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Taser Madison Wi Pd Report 2005

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Madison Police Department
Taser Report
Submitted To Chief of Police Noble Wray By Lieutenant Victor Wahl

______________________________________________
Summary
In the summer of 2003, the Madison Police Department (MPD) first deployed Tasers as part of an
experimental pilot program. The Taser program was one component of an effort to expand the non-lethal useof-force options available to Madison Police officers. The goal of this effort was to provide officers with
additional options that would reduce injuries to officers and citizens, and would reduce officers’ utilization of
deadly force. The Taser program was expanded significantly in early 2004, with a resulting increase in Taser
deployments. This report serves as a summary of MPD’s Taser program to date. The report’s key findings:
•

MPD’s deployment of the Taser has reduced injuries to officers and suspects resulting
from use-of-force encounters.

•

MPD’s deployment of the Taser has reduced MPD officers’ utilization of deadly force.

•

The Taser has proven to be a safe and effective use-of-force tool.

•

MPD officers are deploying the Taser in an appropriate manner.

History
In early 2000, the use-of-force tools/techniques available to Madison Police were limited to empty-hand
techniques (including compliance holds, takedown techniques, and active countermeasures, like punches or
kicks), OC spray, the baton, and firearms (officers’ individual handguns or the AR-15 patrol rifle). The
department recognized several things about those use-of-force options:
•

They all relied on either causing pain or causing injury to be effective. Some subjects—
whether they be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, have mental health
issues, or are simply extremely mentally focused—do not respond to pain and are extremely
difficult for officers to control with traditional use-of-force tools/techniques.

•

They offered officers no way to deliver non-deadly force from a safe distance.

•

They were, for the most part, the same use-of-force options that officers in the 1960’s (or
earlier) had available.

As a result of these recognitions, the department began exploring other use-of-force options. In the summer
of 2000, the department implemented a less-lethal projectile program (bean-bag rounds fired from 12 gauge
shotguns). Initially, approximately 70 officers were trained in the use of impact projectiles, and shotguns
designated as less-lethal weapons were deployed in certain squads and to District Stations. Other impact
projectile weapons were also deployed with the Special Events Team. At the time we proposed implementing
the less-lethal program, less-lethal technologies were not new, and had (in various forms) been in use across
the nation for years. However, we felt that at that time technology had progressed to the point that it was
appropriate for the department to move forward (the particular advancement was the development of the
“super sock” round, offering a proper balance of effectiveness and safety).
Since the initial deployment of patrol less-lethal projectile weapons, the program has expanded to over 100
trained users and about 40 less-lethal shotguns. The less-lethal projectiles offer one significant advantage
over traditional use-of-force tools/techniques: the ability to deliver non-deadly force from a safe distance.
However, they do suffer from the same limitation as most other tools/techniques: they rely on causing pain or
causing injury to be effective. As stated above, some subjects will not respond to pain, and are no more likely
to respond to less-lethal projectiles than to other use-of-force tools/techniques. [Note: as of January 31, 2005,
MPD officers have deployed less-lethal projectiles in 9 incidents; 5 of those deployments likely allowed
officers to avoid the use of deadly force]
Since the time we began discussing the less-lethal projectile program, several of us on the department had
been monitoring other developments in police use-of-force technology. One device I had researched and
tracked was the M26 Advanced Taser, manufactured by Taser International. In October of 2002, I attended
an M26 Taser Instructor certification course, to gain additional information about the Taser. The Taser, I
learned, functions by causing electromuscular disruption (EMD). The electrical wave of the Taser mimics the
wave that the human brain uses to communicate with the body; when the Taser wave is inserted into the body,
it overrides these electrical impulses, creating a contraction of the body’s muscles and preventing the brain
from exercising voluntary control over the muscles. The result is incapacitation. My research suggested a
number of advantages the Taser offered over traditional use-of-force tools/techniques:
•

Because the Taser causes EMD, it does not rely on causing pain or causing injury to be
effective. As such, it allows suspects to be controlled in most cases without injury; and it is
effective against subjects who are not responsive to pain (subjects who have historically been
extremely challenging – and dangerous – for officers to control).

•

The Taser allows officers to control suspects from a safe distance (up to 21 feet).

•

Traditional use-of-force tools/techniques exhibit a direct relationship between effectiveness
and propensity for injury: techniques that are located near the bottom of the use of force
continuum (such as escort holds, pain compliance, etc.) are very unlikely to cause injury,
but are also very unlikely to be effective in controlling a subject who is non-compliant;
techniques located higher on the continuum (baton strikes, active countermeasures, etc.) are
more likely to be effective in gaining control of a non-compliant subject, but are also very
likely to cause injury. The Taser, however, offers the best of both worlds. The Taser is
extraordinarily effective in controlling resistive subjects, while also being extraordinarily
safe (causing virtually no injury in the vast majority of cases, and causing no long-term
injury or adverse effects).

•

The Taser internally records the date and time each time it is deployed, and that data can be
downloaded to a computer and reviewed. The data download will show the time and date for
each time the Taser is deployed, as well as the duration of each deployment (how long the
Taser current is delivered). Each Taser will store data for about 2,000 firings. Also, each air
2

cartridge has an individual serial number, and also contains about 20-40 AFID’s (anti-felon
identification). The AFID’s are small confetti-like pieces of paper that are fired from the air
cartridge when the Taser is deployed. Each AFID is printed with the unique serial number of
the air cartridge it was fired from. This offers a higher degree of oversight and accountability
than any other use-of-force tool.
•

The electrical output of the Taser is well-below established safety standards, and has no
long-term effects.

•

Agencies that had deployed the Taser saw a decrease in injuries (to both officers and
suspects), a reduction in officers’ use of more intrusive use-of-force tools/techniques (such as
baton strikes) and a reduction in officers’ utilization of deadly force.

