Sunday, September 10, 2006

Care to be tasered?

The following is stories from police officers who were tasered during training. As part of their training they usually receive a 5 second hit, and these are a few of the results. Most police officers are shape when they are subjected to tasering, what does this do to someone who not in the kind of shape most law enforcement are in, when the are being arrested for whatever reason?

Stcop: I am trying to locate any officer(s) who may have sustained any immediate or "long term" injuries/damage from their receiving shock from a taser during training. All responses will be kept confidential. Thanks.
8er55: I was "Tazed" on May 25th for our formal Tazer training. I sustained injury to my 5th Toracic vertabra.
Tased: My husband was tased. He was on his stomach with his arms crossed across his chest. Two people were holding him down, one on each shoulder. He jerked up after being tased and dislocated his shoulder. He recently dislocated it again by just jumping into a pool. He has to see an orthopedic surgeon and hopefully he will tell us that if not for the 1st dislocation, the 2nd wouldn't have happened.
Ietrich: I was tased on June 22nd. I pulled two muscles around my rotator cuff. If that wasnt enough, I ruptured two discs between my C5 and C6 vertabra. Surgery pending. This was with the X-26 Taser and with spotters, I never hit the ground.
8er55: bdietrich- email me at I have tried yours but Yahoo says you don't have an account.
N/A: I have a friend that is a law enforcement officer that recently received severe injury to his right shoulder after being exposed to the taser gun during a certification class. The injury resulted in his shoulder dislocating, fractured humerous, and had to sustain major reconstruction surgery. I have more detailed information please reply to my e-mail and I will give you information to contact this officer. Your information will also be extremely helpful to his ongoing situation.
Marq:I have information of a Law Enforcement Officer that was recently injured while being exposed to the taser gun. He was standing up and had two other officers spotting him on each side of his arms. The officer never hit the ground during the exposure to the X26 taser. This information has also been posted previously by another friend prior to this response. We are very concearned for all and any other officers safety in taser training. Please respond ASAP to this message if you have any information, as I have more information also to share. Thank You!
Tom: I am an attorney and represent a former deputy sherrif that sustained a spinal fracture as a direct result of taking a hit from the Tazer during training in July of 2002. We have filed a lawsuit against Taser that has been in litigation for over a year. I would like to speak to anyone who has sustained an injury during training as a direct result from a Taser hit. Please call at 602-230-1188 or email me at You can also call my co-counsel, John Dillingham at 602-468-1811 or email him at Thanks.
Ruf: Hello,I am a police officer in a similar situation. I will be contacting some of you via email. If anyone wants to get ahold of me click on the email icon above my post. Thanks
8er55: It's official I have two broken vertebra in my thoracic area from "riding the lightnin".
Ranglin: My name is Robert Anglen, I am a reporter with the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. For months, I have been researching Tasers and have written stories linking the stun guns to several deaths. Recently, officers have contacted me about injuries sustained during Taser training exercises. I am trying to determine if these are isolated incidents or a developing trend. Feel free to call me at 602-444-8694 or reach me by email at Thanks for your help.
TaserInj: I have been a police officer for 4 ½ years and I am 34 years old. I received an injury at Taser Training. On 08-17-04, I was attending Taser Training and I was connected to the Taser X26. The first probe was connected to the rear of my right shoulder and the second probe was connected to the rear of my left hip. I was exposed to the Taser for 5 seconds. I felt pain throughout my body but mainly between my shoulder blades. After the exposure, I still felt pain between my shoulder blades. On 08-18-04, I went to an orthopedic doctor and I was diagnosed with a compression fracture at the 4th thoracic vertebrae. A bone scan showed that the compression fracture was new. I also had a MRI and CT scan, which also showed a compression fracture. Due to the compression fracture, I still have an aching pain between my shoulder blades. When I attempt to twist my mid back or take a deep breath, I feel a sharp pain between my shoulder blades. Because of the pain, I have not worked since August. I also had a DEXA scan which showed that I have osteopenia. Osteopenia refers to bone mineral density (a measurement of the level of minerals in the bones, which indicates how dense and strong they are) that is lower than normal but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Some people who have osteopenia may not have bone loss; they may just naturally have a lower bone density. Most people with osteopenia will not develop osteoporosis. However, sometimes osteopenia indicates progressive bone loss that could lead to osteoporosis. After several months of dealing with worker’s compensation, tests, and doctors, I will be having surgery on my back. The doctor will be conducting a kyphoplasty surgery and injecting a bone substitute. Please send me information on your injury and treatment.
Stcop: Sorry I haven't gotten back to some of you. From the looks of it, my suspicions were correct. There have been a lot of injuries to law enforcement officers that even our departments aren't aware of. Otherwise, I don't think they would still require "mandatory" shocks.For those to whom I have not spoken with, I went to the training class on May 8,2004. On May 31st, I awoke with severe bruising on my arms and legs. My doctors thought I was suffering from an autoimmune disease (ITP) which is caused when the spleen attacks your blood platelets as foreign objects. I immediately suspected the taser shock since the probe was placed in my waistband near my spleen. I still have the burn scar. After numerous tests and three bone marrow biopsies, I was subsequently diagnosis with a bone marrow disorder "aplastic anemia" which occurs when the bone marrow stops making the correct amount of blood cells. There are no known causes, however, most of your bone marrow is produced in the hip/pelvis which is obviously where the probe was placed on me. I am currently scheduled for a bone marrow transplant in January. I have not yet sought a doctor's opinion as to whether a 50,000 volt shock could cause or at least aggravate my condition. I strongly feel it had something to do with it. Be that as it may, I have found that most officers I've been in contact with through this forum, including myself, feel the taser is a great tool and have seen it used successfully. Unfortunately for some, like myself, we relied on our instructor's assurances that the experience was "safe" and now suffer the consequence of not being able to make an informed decision. If I had known officers were suffering some of the injuries posted here I would not have agreed. My goal was to change the mandatory testing requirement at my department absent any further safety testing. While my department still considers the taser "safe" I was successful in getting them to change to a voluntary testing policy. I encourage everyone here to do the same.Several of you have asked if I was considering legal action. That is a possiblity, but in my case, would be a difficult case to prove. Some of you should probably be in contact with an attorney. I have spoken with attorney Tom Wilmer who has posted a message here on this forum. He is quite knowledgeable on the subject and I would encourage all to make contact with him.If I can be of any further assistance, don't hesitate to contact me. Good luck to
