Many officers say the taser is the best weapon to be added to their arsenal in years, but CBS discovered that nationwide 40 people have died in the wake of taser hits.
The Leyba family lost its son after a taser strike and will forever wonder if it's as safe as officers claim. Tallahassee police have pulled taser guns on unruly suspects 21 times so far this year and fired those electric stun guns seven times without injury.
Officer Woody Kerce of the Tallahassee Police Department says, "This gives us a tool where we can apply force from a distance and it incapacitates that person to the extent that they can't resist us. It prevents injury, first to them, then to us."
This is the first year that Leon County deputies have been issued tasers. Coincidentally, they too have drawn the weapons 21 times and fired them seven. LT Gene Revell is surprised at reports of 40 deaths nationwide, but isn't yet convinced the taser itself is to blame.
LT Gene Revell of the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, "Everyone of those that I'm aware of have been attributed by medical examiners and by people who've done independent studies to pre-existing medical conditions or cocaine psychosis or excited delirium, which causes a phenomenon called 'sudden custody death.' Whether you use the taser or just physically restrain someone, you're going to get the same results."
Both Tallahassee police and Leon County deputies must fill out a report each time they draw their taser gun whether its fired or not. They also have written policies on when to call paramedics to the scene.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.