As a result of this research, in early 2003 Captain Snyder (then a Lieutenant) and I gave a presentation to the
Management Team, recommending that the department move forward with deployment of the Taser. Chief
Williams and the Management Team endorsed the concept, and the department acquired two M26 Advanced
Tasers as a pilot program in mid-2003. Initially, about fifteen members of the Emergency Response Team
were trained to use the M26, and were authorized to carry the Tasers with them on patrol. The department’s
first Taser deployment was on July 18, 2003. From July of 2003 to February of 2004, there were a total of
eleven M26 Taser deployments.
In 2003, while we were moving forward with our pilot M26 Taser program, Taser International introduced the
X26 Taser. The X26 offered a number of advantages over the M26. The primary advantage of the X26 was
its small size; while the M26 is comparable in size to a Glock 17 handgun, the X26 is 60% smaller and lighter
(this difference is critical, as officers trained in the M26 found it difficult to fit on their duty belts). Given the
many advantages the X26 offered over the M26, we determined that any future MPD Taser purchases would
be of the X26.
A presentation on the Taser was made to the Public Safety Review Board in May of 2003, and presentations
were made to the Mayor’s Capital Improvement Review Committee in both 2003 and 2004. A press
conference unveiling the Taser to the public was held, and local media did a number of stories/articles on the
Taser.
In January of 2004, the department ordered 31 X26 Tasers (and associated equipment) from Taser
International, utilizing Block Grant funds. The equipment arrived in early-March (literally one day before the
first user training was scheduled). In March and April of 2004, about 100 MPD sergeants and officers were
trained as X26 Taser users. While Taser International recommends a four-hour training course for users, we
provided a full eight-hour day of training. The training consisted of a classroom segment, followed by a
written test. The remainder of the training consisted of hands-on training with the Tasers, including weapon
retention instruction and a practical Taser deployment scenario. Some points of emphasis during the training:
•

The preferred mode of control in any police/citizen encounter remains verbal dialog. While
the Taser (and a few years earlier, the less lethal projectiles) offer alternatives not previously
available, officers still need to attempt to gain control through verbal dialog in all but the
most severe circumstances, and should not accelerate the transition from verbal dialog to
physical force simply because of the Taser.

•

While the Taser is generally an effective tool, in the field it will not always be effective, and
officers need to be prepared to rely on other tools/techniques if necessary.

•

Officers need to be aware of their environment prior to deploying the Taser (presence of
flammables, other hazards, etc.).

3

•

Officers should be aware of the symptoms of Excited Delirium, and seek medical
attention/evaluation for those subjects once they are in custody.

Training was provided to operations sergeants, and a selected group of operations-assigned officers (drawing
from the pool of officers who had been trained in the use of the less-lethal shotgun).
One additional training session was held in October of 2004, bringing the total number of MPD Taser trained
personnel to 113.
The Tasers were deployed to the CCB and District Stations for checkout by Taser trained personnel.
Throughout 2004, I was able to expand our Taser inventory somewhat, and the Task Force also purchased
three Tasers (from Task Force funds). We currently have 40 X26’s deployed as follows:
District
CCB
NPD
SPD
WPD
DCNAGTF

Tasers Deployed
12
8
8
9
3

Analysis of Deployments
As of January 31, 2005, MPD officers have deployed Tasers (M26 and X26) 92 times, in 83 incidents. In
some instances, one suspect/incident was responsible for multiple deployments (for example, a probe shot
where the probes missed followed by a drive-stun).
From the beginning of MPD’s Taser program, all Taser reports have been routed to me. I have maintained a
database of information regarding Taser deployments, and have analyzed a variety of factors related to
MPD’s Taser deployments:
Success Rate/Failures
Of the 92 Taser deployments, 71 (or 77%) were effective (meaning the weapon functioned and allowed the
suspect to be taken into custody). Of the ineffective deployments, the causes were:
Failure Cause

Number

Probes Missed (one or both)
Thick/Heavy Clothing
Wires Broke During Fall or
Handcuffing
Drive-Stun Failure
Weapon Malfunction
Williamson Street Incident

8
6
3

Percentage of Total
Deployments
9%
7%
3%

2
1
1

2%
1%
1%

Note that in some of the “failure” cases the suspect still complied. For example, in several incidents the
suspect did not receive any significant Taser current due to heavy clothing, but still chose to comply with no
escalation in force use.
Recall that the Taser can be used in two modes, a probe deployment (an attached air cartridge fires two probes
a distance of up to 21 feet), and the drive-stun mode (with the air cartridge removed, the weapon can deliver a
contact stun). While the probes will deliver an incapacitating EMD effect (as described above), the drive-stun
mode only results in a stun effect (painful stimulus). As a general rule, therefore, the drive-stun is not nearly
as effective as a probe deployment. The drive-stun failure category includes incidents where officers
delivered drive-stuns and the suspect did not respond. Some other drive-stun instances resulted in different
responses and varying degrees of effectiveness, so quantifying these deployments was somewhat subjective.
4

A Taser malfunctioned during one field deployment. CPT officers were struggling with a subject, and an
officer attempting to deliver a drive-stun to the subject noted that the Taser was not functioning (no spark at
all). The subject was controlled after the Taser malfunction, and no injuries resulted.
Williamson Street Incident – On June 14, 2004, David Lopez, having just engaged in a violent confrontation,
physically attached MPD Officer Deanna Reilly, stole an MPD squad (crashing it a short distance away), then
physically attacked and attempted to disarm MPD Sergeant Karen Krahn, causing her to use deadly force
(Lopez survived). A Taser was deployed early in the incident, but Lopez was not incapacitated. The failure
of the Taser to incapacitate Lopez generated almost as much media attention as the officer-involved shooting
did. To understand what I believe happened with the Lopez Taser deployment, two facts about the Taser
must be recalled. First, as a general rule, a wider probe spread will lead to a more effective Taser deployment.
Probe spreads of a few inches or less will generally result in a painful effect to the suspect, but not a full
EMD incapacitating effect. The second issue to recall is that the Taser works by causing involuntary
contraction of muscle tissue. As such, if the probes impact an area on the body that has a low volume of
muscle mass, the Taser will be less effective.
As Lopez initially assaulted Officer Reilly, he was in very close proximity to her (a few feet away). Officer
Reilly recalled seeing the laser aim point from her Taser on Lopez’s upper sternum just prior to deployment.
Officer Reilly stated that Lopez tensed up somewhat and screamed as a result of the Taser deployment, a
reaction consistent with a close probe spread in an area of low muscle mass. Lopez turned and, in a rigid
manner, walked a few steps away from Officer Reilly. From Officer Reilly’s description, it is clear that
Lopez was feeling an effect—albeit a limited one—from the Taser. However, Lopez was suddenly able to
turn and resume his aggression towards Officer Reilly. It is not clear what allowed Lopez to regain full
control of his body, but the most likely possibility is that one of the probes came loose. Testing of the Taser
after the incident showed it to function properly. After the shooting, Lopez continued to resist and several
drive-stuns were delivered to him. These were described as having some effect on Lopez.
While this incident was widely cited as a Taser “failure,” it appears to have simply reflected two known
limitations of the Taser (close probe spreads and low muscle mass hits). Also, Lopez’s ability to resist on that
evening was extraordinary; after crashing a squad car into a tree at high speed and being shot four times, he
continued to resist violently.
Deadly Force Avoided
A review of MPD Taser deployments shows that in six cases it can fairly be said that the Taser deployment
allowed officers to avoid having to utilize deadly force. Examples:
•