Puck: I was Tased for 5 second ride on 11-10-04. I continue to have back and chest pain that limits movement and activity.Initially I just discounted everything as sore muscles from the Taser and then as it worsened I self diagnosed myself as having Pleurisy. When I went to see the doctor I again skimmed over the Taser and it's effects and had the doctor convinced that I must have Pleurisy. He put me on anti-inflammatories and scheduled a CT scan. The scan came back normal and the meds don't really alleviate the aches and pains. I'm scheduled to see the doctor for followup visit this week and have printed out much of these comments for him to review. Beginning to believe that I am one of the unfortunate few to suffer a more serious injury from the Taser. Will post more as I learn it. It is comforting to hear others with the same complaints as I....was beginning to think I was just imagining all this.
Sam807: I too was injured by the Taser. My 7th Thoracic vertabrae was crushed during the training program. I have since been forced to retire from the only job I ever loved. I want to give the following advice to anyone else who is injured by the taser. get medical attention immediately, including x-rays. if a fracture shows up, get a bone scan and a bone density test (Dexa scan). the bone scan will determine if the injury is fresh. the dexa scan will determine if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia. Then, contact a good attorney. Make sure you document everything. Collect all mdecial documents, get second opinions from other doctors and anytime you get any type of scan (X-ray, bone density, Dexa scan, MRI, CT, etc) ask for copies. if you haven't been tased yet and still plan on receiving the training, please, for your own sake, see your doctor first and get a dexa scan to rule out osteoporosis/osteopenia. I wish I had but I was told the Taser can't hurt me. Taser says it is safe and continues to do so, but I am living proof that it can cripple someone who has osteoporosis. I was 44 when it happened.
Pnut51: Update: I have received results from an MRI and it shows compression fractures at T4 (20%) and T5 (10%) of thoracic vertebra. Doctor says the discs appear intact and that these fractures should heal within a few more months.I still have some back and chest pain but it has gotten much better over time.I continue to work and am considering my options.Am particularly concerned about long term health issues as a result of these fractures.Would appreciate comments from others with similar injuries and prognosis.
Jmills: I was tazed during training in 04/2004, the full five seconds. Nine days later, I was having emergency surgery for a ruptured colon. I ended up with a temporary colostomy and was septic from the rupture in my abdomen. I then had a second surgery in 06/2004 to reverse the colostomy. I was off work for four months and exhausted my sick time. Filing a suit against Tazer is definately in my near future.
Michael: I sustained an injury in January of 05 while working as a reserve officer. I was fresh out of the academy and had only been working for roughly 5 months.I received a serious back injury while taking the 5 second ride from a Taser during training. I was sent to a workers comp doctor and they found nothing. I was sent home with some pain pills and told that I probably just had sore muscles and possibly asthma since I had trouble breathing from intense pain in my ribs.It was the most severe and intolerable pain in the center of my back which left me with very limited mobility. It was even worse at night I spent my nights sleeping sitting up and had trouble breathing due to sharp rib pain. I was too stubborn to seek a second opinion. Finally my wife drug me to an emergency room were I learned that my T5 vertibrae was fractured possibly from my back muscles tightening up so much from the taser hit! I was referred to a specialist but never went because workers comp wanted me to see their doctors. I was told by a workers comp orthopedic surgeon that I was too young to have back surgery and that my back would be healed by December 05 at the latest. I assumed the doctor knew what he was talking about and I waited it out to see if I would heal. The pain diminished to an extent but never completely went away. It has since worsened, I still have the back pain and now I am having pain in my legs and feet accompanied by numbness in my feet and hands. I called government claims back up I was sent back to the workers comp dcotor a few months ago. I was told that based on my symptoms it seemed I had nerve damage from a back injury but they cold not prove that it was from the only back injury I ever had as a result of a taser! It must have been another injury! Based upon the good doctors judgement. So I was released from care. I am still in physical pain and feel that my career as an officer was taken from me and my life has been greatly altered with no way of getting back what I have lost. I am also fearful of going back physical hobbies such as weight lifting and wakeboarding in fear that it could aggravate my condition.I am currently working for a local car dealership , were I have been for the past three years. My boss knows I am in constant pain and has been very supportive through all of this. However I am fearful that my condition will worsen to the point that I may not be able to work as efficiently as needed. I already think that I will have a hard time trying to start a career else were because I would be a liability.
Beachcop: Im a PO for a so cal city. I was recently tased during training for the full 5 sec ride. I experienced pain immediately in between my shoulder blades near the upper middle part of my back. I was told by the staff that it was normal and it would go away in a couple of days. A week later the pain had not lessened and I filed IOD paperwork at my station. I have had two x-rays done now and both had different results. The first doctor said "I have a severe muscle strain". The second doctor said, "There is compression to the superior plate of the T5 most likely due to Osteopenia, however there is widening of the superior mediastinum that needs further investigation. A CT scan was suggested. I am waiting for the CT and I requested a DEXA scan for bone density. I have never injured myself, I am 30 years old and I have lifted weights and worked out for the last 11 years of my life 5-6 days a week. I played volleyball in highscool/college and take care of myself. I have not missed work yet, they put my on light/mod duty but I am going to still work a black/white. I have missed the gym the last week trying to let my back rest. Any suggestions? I dont know how I would have osteopenia because I eat well, take vitamins everyday, I dont have a under/over weight problem, and I exercise a lot. Are they giving me the run around?

