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Amnesty urges moratorium on Taser use after CBC/Radio-Canada probe

CBC News [1]
Friday December 5th, 2008

Human rights group Amnesty International is renewing its call for a moratorium on Taser use after recent tests commissioned by CBC News and Radio-Canada found some of the stun guns deliver a higher level of electricity than the manufacturer promises.

The tests, conducted by the U.S.-based lab National Technical Systems, used 41 X26 model Tasers from seven police departments in that country. Each weapon was fired six times.

Of the 41 Tasers tested, four delivered significantly more current than Taser International says is possible. In those cases, the current was up to 50 per cent stronger than specified on the devices.

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The abnormal X26 model Tasers were made before 2005, prompting some scientists to suggest police should stop using any older versions of the stun guns until they can be tested.

The human rights group has said it believes police forces around the world have relied too heavily on the manufacturer’s safety claims. It wants to see more independent tests.

“The fact that Tasers were firing above their specified limits then raises questions as to what of the thousands of Tasers that are out there across Canada and across the United States, how often are they misfiring,” said Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.

Full article here [1]