An armed robbery suspect fled on foot from officers, then was surrounded but refused to
surrender. The suspect indicated that he had a weapon, and reached into his waistband as if
he was attempting to draw the weapon. The Taser was deployed and the suspect was taken
into custody without injury to officers or the suspect. After the incident, the suspect told the
officers he was trying to force them to shoot him and thanked them for not doing so.

•

A suicidal subject sat on the edge of his bed, armed with a large butcher knife. He
repeatedly told the officers that he was going to charge them with the knife and force them to
shoot him. The Taser was deployed and the suspect was taken into custody without injury to
officers or the suspect.

•

Officers knocked on an apartment door, attempting to contact a sexual assault suspect. The
suspect opened the door with a small knife in his hand. The suspect refused to drop the
knife, and began to raise it to the officers. The Taser was deployed, and the suspect was
taken into custody without injury to officers or the suspect.

•

A suicidal subject in a hotel room armed himself with a box cutter. The subject refused to
comply with officers, telling them, “you’re going to have to kill me.” The individual had
5

inflicted cuts to both of his wrists, and was bleeding as a result. The Taser was deployed,
and the suspect was taken into custody without injury to the officers or further injury to the
suspect.
Also, several of the instances in which Taser use was threatened or the Taser was displayed (but not
deployed) involved armed subjects. Those incidents easily could have rapidly escalated to deadly force
encounters without the presence of the Taser.
Other Notable Deployments
The first MPD Taser deployment, on July 18, 2003, demonstrated the benefits of the device. A subject
needing to be taken into custody for a mental health commitment had barricaded himself in an East Side hotel
room. The individual was extremely large (6’5”, 265 pounds), and had a history of resisting officers. In fact,
during a previous incident where officers had confronted the individual, it took 10 officers almost 10 minutes
to subdue him (OC spray and baton strikes were both used with no effect). The individual and several officers
sustained minor injuries during that encounter. The officers attempting to extract this subject from his hotel
room were aware of this, and requested that I respond with a Taser (at that time I was the only one on MPD
trained to use the Taser). After lengthy efforts to get the individual to exit voluntarily were not successful, we
entered the room. The subject was in the small bathroom, crouching on the toilet, completely nude. He was
shouting incoherently, and had flooded the bathtub, making the tile floor wet and slippery. I deployed the
Taser, and the individual was taken into custody in a matter of seconds, with no injuries to the subject or
officers. Had officers been forced to take him into custody with traditional police use-of-force
tools/techniques, there can be little question that a high degree of force would have been required, and that
injuries would have resulted.
Other Taser deployments have demonstrated the great benefit provided by the Taser. Examples:
•

At about 2 a.m. on a weekend, officers responded to the 500 block of State Street for a large
fight involving more than 100 subjects. The first officer who arrived noted that the
disturbance was being instigated by a large individual (6’4”, 235 pounds), who was actively
fighting with two individuals. Numerous bystanders were hostile to the officers, and some
physically attempted to prevent them from intervening. An officer deployed the Taser,
which incapacitated the subject, allowing him to be taken into custody without injury. The
Taser deployment also caused the rest of crowd to back away and cease their aggressive
behavior. This incident would undoubtedly have required the use of much more intrusive
use-of-force tools/techniques without the Taser, and injuries would likely have resulted.

•

An officer responded to a two-car accident on the City’s east side. The officer observed that
two subjects from one of the vehicles were acting in a suspicious manner, and also
determined that one of them had battered the driver of the other vehicle prior to police
arrival. As the officer—still alone—attempted to frisk one of the suspects, the suspect (6’,
200 pounds) turned and attempted to punch the officer. The officer backed away, and the
suspect moved towards him in an aggressive manner. The officer deployed the Taser, and
was able to take the suspect into custody. This incident—a single officer facing multiple,
hostile suspects—would likely have resulted in injuries to the officer or the suspects without
the Taser.

•

An officer working the night shift was attempting to locate a motorcycle that was fleeing
from him. The officer located the motorcycle and rider, laying in the roadway on a curve.
As the officer pulled up, the rider got up and began lifting the cycle to continue his flight.
The suspect refused to comply with the officer’s directions, and a brief struggle ensued. The
suspect broke free from the officer and again tried to flee on the motorcycle. The officer
deployed his Taser, and the suspect was taken into custody. The Taser deployment in this
incident prevented the risk to officers and citizens associated with vehicle pursuits.

6

•

MPD officers were assisting an outside agency with a barricaded suicidal subject who was
believed to be armed. The subject refused to surrender, and indicated that he was armed.
During the incident, the subject also illuminated officers on the perimeter with a highpowered spotlight. The subject indicated that he had taken an overdose, then exited the
residence, still refusing to comply with officers. An MPD sergeant deployed the Taser, and
the subject was taken into custody without injuries. This deployment prevented the subject
from re-entering his residence and arming himself, and allowed officers to provide
emergency medical care to the subject.

•

Officers responded to a robbery that occurred downtown. Six suspects had fled on foot, and
officers engaged in multiple-foot pursuits. One officer chasing a suspect drew his Taser, and
projected the laser aimpoint on the ground in front of the suspect. The suspect immediately
stopped and complied. Elsewhere, two officers had flushed four of the suspects out of a
wooded area. The four suspects fled towards perimeter officers, one of whom drew her
Taser. One of the suspects recognized this, telling the others, “she’s got a Taser.” All four
suspects stopped and complied at that point.

