The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:
Tasers and similar stun guns, increasingly popular among law enforcement agencies nationwide, are generally safe for police to use, says a study paid for by the US Justice Department and released Monday in Seattle.
However, the study's author cautioned that the weapons have the potential to injure or kill.
In the review of 962 reported cases of people jolted with electrical conducted energy weapons, a technical term for devices designed to deliver temporarily disabling bursts of electricity, 99.7 percent had no injuries or had minor ones such as scrapes and bruises that did not require hospitalization.
Touted as "the first large, independent study of injuries associated with Tasers" by the lead researcher, Dr. William Bozeman, an emergency medical specialist at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
In Googling Dr. Bozeman, he has working on this research for the NIJ since 2004 (Researchers will collect data on the proportion of suspects who sustain injuries after less-lethal weapons (both conducted energy devices and kinetic impact weapons) are used during their apprehension by law enforcement officers and on the severity of those injuries. The data will be collected from 12 law enforcement agencies and reviewed by physicians with extensive experience in law enforcement operations.) and has presented his finding to the Police Chief's Association as long ago as June of 2006.
Of course there is another side to the story.