In the latest Taser-related death, Mark C. Backlund died after officers hit him with a Taser for being “uncooperative” after a traffic accident in Minnesota. The death comes after a study showing the increased use and lethality of Tasers across the country.
Backlund was on his way to the airport to pick up his parents when the accident occurred. The official report states that “Troopers attempted to bring the situation and individual under control, and in the process, deployed a taser.”
Backlun was living with his folks while working part-time and attending school. He has a 2-year-old child, Nathaniel.
The problem is that Tasers appear to be used almost casually as a first response by a few officers. This includes the recent Taser attack on a naked deaf man getting out of a tub, here, a man who simply walked out briefly to his car with a court document, here, and a yoga instructor who was verbally abusive, here. Then again, it can be worst such as one the officer shoots the suspect handcuffed suspect in the chest because she mistook her Taser with her service weapon. Here.
A couple months ago the Justice Department reported that from 2003-2005, there were 36 deaths from Tasers — a jump from 3 cases in 2003 to 24 in 2005. In Minneapolis in 2006, MPD officers used Tasers 232 times, up 75 percent from the year before.
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