•

Two night-shift officers contacted two subjects believed to be involved in drug activity in a
bar parking lot. The driver quickly started the car and attempted to put it in gear. One of the
officers leaned in the car and struggled with the suspect, attempting to prevent him from
starting the car. Before the driver was able to put the car in gear, the Taser was deployed,
preventing him from operating the car. The bar parking lot was crowded with people, and
the Taser deployment prevented the suspect from posing a risk to the officers and bystanders.

Distance
The maximum range of the Taser probes is 21 feet (note that a new air cartridge manufactured by Taser
International but not yet deployed by MPD has a range of 25 feet). The Taser probes/wires spread out as they
travel away from the officer (the probes spread 1 foot for every 7 feet they travel), resulting in a wider spread
between probes at longer distances (the bottom probe will impact 3 feet below the top one at the maximum
range of 21 feet). As a result, it can be more difficult to ensure that both probes will impact the target at long
distances. As might be expected, the majority of Taser deployments occurred at relatively close range (11 feet
or less):
Distance
Drive-stun
1-3 feet
4-7 feet
8-11 feet
12-15 feet
16-21 feet

Deployments (92 total)
31
12
20
20
6
3

Injuries
The Taser fires two small metallic probes which, if they impact the body, create very small punctures (similar
to mosquito bites). In many cases the probes don’t impact the skin, and simply connect with the clothing.
Only a small number of the incidents in which Tasers were deployed resulted in any injury (to either officers
or suspects) beyond the minor punctures sometimes caused by the Taser probes:
Incidents in which suspects were injured (beyond probe punctures)
Suspect injuries requiring medical treatment
Incidents in which officers were injured
Officer injuries requiring medical treatment

6
2
3
1

Of the suspect injuries, two were due to the suspect falling as result of the Taser incapacitation (both resulted
in minor injuries, one required medical attention and 7 sutures). Three of the suspects sustained minor
scrapes struggling with officers or being handcuffed (none requiring medical attention). One suspect was shot
with a firearm during the incident (requiring medical attention).
7

Of the officer injuries, one was a minor scrape caused by an officer falling during a foot pursuit (the Taser had
been deployed prior to the foot pursuit but was ineffective, likely due to a probe falling out or wire breakage),
no medical attention was required. Two officers sustained minor injuries during the incident in which the
suspect was shot (not requiring medical attention). One officer sustained a dislocated shoulder in a struggle
with a suspect after Taser deployment (the Taser was only marginally effective, due to heavy clothing),
medical attention was required.
Time of Day
The majority of Taser deployments occurred on MPD’s 2nd and 3rd shifts:
Shift
1st
2nd
3rd

Deployments
9
40
43

Percentage
10%
43%
47%

While Taser-trained officers were distributed across patrol shifts fairly evenly, a number of neighborhood
officers and CPT officers—all working primarily evening hours—were Taser trained. While this may have
contributed to the disparity in Taser deployments between day hours and evening/night hours, it is likely that
the difference simply reflects MPD staffing allocations, as well as the volume and nature of calls for service
on the different shifts.
Subject Age
The majority of Taser deployments were against subjects between the age of 19 and 43. The youngest subject
a Taser was deployed against was 14, the oldest was 60.
Age Range
14-18
19-23
24-28
29-33
34-38
39-43
44-48
49-53
54 +

Number of Subjects
7
15
17
12
13
10
5
2
2

Percentage *
8%
18%
20%
14%
16%
12%
6%
2%
2%

* Percentages are rounded, as a result they do not add up to 100

It is not clear if other use-of-force tools/techniques employed by MPD officers are applied to various age
groups in a pattern similar to that of the Taser. However, a review of MPD arrest data (for 2003)—showing
percentages of total MPD arrests by age—is relevant:
Age Range
14-18
19-23
24-29
30-34
35-39
40-44
45-49
50-54
55-59
60-64
65 +

Percentage of Total MPD Arrests
24%
34%
12%
7%
7%
7%
5%
3%
1%
Less than 1%
Less than 1%

While the utilization of the Taser against subjects in the 14-18 year-old age range has created some
controversy locally, this data suggests that MPD officers exercise considerable restraint with respect to
8

deploying Tasers during arrests of subjects in that age range (accounting for 24% of arrests but only 8% of
Taser deployments).
Race/Gender
The race and gender of the 83 subjects against whom the Taser was deployed:
Gender/Race
M/W
M/B
M/A
M/H
F/W
F/B

Deployments
36
30
1
5
7
4

Percentage
43%
36%
1%
6%
8%
5%

MPD arrest data (from 2003) shows that MPD arrest rates (by race) are comparable (arrest rates: white: 63%;
black: 34%) to Taser deployment rates (by race).
Location
Taser deployments by MPD district:
District
East
North
Central
South
West
Outside City*

Deployments
12
20
18
16
24
2

Percentage
13%
22%
20%
17%
26%
2%

* One of these incidents was an MPD officer assisting an outside agency; one was an MPD pursuit that ended outside of the
City.

For comparison, this data can be compared to MPD calls for service and violent crimes reported (by MPD
District):
District
East
North
Central
South
West

2003 Calls for Service (percentage of
MPD total)
14%
17%
28%
15%
23%

2003 Violent Crimes
(percentage of MPD total)
13%
15%
29%
19%
25%

When determining which officers to train in use of the Taser, consideration was given to district, so Taser
trained personnel (in 2004) were split across districts fairly evenly. These numbers indicate that Taser
deployments by geographic area are fairly consistent with overall demand for police services.
Criminal Charges
The 83 subjects who were taken into custody during incidents in which the Taser was deployed accounted for
a total of 30 felony and 144 misdemeanor charges (as a result of the incidents). 13 of the subjects were taken
into custody for a non-criminal reason (protective custody, mental health commitment, emergency detention,
etc.).
Resulting Charges to Subject
Misdemeanor Charges Only
Misdemeanor & Felony Charges
Protective Custody, Emergency Detention, etc.

Number
49
20
13

Percentage
59%
24%
16%

*Resulting charges in one incident - where an MPD officer deployed the Taser while assisting another police agency - are
unknown.

