Police

Taser Responds to New Times Investigation, Denies Blame for Abuse

This morning, New Times published a yearlong investigation into Taser abuse committed by local cops. Among our findings: Miami's three major police departments have tasered more than 3,000 people in less than eight years. Eleven men -- including teenager Israel "Reefa" Hernandez -- have died after being stunned. Local cops have tasered kids as young as six, as well as the mentally ill. In at least one instance, a Miami Police officer secretly tasered a homeless man and never reported it.

Taser International, however, argues that its stun-guns are safe and that the company is not to blame for such abuse.

"TASER does not determine when a TASER weapon is used as this is determined by use of force policies set forth by law enforcement agencies in which force must meet Constitutional standards for force," says Steve Tuttle, the company's vice president of strategic communications. "TASER weapons have proven to save lives and dramatically reduce injuries to suspects and officers."

See also: Miami Cops Misuse Tasers, With Deadly Results

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.