Study of Deaths Following Electro Muscular Disruption: Interim Report   [open pdf - 573KB]

This U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice report discusses the interim medical findings regarding electro-muscular-disruption technology (EMD) also known as Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs). "During the three years from 2003 through 2005, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported 1,095 arrest-related deaths proximal to law enforcement's use of force. For many years police leaders have sought alternatives to lethal force and better methods to subdue individuals to limit injuries and death. Less-lethal technologies have been used in law enforcement for this purpose extensively since the early 1990s. In recent years, electro-muscular-disruption (EMD) technology, also known as conducted energy devices (CEDs), have become the less-lethal weapon of choice for a growing number of law enforcement agencies. CED uses a high-voltage, low-power charge of electricity to induce involuntary muscle contractions that cause temporary incapacitation. Industry reports suggest some 11,500 law enforcement agencies have acquired CEDs. Approximately 260,000 EMD devices are deployed in the operational environments of law enforcement agencies. Studies undertaken by law enforcement agencies deploying CED indicate reduced injuries to officers and suspects resulting from use of force encounters and reduced use of deadly force. However, a significant number of individuals have died after exposure to a CED. Some were normal healthy adults; others were chemically dependent or had heart disease or mental illness. The leading manufacturer of CEDs is TASER® International of Scottsdale, Ariz. In 2003 TASER International introduced the TASER X26®. The X26 model is the prevailing conducted energy device being acquired by law enforcement today. Other CEDs have been used in incidents in which a death occurred, including the TASER M26®, other stun guns and shields. These deaths have given rise to questions from law enforcement and the public regarding the safety of CEDs. Because many gaps remain in the body of knowledge with respect to the effects of CEDs, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, has undertaken a study, Deaths Following Electro Muscular Disruption, to address whether CEDs can contribute to or cause mortality and if so, in what ways."

Report Number:
NCJ 222981
2008 United States. Dept. of Justice. National Institute of Justice.
Retrieved From:
United States. Dept. of Justice. National Institute of Justice: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/welcome.html
Media Type:
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