9

Weapons
Officers trained to use Tasers are clearly instructed that the Taser is not a substitute for deadly force. It would
be inappropriate under MPD policy for an officer faced with a potential deadly force encounter to utilize a
Taser. However, if another officer is present at a scene with the ability to immediately deliver deadly force, it
would be appropriate for an officer to arm him or herself with a Taser (and deploy it, if appropriate). That
being said, some of the suspects involved in Taser incidents were armed:
Number of armed suspects (actual Taser deployments)
Number of armed suspects (incidents where Taser was displayed or Taser use was
threatened)

6
3

Taser Display Or Threatened Use
In Spring of 2004, when the Taser program was expanded, Taser-trained officers were instructed not only to
forward all reports involving actual deployments of Tasers to me, but to also route reports where officers
displayed or threatened to deploy a Taser in order to gain compliance from a suspect. In 47 instances, officers
gained compliance from suspects by displaying or threatening to deploy the Taser. These suspects were taken
into custody with no physical force being used, and with no injuries to officers or suspects. Notably, some of
these instances involved suspects who refused to comply when confronted with firearms; only when the Taser
was displayed did the suspect comply. Some suspects reported being aware of the Taser and its capabilities,
and consciously choosing not to resist as a result.
Officers initially trained in the use of the Taser (in 2003) were not instructed to forward these reports to me,
so it is likely that the total number of these cases is slightly higher.
Many of these instances involved suspects that were displaying behavior indicative of significant resistance.
There can be little doubt that most of these instances would have resulted in physical confrontations without
the presence of the Taser, and that at least some of these physical confrontations would have resulted in
injuries to the suspect, officers, or both. Several of these incidents involved subjects who were armed; those
easily could have escalated to deadly force encounters without the Taser’s presence.
Citizen Complaints
The department has received no citizen complaints about any of the Taser deployments.

Success of MPD Taser Program
At the outset of the MPD Taser program, our belief was that deploying the Taser with MPD officers would
achieve two primary goals:
•
•

A reduction in injuries to officers and suspects from use-of-force encounters.
A reduction in officers’ utilization of deadly force.

To fully understand the benefits of the Taser, a brief discussion of police use-of-force is in order. The
purpose of police use-of-force is to gain control of a subject in pursuit of a legitimate law enforcement
objective. Officers can use that degree of force that is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. The
U.S. Supreme Court has articulated three general factors that will be used to evaluate the reasonableness of a
police use-of-force:
•
•
•

The severity of the crime.
Whether the suspect poses a threat to the safety of officers or citizens.
Whether the suspect is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest.

10

The reasonableness of an officer’s actions will be judged based on what information the officer knew at the
time of the incident (not through 20/20 hindsight). Officers are not required to use the minimum amount of
force in any given situation; the constitutional standard is reasonableness.
In Wisconsin, a force continuum serves as a framework for officers in making use-of-force decisions:
Mode
Presence

Tactic
Professional Presence

Purpose
To present a visible display of authority

Dialog

Tactical Communication

To verbally persuade

Empty Hand Control

Escort Holds
Compliance Holds
OC Spray
Passive Countermeasures
[Taser]
Active Countermeasures
Incapacitating Techniques

To safely initiate contact
To overcome passive resistance
To overcome active resistance or its threat
To decentralize

Intermediate Weapon

Intermediate Weapons
[Less Lethal Projectiles]

To impede a subject

Deadly Force

Firearm

To stop the threat

To create dysfunction
To cause the immediate, temporary cessation of violent behavior

[Note that the State of Wisconsin does not currently incorporate the Taser or less lethal projectiles into the force continuum,
they are reflected above as placed in the continuum under MPD policy.]

Officers are authorized to initially use the level and degree of force that is reasonably necessary to achieve
control; it is not necessary to escalate step-by-step through the continuum. Tools/techniques located near the
bottom of the continuum (tactical communication, escort holds, etc.) are very unlikely to cause injury, but are
also very unlikely to gain control of a non-compliant subject. Tools/techniques located near the top of the
continuum (the intermediate weapon—the baton; or active countermeasures—punches, kicks, forearm strikes
or knee strikes) are more likely to gain control of a non-compliant subject, but are also much more likely to
cause injury. So, tools/techniques that would be used as alternatives to the Taser are more likely to cause
injury (indeed, if they are done properly, they will cause injury) than the Taser, but are less likely to be
effective than the Taser (particularly when dealing with extremely resistive/violent subjects).
Injury reduction - As indicated above, use-of-force incidents involving the Taser resulted in very few
injuries. There were 130 total use-of-force incidents involving Tasers (83 incidents involving actual
deployments, and 47 where officers threatened to use or displayed the Taser). Given the alternative use-offorce tools/techniques (baton strikes, punches, kicks, etc.) officers would have employed in many of the
incidents where the Taser was deployed, and the high propensity for those tools/techniques to cause injury,
there is no question that both the number and severity of injuries (to both officers and suspects) would have
been far higher but for the Taser.
Injury Type
Incidents in which suspects were injured
Suspect injuries requiring medical treatment
Incidents in which officers were injured
Officer injuries requiring medical treatment

Number
6
2
3
1

Percentage of Taser Incidents
5%
2%
2%
Less than 1%

National studies have consistently shown that police use-of-force encounters often result in injuries to officers
and suspects. Comparing these figures to injury rates from MPD use-of-force encounters involving the Taser
shows that the Taser does lead to a reduction in injuries to both officers and suspects:

Injuries to
Officers
Injuries to
Suspect

Percentage of MPD use-of-force incidents
involving Taser
2%

National Averages, all use-of-force
incidents
10%

5%

38%

11

As part of the process of researching the Taser and proposing an MPD Taser program, MPD officer injuries
(resulting from physical confrontations with suspects) were analyzed (by reviewing MPD worker’s
compensation forms). Comparing that data (from 2002) with similar data collected from 2004 also illustrates
the benefit on overall MPD officer injuries since the Taser was deployed:
Incidents where MPD officers were injured during physical confrontations with
suspects
Missed work days by officers as a result of these injuries (worker’s comp days)
Light duty days as a result of these injuries
Using average MPD officer salary, value of missed work time

2002
90

2004
68

29
54
$24,714

26
25
$15,899

This reduction cannot necessarily be correlated only to the Taser, but it does further indicate the benefit of the
Taser. It is also important to note that Taser deployment was not expanded until Spring of 2004 (so for the
first few months of the year, there were only a handful of Taser-trained officers and only two Tasers available
for use), that only a limited number of officers are Taser trained, and that only a limited number of Tasers are
available for checkout. Expanded deployment of the Taser would likely further reduce officer and suspect
injuries.
Deadly Force Utilization – As indicated above, a number of incidents where the Taser was deployed allowed
officers to avoid having to resort to the use of deadly force. Also, some of the incidents in which displaying
or threatening to use the Taser resulted in compliance could have very easily escalated to deadly force
encounters. As such, the Taser clearly has reduced MPD officers’ utilization of deadly force.

