Essay Conducted Energy Weapons: An Ongoing Debate

1090 Words5 Pages
The use of the Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) has been a subject under heavy debate throughout its history. A Conducted Energy Weapon is a device that works by “incapacitating volitional control of the body” (White & Ready, 2009), thus rendering the target unable to resist arrest. The TASER® in particular is the most widely used CEW. An article on the RCMP website states that CEW’s were adopted as another means to obtain compliance from resistant or harmful subjects when the police must arrest them. These tools allow police at these times to protect the public, and the subjects themselves from being harmed. Despite their effectiveness however, CEW’s have been under heavy scrutiny for a number of reasons. CEW’s have been known to cause…show more content…
2012). A study examined by The New York Times shows a positive correlation between Taser use and cardiac arrest, stating that these devices have the potential to cause irregular heart rhythms especially if fired at the chest. In the case of Robert Dziekanski, a Taser was applied to his body five times causing him to go into cardiac arrest. In many cases of Taser-related fatalities in Canada, these devices were fired more than once. This suggests that the officers using the Tasers might be considered more reliable for the fatalities than the Tasers themselves. Based on the combination of physiological effects of the Taser and the frequency of overuse, their usage should be discontinued or significantly restricted. Police responsibility is another very important aspect to examine when looking at the negative impacts of Conducted Energy Weapon use. The police are expected to have the ability to accurately discern whether or not a person really does need taser application or not. This discernment has had questionable success in numerous cases. The most famous case of this is the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski. Multiple sources as well as video footage of the event show that there was little interaction between Dziekanski and the RCMP, and

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