incident, when exactly what happened has not been determined.

      that aside, open govt. is a key part of our system and obstructing journalists in obtaining govt. records is always bad.

      assuming that’s what is happening here, that’s bad.

      sustained complaints against officers should always be public record.


    2. well, since one out of 37,000 arrests (no, that is not a typo) result in death and here are some stats…


      in a 3 yr period, there were 2002 arrest related deaths of which 55% were homicides by the officers

      there were 40 million arrests.

      that means even including ALL arrest related deaths (including non-homicides, like where a guy is being chases and falls of a bridge (happened near me) and stuff like that), there are

      2002/40,000,000 rate of deaths / arest

      rate: .00005

      or .005 % of arrests result in death of ANY sort

      or roughly 2/40000

      or 1/20000

      with homicides by officers making up

      1/40000 roughly

      so, yes. those ARE pretty isolated

      1. So, did they charge the cops who chased the guy off the bridge with murder? Because I have seen a citizen charged with murder when the pig chasing him fell in the river and drowned.(The pig’s own fault.)
        I have seen a citizen charged with assaulting a government thug when said thug scratched his arm on a barbwire fence. (again, the pig’s own fault)

        Face it dumpy, there is a double standard, cops are given special treatment that they do not deserve.

        1. in your case, you are referencing a felony murder. felony murder only applies when a person dies during the commission of another’s felony.

          iow, bank robbers have been charged with felony murder when a security guard shoots a fellow bank robber!

          so, the situation is (as usual) completely disanalogous

          fwiw, iirc an everett cop was killed chasing a suspect when the cop fell off the bridge chasing him. don’t recall what they charged the suspect with, if anything.

          but you can’t compare felony murder to a cop chasing a guy. IF the cop was a robber who was chasing the guy and he died, THEN it would be felony murder

          you have to have the underlying felony first

          crim law 101

          if you are going to make the double standard you could at least bring up relevant examples.

          you bring up a non felony murder case and analogize to a felony murder case

          seriously. logick and crim law fail

          1. to be clear, the suspect charged in the felony murder MUST be committing the felony at the time.

            iow, one bank robber (a violent felony) can be charged with felony murder when his corobber is shot by a security guard

            the security guard isn’t charged with anything, just given a pat on the back

          2. No, it is called being fed up with bullshit cops.

            1. using illogic, false analogies and silly rhetoric to vent your rage just diminishes your argument

          3. dunphy:

            crim law/procedure = morality, logic, reasoning, personal experience, ethics, random Latin phrases, etc, etc

            1. no, they don’t

      2. in a 3 yr period, there were 2002 arrest related deaths of which 55% were homicides by the officers

        there were 40 million arrests.

        There are over 10,000,000 arrests per year?

          1. note also this doesn’t mean 10,000,000 PEOPLE are arrested per year.

            i’ve PERSONALLY had people i’ve arrested over 1/2 dozen times in one year. that’s just me.

          1. Great link @ 1:42 AM, dunphy; thanks.

  8. http://www.tulsaworld.com/news…..TLIN718810


  9. also, imo (and as a use of force instructor) btw, it is my opinion that dept. policies/use of force should strongly discourage (absent extraordinary circumstances) tasering the same person more than 3 times. multiple repeat taserings are much more problematic and need significant justification beyond those for 1,2 or at most 3 tases.


    1. i appreciate dunphy’s comments and input, and this is as a person who is much more suspicious of the police than i used to be

      i think the problem comes when using the taser changes from compliance to punishment, basically when the officer gets mad and wants to hurt/punish the suspect with repeated taserings

      in one city recently, a bystander was recently killed by a ricochet in an arrest of a homeless dude that escalated (guy pulled a knife, was shot at a short distance by police, several shots missed and killed someone else)

      in that incident, tasers would have been ideal, but in that city the police do not regularly carry them

      there is a continuum of force, and better to start on the low end with a taser than jump right into gunfire

      1. correct, or in the words of monty python – no need to go stampeding towards the clitoris. how about a kiss?

  10. That exception says “may disseminate”, “may” not “shall”. That means they can tell you to go pound sand and their ain’t nuttin you can do about it.

    1. several police unions in seattle have fought against dissemination of officer names in sustained complaints

      the law should be if the complaint is unsustained or exonerated, no names should be released. an officer should be free to talk about it, but the dept. should not be forced to release info on complaints that were not sustained.

      if the complaint is SUSTAINED, then imo a PD should be forced to disclose the details of the complaint

      1. Bullshit, it should be public record. Just like all arrest reports are. If a citizen is arrested, he gets his name dragged through the mud, innocent or not. Same should happen to cops who are accused of misconduct.

