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Tasers are stun guns used by the police to subdue suspects.

Policeman aiming a Taser Gun.
The battery-powered device shoots an electrode, attached by a wire to a capacitor, which delivers a powerful electric shock. The taser is used to subdue suspects who resist arrest, as well as for personal self-defense.

It is favored by people who want to subdue a suspect or assailant without killing him, but is opposed by some people and liberal groups (like Amnesty International and the ACLU). In rare cases, being shot with a taser has resulted in death. [1] These deaths are often attributed to excited delirium, a heart condition, drug use or mental illness. This attribution has been controversial, because "excited delirium" is almost never diagnosed outside of police custody.[2]

YouTube has some videos of young men resisting arrest, getting tasered, and then claiming the police used excessive force or abused their authority.


  1. The Trouble With Tasers - What The Manufacturer Doesn’t Want You To Know 7 March 2007 CrunchGear. Accessed 5 January 2008.
  2. Suspects' deaths blamed on 'excited delirium' (Associated Press, Sept. 25, 2006

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