Listen to this smart ass.
Opelwasp: An idea: if you have a heart condition, don't commit a crime that would warrent a "shock". that should clear that up, eh?other than shocking, what do you propose? just shooting the perp and hope you dont kill them?I don't care what it takes, or who I take down. I'M GOING HOME TONIGHT!!
What did you do before you had a fucking taser??…you used you goddamn muscles! If you were in shape like you should be you then you would be able to take the bad guy down using your smarts, and strength.

Monday, September 04, 2006

DUI arrest wasn't a first for officer

Todd Adams, the Ventura County Community College District police officer arrested while on duty this week on suspicion of driving a patrol car while intoxicated, was convicted in May of a DUI and vandalism.
Adams paid $2,626 in fines in connection with the two convictions, according to Ventura County Superior Court records. Adams lives in Oxnard and was arrested by Oxnard police in December 2005.
California Highway Patrol officers arrested Adams again at gunpoint at 3:55 a.m. Thursday along eastbound Highway 118 near Simi Valley. Adams was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated, according to the CHP. Capt. Cliff Williams, commander of the CHP's Moorpark office, said a police dispatcher had broadcast a notice that a police car was seen weaving around. Williams said Adams failed a series of roadside sobriety tests. He said CHP officers drew their guns after pulling Adams over for their safety and that of Adams because they knew he was on duty and armed.
James Botting, Adams' boss and chief of the Ventura County Community College District's Police Department, declined to comment about Adams' most recent arrest when contacted this week, saying only it was under investigation. As to Adams' conviction in May, Botting said he knew about it.
Botting referred all questions about the district's policy on the conduct of its police officers to Patricia Parham, associate vice chancellor of human resources. The district employs 18 sworn officers. They are charged with investigating crimes and providing security to district students, faculty, staff members and visitors at Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges. While they work for the district, these officers have the same powers as other police officers.
Applicants to the district's police department must pass a thorough background investigation, Parham said. As with other police officers, they must be of good moral character and be free of any felony convictions.
As part of this, the district hires investigators to do background checks on candidates.
As with Botting, Parham would not comment on Adams' conviction in May and what steps, if any, the district took because of the conviction. They also would not say how long Adams has worked for the district.
But Parham said she would recommend in general that any officer who's been convicted of a DUI be evaluated by an outside doctor to determine whether he or she was "fit to come back to work."
"While this is not a written policy, it's something that I would recommend," she said.
Parham said the district also provides counseling for employees who have substance-abuse problems. And while police officers are subject to drug screening before they are hired, the district conducts no periodic drug screening after they are on the job.
As with police officers throughout California, officers working for the district are protected by the Peace Officers Bill of Rights. Among other things, the 1977 law provides police officers with the right to see — in advance — anything derogatory placed in their personnel files.
Mary Anne Rooney, who chairs the district's Board of Trustees, said she's comfortable that the district is following the law with regards to its treatment of Adams.
Larry Miller, the board's vice chairman, said he's confident Botting "is working closely with the appropriate authorities to determine the facts of the case regarding Officer Todd Adams."
Miller said he hopes Adams has good union and legal representation. ********************************************************* I think all officers should have to take a UA at least a few times a year...I wonder how of them would test positive.