        1. not, imo

          if the case is nonsustained or exonerated it shouldn’t be.

          note also that a non-cop who makes a false report of a crime about another person;s actions can be criminally charged

          generally speaking, in WA state they can’t since our supreme court ruled that even FALSE reports about police misconduct are free speech. yes, they actually said that.

          regardless, if a citizen is arrested and his name gets dragged through the mud based on a false arrest, he has ample cause to
          1) get the record of the arrest expunged
          2) have civil and .or criminal action taken against the false accuser

          also, police complaints aren’t ‘arrest’ incidents, generally speaking, so that analogy is also weird.

          police, by the nature of their job, invite false complaints. police officers need imo protection against dissemination of information about false/unsustained complaints against them.

          if a complaint is sustained – public record.

          i know an officer who had a woman report that he was trying to “steal my soul”. yes, an internal affairs investigation was commenced, and yes he actually got interviewed by internal affairs for something that fucking stupid.

          note that complaints against officers are CIVIL, unlike arrest reports which are criminal.

          so, again… disanalogous.

          1. So, what was the finding? Was he trying to steal her soul?

            1. apparently not.

              can you imagine the absurdity of sitting down to an interrogator asking you questions about your actions to attempt to steal somebody’s soul?

              kafkaesque procedures – we haz them

              1. i wonder, what do you do with a soul if you have stolen it? does it have resale value? can you enjoy it yourself?

                you would think that someone with the awesome power to actually steal souls would not be working as a beat cop

                1. well, it gives us a lot of access to souls, of all sorts.

                  people invite us into their homes and shit.

                  it’s a fucking soul feast!

                  “i’ll swallow your soul!”

  11. Personally I don’t like tasers. Yes they can prevent officer involved shootings in some cases, but in my opinion too many officers go straight for the taser the minute someone becomes even the least bit resistant. The taser has eroded interpersonal skills. Most officers don’t know how to talk to people. There’s a reason I am rarely involved in a use of force incident. I don’t show up an immediately act like an asshole. I actually (gasp) talk to them like a normal person. Why use force when I can talk to them for a while and get them to voluntarily comply? It’s much less paperwork.

    1. i think there’s zero doubt that many officers have misused tasers and relied on them as a crutch. imo, many agency’s use of force policies were also too permissive as to when a taser can be used.

      i’ve carried one over 5 yrs and have NEVER fired it at somebody, and only used it (displayed) to gain compliance a few times.

      it definitely fell under “new toy syndrome” and people have been prone to overuse them.

      used properly, it’s a valuable, lifesaving, injury saving tool.

      1. Im 100% certain that cops shouldnt carry tasers…I really dont see any benefit.

        Im about 80% certain they shouldnt carry guns. But I might be convinced otherwise.

        Get rid of the tasers and the guns and they might have to use their brains instead.

        [insert appropriate Douglas Adams quote here]

        1. One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical.

        2. ok, well anybody who is 100% certain of this stuff isn’t worth engaging in discussion

          would you bother with a person who said “i am 100% certain we should raise the marginal tax rate for income above 100k to 90%, and criminalize sex outside marriage “?

          god knows i wouldn’t.

          but thanks for the honesty.

          1. Some things are easy to be certain of. Im 100% certain that the things you mentioned SHOULDNT be done, which in your mind should put me in the same category as the person who wants to criminalize extramarital sex. Because I am certain they are wrong.

            The problem with tasers is that they are still a deadly weapon (like a gun) but they get used much more lightly.

            IMO, a taser should only be used in a situation in which a gun would be used. The advantage being much less likely to kill. But since its clear that they wont be used that way, get rid of ’em.

            1. Dang it, stupid joke handle.

            2. tasers are no more a deadly weapon than wrestling is, running is, etc.

  12. oh also. i give the reason video extra points for “emotional use of a violin in a motion picture”

    i also find it interesting they failed to note the medical condition of the decedent.

    it certainly COULD be a contributory factor

    1. The photo album is a nice touch.

      1. libertarians would NEVER use shameless appeal to emotion! that’s only for COP FUNERALS!

        1. As someone who is consistently harping on others for alleged fallacies and appeals in their arguments, it’s funny seeing you bust out the broad brush-stroking.

          1. it’s funny to see somebody who can’t recognize sarcasm.

            regzrdless, i think the violins are a bit much considering this is supposed to be a report of the facts, not a hagiography

            that said, the victim sounds like a “good guy” and while ANY death (almost) is tragic, it’s especially tragic when it’s somebody like this.

    2. If you plan on getting pulled over in a sleepy tourist town during a routine traffic stop for a minor speed infraction be sure to be in peak physical condition. Police can and will tase you 5 times.

      Police although trained in emergency medical care will also ignore all signs that you are in need of medical care.

      Remember your life could depend on it.

      derpy durp derp

      1. if you are going to post on reason.com make sure you misrepresent my position because you have nothing salient to add

        derp derp de derp

  13. the picture is nice, while I really dont see any benefit.