Taser Safety
When we first researched and deployed Tasers in 2003, there was strong evidence demonstrating the Taser’s
safety. Since then, several new reports on Taser safety have been released. The most notable was conducted
by the Department of Defense (Human Effects Center of Excellence). While the full report is not yet
available, a summary has been released. The summary states:
[U]se of the Taser M26 and X26, as intended, will generally be effective in inducing the
desired temporarily incapacitating effect without presenting a significant risk of unintended
severe effects.
The summary also stated:
…increased use of the Taser M26 or the Taser X26 has decreased the overall injury rate of
both police officers and suspects in conflict situations when compared to alternatives along
the use-of-force continuum.
Another Taser safety study was recently published in a peer-reviewed cardiac physiology medical journal
(Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology), concluding that the X26 Taser has a wide margin of safety. The
study concluded that 20 times the standard X26 output is required to induce ventricular fibrillation in a
subject weighing 100 pounds. The safety margin increased with larger body sizes:
Body Weight (pounds)
66
82
108
119
183
258

X26 Safety Margin
15x
18x
22x
30x
36x
42x

12

The study also showed that heart rhythm and blood pressure remain unchanged during the Taser cycle. The
study’s conclusion stated:
This study confirmed the cardiac safety of an experimental NMI (Taser) device emulating
the performance of commercially used devices. An NMI discharge that could induce VF
(ventricular fibrillation) required 15-42 times the charge of the standard NMI discharge.
Furthermore, this study demonstrated a safety index strongly correlated with increasing
weight. In addition, the observation of the hemodynamic stability of the animals suggests
that these devices may be safely applied multiple times if needed. Discharge levels output
by fielded NMI devices have an extremely low probability of inducing VF.
Also, the Defence Scientific Advisory Council (United Kingdom), undertook an extensive research study into
Taser safety. The study’s conclusion, released in July of 2004: “The risk of life-threatening or serious
injuries from the M26 Taser is very low.”
Over the past year, however, a number of media outlets have questioned the safety of the Taser, suggesting
that Taser deployments have been responsible for the deaths of a number of subjects. These media outlets—
primarily The Arizona Republic (a daily newspaper in Phoenix, AZ)—have cited a number of cases where
subjects died after Taser deployments (so called “Taser related” deaths). A close analysis of these cases,
however, demonstrates the inaccuracy of the media implications. I reviewed 90 cases (mostly reported by
The Arizona Republic) occurring between 1999 and 2005 involving the Taser and the eventual death of a
suspect. That review showed:
Of the 90 cases:
• 89 involved significant physical exertion (fleeing or fighting) on the part of the suspect.
• In 41 out of the 51 cases for which information was available, the suspect had ingested
controlled substances—usually cocaine, but also including PCP and methamphetamine prior
to police contact (in 39 of the cases drug information was not available).
• In 54 out of the 59 cases for which information was available, there was a significant time
delay between the application of the Taser and the suspect’s death—sometimes up to a week
(information was not available for 31 cases). This is a clear indication that the Taser did not
contribute to these deaths (electricity is not stored in the body—if an electrical current is
sufficient to cause ventricular fibrillation, it will do so immediately).
• Most involved violent struggles with police, in which other use-of-force tools/techniques
(such as OC spray, baton strikes, beanbag rounds, and empty hand techniques) were utilized.
These cases were included as “Taser related” deaths:
• 2 subjects who were shot (with firearms) by police after Tasers were deployed
unsuccessfully.
• 2 subjects who died from head injuries (1 from a fall after Taser deployment, 1 prior to
police arrival).
• 1 subject who slit his wrist prior to police contact and died as a result.
• 1 subject who filled his home with natural gas prior to police contact—when the Taser was
deployed the house exploded, killing the subject and injuring two officers.
What did the coroners/medical examiners in these 90 cases say?
• In 46 cases the cause of death was unknown, or the autopsy is unavailable. Most of these cases
involved drug ingestion and/or a delay between Taser application and death.
• In 23 of the remaining 44 cases, the death was attributed to lethal drug consumption
In 8 of these cases the autopsy report specifically excluded the Taser as a contributing factor
In 3 of these cases the role of the Taser was deemed to be unknown

13

•

•
•
•

In 9 of the remaining 21 cases, the death was attributed to medical causes, usually cardiac arrest due
to physical exertion or pre-existing disease
In 5 of these cases the autopsy report specifically excluded the Taser as a contributing factor
In 2 of these cases the role of the Taser was deemed to be unknown
In 6 of the remaining 12 cases, the death was attributed to trauma unrelated to the Taser (gunshots,
etc.)
None of the autopsy reports ruled or suggested that the Taser was a primary cause of any death.
In 6 cases the Taser was deemed to have contributed to the subject’s death; all 6 findings are highly
speculative and a review of the incidents suggests that the Taser played no causative role in any of
the deaths:
James Borden (47 years of age, Monroe County, Indiana)
Multiple drive-stuns delivered to lower abdomen and buttocks during struggle in jail.
Borden had a massively enlarged heart (twice the normal size) and had toxic drug levels present in his body.
A national forensic expert (Cyril Wecht) reviewed the case and concluded that the Taser did not cause or
contribute to the death.
The original coroner has since stated that the pain from the Taser—rather than the current itself—frightened
Bolden, causing him to have a heart attack (all police use-of-force tools/techniques will cause pain, however, so
the use of any tool/technique during this incident would have led to the same result).

