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Phoenix Man Dies After Being Tasered

Associated Press | May 4, 2005

PHOENIX (AP) - A man suspected of assaulting a police officer died Tuesday after being shocked multiple times with Taser stun guns during a struggle with police, authorities said.

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The 24-year-old man had run out a back door of an apartment when officers tried to arrest him early Tuesday, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Randy Force said. A female officer caught up with the man and shocked him.

When the suspect continued to resist, another officer shocked him with his Taser, Force said. Police did not say exactly how many times the man was zapped.

The man, who was not immediately identified, went unconscious and was pronounced dead later at a hospital, Force said.

The death comes amid increasing debate nationwide over police use of Tasers. According to a report released by Amnesty International in March, there were 13 Taser-related deaths in the U.S. and Canada in the first three months of this year - compared with six during the same period last year.

In February, a county in Ohio suspended use of Tasers by police following the death of a suspect who had been shocked nine times. The Chicago City Council has also voted to look into police alternatives to Tasers in response to concerns about their safety.

Stun guns produced by Arizona-based Taser International are used by more than 6,000 law enforcement agencies worldwide. The company has stood by studies demonstrating the safety of its weapons.

 

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