  14. why not use tranquilizers instead if you need to subdue someone? i.e. a dart gun?

  15. per wikipedia: These substances have been invented for animal injection only. Humans are far more affected by the drugs, as they trigger respiratory problems. The injection or consumption of only a drop of M?99 is sufficient to kill an adult man within a few minutes if the correct antidote treatment is not administered immediately.[5] Therefore, instead of the substances found above, only incapacitating agents would be suitable for military or police use.

    [edit] Military and police useTranquilizer darts are not generally included in military or police less-than-lethal arsenals because no drug is yet known that would be quickly and reliably effective on humans without the risks of side effects or an overdose. This means that effective use requires an estimate of the weight of the target to be able to determine how many darts (if any) can be used. Shooting too few would result in no effect whatsoever, while too many can kill the target [6]

  16. this makes a lot of sense dude. Wow.


  17. Tasers are a weapon.

    When used as intended, they can cause death.

    Ergo, Tasers are a deadly weapon. Statutory definitions may vary, but I know of at least one (Wisconsin) that covers Tasers.

    The argument that Tasers used by police have actually saved lives depends crucially on the assumption that police use them instead of their guns, rather than in addition to their guns. Don’t know how you could prove that one way or the other, but my anecdotal impression is that, when the situation calls for a gun, a gun gets used, not a Taser.

    1. your ergo does not logically follow

      your assumption is this: if a weapon CAN result in death, it is a deadly weapon

      that is not how the law, or common sense defines “deadly weapon”

      again, if you operate from unsound premises, you get predictably bad results.

      again, tasers can be a contributory factor in death. so can ANY form of stress on the heart.

      it does not follow that they are deadly weapons.

      and again, scores of thousands of people volunteer to get tased with ZERO ill effects.

      that is not true of actual deadly weapons


      “The argument that Tasers used by police have actually saved lives depends crucially on the assumption that police use them instead of their guns, rather than in addition to their guns. Don’t know how you could prove that one way or the other, but my anecdotal impression is that, when the situation calls for a gun, a gun gets used, not a Taser.”

      no, it’s based on stats, stats i have posted before, so i am not going to do it again.

      in brief, agencies that adopt tasers (nice baby taser. goo goo)see a DECLINE in custody related deaths.

      thus, tasers SAVE lives.

      that’s not difficult to understand.

      1. your assumption is this: if a weapon CAN result in death, it is a deadly weapon

        When used as intended, yes. I suppose you could quibble over how much of a death rate is needed. And I will point out (again) that under at least one state’s laws, they are classified as deadly weapons.

        in brief, agencies that adopt tasers (nice baby taser. goo goo)see a DECLINE in custody related deaths.

        I skimmed above. Was it today?

        1. Texas definition of deadly weapon:

          anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

          Sure sounds to me like it would cover Tasers.

          1. I’ve seen cases where the guy with the taser has been charged with use of a deadly weapon. Thing is, these cases only involve a person taking a cop’s taser and using it on the cop. So I guess it’s only deadly to cops. Dunphy is far braver than we give him credit for, voluntering to be tasered like that, since he apparently belongs to the only at-risk for death group.

  18. Yo dunphy, I assume from reading your comments that you are a LEO or LEO connected and also a fair minded individual. Can you shed some light on the SBCSD apparent unwillingness to release the autopsy results, civilian complaints, # of time Allen Kephart was shot with the taser ect ect…? what gives?

    1. as i already said, they should comply , as a matter of rule of law with both FOIA regs as well as california regs regarding open govt. access to public records, etc.

      i believe in open govt.

      i am not in any way informed as to what california law is in regards to public records law. the OP makes some reference to calif. statutes that govern this behavior and the SBCSD may or may not be in compliance. i have no idea, frankly.

      speaking as to how i believe the law SHOULD be (both spirit and letter), law enforcement, like govt. in general should be open.

      iow, with rare exceptions (like identity of undercovers, certain undercover ops, ongoing investigations where release could compromise the investigation, etc., where release would violate HPPA or other privacy regs, etc.), the basic assumption is – the public has a right to know

  19. I read the autopsy report. This is probably a restraint death of an obese individual held in the prone position, +/- Taser effects.

    Google: YouTube – Positional asphyxia 2003

    #DOJ statement in 1995 on avoidable death in restraint or custody: Positional Asphyxia and Sudden Death http://bit.ly/fWyJKg

    Asphyxial Death During Prone Restraint Revisited: 21 Cases http://bit.ly/p86G5F

    Prone restraint?, if used at all, should last only seconds. There should NOT be a “struggle” on the ground. People die very quickly in this position.

    Negligent homicide by the police. That’s how you would be charged for a similar event. The police have a higher degree of responsibility.

  20. State troopers kneeling on man’s back when he was handcuffed asphyxiated him to death, and Wyoming must pay half a million dollars in compensation. http://bit.ly/q0Euds

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