William Lomax (26 years of age, Las Vegas, Nevada)
Lomax, under the influence of PCP, engaged in a violent struggle with police. He died 19 hours after the Taser
deployment.
The coroner’s report attributed the death to “cardiac arrest during restraint procedure” with “PCP intoxication”
listed as a secondary cause.
A coroner’s inquest jury (not medical professionals) issued an opinion stating “the combination of the force of
the knee in his back, the TASER, his drug use, and the restraining: they all played an equal role in his demise.”
No experts in Taser safety or technology testified at the inquest.

William Teasley (31 years of age, Anderson, South Carolina)
Large subject became violent during booking process, Taser deployed.
Teasley had numerous medical problems: his heart and spleen were enlarged, his liver weighed twice as much as
a normal one, he had hardened arteries and a constricted airway.
Medical examiner stated that the Taser alone did not cause the death, but stated, “in the dominoes of this man’s
existence, this Taser was the last straw.”

Greshmond Gray (25 years of age, LaGrange, Georgia)
Subject resisted officers, Taser deployed.
After first Taser deployment, subject attempted to pick up a small grill filled with hot coals, Taser deployed
again.
Subject had a history of cocaine use, and an abnormal heart.
Coroner ruled that the emotional and physical stress the subject went through during the struggle with police,
including the Taser deployment, led to a lethal heart rhythm.

Milton; Salazar (29 years of age, Mesa, Arizona)
Hours after being released from prison, Salazar began throwing rocks at motorists.
Salazar resisted officers and Taser was deployed, he died two days later.
Tests showed the presence of cocaine in Salazar’s system.
Medical Examiner ruled that Salazar died from complications from excited delirium due to cocaine intoxication,
but added that the Taser and stress from the struggle with police contributed.

Michael Rosa (38 years of age, Del Rey Oaks, California)
Rosa was wandering through yards and screaming; when police approached he swung a 2x4 piece of wood at
them.
Rosa was taken into custody after Taser deployment, he died later at the hospital.
The coroner ruled that Rosa died of a heart attack due to methamphetamine intoxication, but listed the Taser and
the struggle with police as contributing factors.

So, in most of the cases cited by media outlets as “Taser related” deaths, the Taser can readily be eliminated
as a factor in the suspect’s death. In those few cases where coroners or medical examiners mentioned the

14

Taser as a possible factor in the death, circumstances suggest otherwise. No coroner or medical examiner has
ruled that the Taser was the primary cause of any death.
The summary of the Department of Defense study on Taser safety (discussed above) also spoke to the subject
of in-custody deaths associated with the Taser: “based on the documentation and research reviewed, this
report concludes that (the Taser) is likely not the primary causative factor in reported fatalities.”
The delay between Taser application and death in most of these incidents forecloses the Taser as playing a
role in those deaths. UW-Madison professor of biomedical engineering John Webster:
If people are electrocuted, then the heart stops pumping. In about five seconds the blood
pressure goes to near zero. Within about 30 seconds, the person faints and collapses. Most
of the incidents of persons dying after being “Tasered” don’t fit this situation.
A 1991 report in the Journal of Forensic Sciences reviewed 16 in-custody deaths associated with Taser use
(those cases involved an earlier model of Taser, manufactured by a different company, however). The study
concluded that the Taser does not cause death and ruled out the Taser as a factor in fifteen of the cases. The
study concluded that in one of the cases, the Taser could not be ruled out as a contributing factor (“the
subject’s heart condition was such that he could have suffered a fatal arrhythmia from the PCP, the
excitement, the electrical stimulation or any of these factors”).
Suspect deaths in police custody are not new; indeed, such incidents have occurred previously in Madison. It
is estimated that between 50 and 125 police in-custody deaths occur each year. These incidents are almost
always associated with a condition known as Excited Delirium:
A state of extreme mental and physiological excitement, characterized by extreme agitation,
hyperthermia, epiphoria, hostility, exceptional strength and endurance without fatigue.
Excited delirium typically results from excessive or chronic drug use, or from certain types of severe mental
conditions. It is characterized by bizarre and violent behavior, incredible strength, paranoia, incoherent
shouting, overheating, profuse sweating, and being impervious to pain. The erratic behavior engaged in by
these individuals results in police response, and a violent struggle typically ensues. Because the subject
suffering from excited delirium is experiencing paranoia, is impervious to pain and temporarily exhibits
extraordinary strength and endurance, these confrontations are extremely dangerous and challenging for
police. The subject—feeling no pain and behaving irrationally—exerts him or herself far beyond the limits of
the body and heart, sometimes resulting in death. As the Taser continues to be used more widely by police
agencies, it is not unusual that some of these in-custody deaths will occur after incidents in which the Taser
was used. Indeed, almost all of the incidents cited by The Arizona Republic appear to be instances of
Excited Delirium. To conclude that the Taser caused any of these deaths is simply not accurate.
Dr. Jan Garavaglia, Chief Medical Examiner for Orlando, Florida, spoke to the issue of Excited Delirium and
the Taser (July 2004):
It is my belief that Taser use is now associated with Excited Delirium, because it’s
associated; that’s how they’re bringing them down, but there’s really no evidence that
they’re causing any of the deaths…Excited Delirium is now a fatal disease, whether the
police interact or not…I believe these individuals would have died with or without being
shot with a Taser.
A United States Department of Justice study into the safety of OC spray (conducted in the mid-90s) also
sheds some light on the issue of police in-custody deaths. The DOJ study reviewed 73 cases in which
subjects had died after being exposed to OC spray. The study pointed out that when OC spray was new (like
the Taser is now), safety concerns developed: “as pepper spray use began to spread, questions arose as to its
safety, especially after several exposed arrestees died in custody.” The DOJ study concluded that OC spray
15

contributed to only two of the deaths, both involving suspects who suffered from asthma. A few points from
the DOJ’s OC study are relevant to the topic of Taser safety and in-custody deaths:
•

A review of the facts associated with the individual incidents in the DOJ study show
striking similarities to the cases cited by the Arizona Republic (almost all of them
showing symptoms of Excited Delirium). Most involve suspects who have either
ingested controlled substances or have pre-existing medical conditions. The suspects
engage in some type of behavior requiring police intervention, and then proceed to
engage in violent confrontations with officers. These similarities demonstrate that police
in-custody deaths are to be expected in a small number of police use-of-force encounters,
and that the suspect’s exertion while resisting—rather than any particular tool or
technique used by the police—leads to the death.

