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Ohio county halts Taser use after death

Chicago Tribune | February 18, 2005

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Police have suspended their use of stun guns after the death of a suspect who had been shocked nine times.

Lucas County Sheriff James Telb said Wednesday that the department will not use Tasers until more safety studies are conducted. He said his officers have used Tasers about a dozen times since the stun guns went into service last year.

Jeffrey Turner, 41, died last month after he was shocked five times by police and four times by guards at the jail. The coroner's office has not released a cause of death.

Telb said no policy violations were committed and no charges would be filed.

Taser International Inc., which makes the stun guns, has said they are among the safest ways to subdue a violent person. A message left at the company's office was not immediately returned Thursday.

Tasers fire metal barbs into a suspect and then deliver an electrical charge of 50,000 volts for a short time.

Last week in Chicago, a 54-year-old man died after a stun gun was used on him by police and a teenager was seriously injured in a separate incident. Police said they would not distribute more Tasers until an investigation was complete but would continue to use the 200 stun guns they already have.


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