•

Conclusions reached by medical examiners or coroners are opinions, and necessarily
entail some degree of subjectivity. The DOJ report stated, “[T]he author did not always
agree with the cause of death listed by the autopsy surgeon or the medicolegal officer.”
Indeed, a review of the Arizona Republic cases shows a number of very similar incidents
where the medical examiner/coroner reached different conclusions. The Arizona
Republic emphasizes the few autopsy reports concluding that the Taser contributed to a
death, but discounts the autopsy reports expressly ruling that the Taser played no role in
a death.

•

The DOJ study stated, “the studies cited in this report do not and cannot prove that
pepper spray will never be a contributing factor in the death of a subject resisting arrest.”
So, while unable to definitively state that OC spray is “safe,” the DOJ study concluded
that all but two of the deaths associated with the use of OC spray would have occurred
even if OC spray had not been used.

•

Despite the lack of a definitive conclusion in the DOJ report, the vast majority of police
officers in the United States carry and use OC spray.

A review of 38 police in-custody deaths during a two-month period in 2004 showed that 9 of the cases (24%)
involved Taser use, while 29 (76%) did not. Since about 30% of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. deploy
Tasers, this suggests that in-custody deaths involving the Taser comprise a percentage of all police in-custody
deaths proportionate to overall Taser deployment.
None of the media stories casting doubt upon the safety of the Taser has cited any type of medical or
scientific study or research to support their claims. Indeed, there is no research suggesting any safety
concerns with the Taser. Information available in 2003 when MPD first deployed the Taser strongly indicated
that the device was safe. While the past year’s media attention has raised doubts about Taser safety among
the uninformed, available information continues to demonstrate that the Taser is a safe device. MPD’s Taser
experience (close to 300 deployments, including volunteer exposures, with only a few minor injuries and no
long-term adverse consequences) further demonstrates this.

Other Taser Issues
Policy
MPD policy on Taser use has changed in several respects since the program’s inception. Initially, the Taser
was placed at two distinct locations on the force continuum: if used in the drive-stun mode, the Taser was
placed at the compliance hold level; if used by firing probes, the Taser was placed above takedown techniques
but below active countermeasures. The reason for the distinction was primarily the differing propensities for
injury: firing the probes creates a small risk for injury (primarily due to the potential for an uncontrolled fall),
while the drive-stun carries virtually no potential for injury. After reviewing Taser deployments for the first
16

few months of expanded deployment (mid-2004), we realized that a few deployments in the drive-stun mode,
while in compliance with the policy at that time, did not reflect circumstances under which we wanted Tasers
to be deployed. As a result, in June of 2004 MPD’s policy on Taser use was changed, putting any Taser use
at the same point on the force continuum (above takedown techniques but below active countermeasures).
86% of agencies deploying the Taser place it on the continuum at the same level as OC spray, and The
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) model policy on electric weapons equates the devices
with OC spray. So, MPD’s current policy is slightly more restrictive than the IACP recommended policy and
that of most agencies deploying the Taser.
A the time the above change was made, this section was also added to the Taser section of the use-of-force
policy:
The Taser shall not be used once an individual is subdued and under control, nor shall it be
used against subjects who are offering passive resistance.
At the inception of the MPD Taser program, officers were required to have medical staff (at an emergency
room) remove the Taser probes (if they were embedded in the subject’s skin). Officers found that ER staff
removed the probes in the same way Taser International trains officers to remove them. Accordingly, the
policy was changed to allow officers to remove probes in the field. Probe removal was incorporated into the
Taser user training as well. Probes embedded in a sensitive area of the body will still have to be removed by
medical personnel.
Volunteer Exposures
Since the inception of the MPD Taser program, close to 200 people have volunteered to be exposed to the
Taser. Most of these volunteers have been MPD officers going through Taser training (Taser exposure is
highly recommended, but not required, for officers being trained in use of the Taser; only a handful did not
volunteer). In 2004, Officer Eric Anderson provided training on police use-of-force and possible resulting
injuries to the Madison Fire Department. More than 60 MFD personnel volunteered to be exposed to the
Taser. One media representative has also volunteered. None of these individuals sustained any injury
during the exposure, and no adverse effects have been reported.
Deployment Problems/Effectiveness
The Taser user training underscores the Taser’s great effectiveness. The volunteer Taser exposures most
officers were subject to (under controlled conditions) can create the belief that the Taser will always be
effective. Not surprisingly, in actual field deployments many things can (and do) go wrong that hinder the
Taser’s effectiveness. The primary issues MPD officers have faced are clothing (thick or baggy) or probe
misses. Officers are recognizing that the Taser, while a great tool, is not a cure-all.
Reliability
MPD was one of the first agencies to purchase the X26, and as a result our initial order of 31 were some of
the earlier ones manufactured. 16 X26’s have had to be returned to Taser International, for a variety of
problems. All but one of these malfunctions were detected either during training or through spark-testing.
Only once did an X26 malfunction (fail to spark when deployed) during a field deployment.
Taser International has replaced each of these X26’s, and had provided a few extra X26’s at no cost to the
department. It appears that the malfunctions may be attributable to early problems in the X26 manufacturing
process. Tasers received after the initial order (with higher serial numbers, from later manufacturing lots)
have proven to be more reliable.

Conclusions
MPD’s deployment of the Taser has clearly been a success. The Taser has been utilized to resolve more than
100 use-of-force encounters, with few resulting injuries to officers or suspects. Given the alternative force
17

options that would have been utilized in these encounters, there is no question that both the number and
severity of injuries (to both officers and suspects) would have been far greater had the Taser not been
available. The Taser has also allowed officers to avoid having to deploy deadly force in a handful of
incidents, and has also likely precluded other incidents from escalating to deadly force encounters.
The fact remains, however, that most MPD officers have not been trained in the use of the Taser. Each shift,
most MPD patrol officers working the street are not equipped with Tasers, either because they have not been
trained in use of the Taser, or because there are no Tasers available for Taser-trained officers to check-out.
As a result, many MPD use-of-force encounters continue to be handled with traditional tools/techniques.
These incidents are resulting in injuries to both officers and suspects that could be avoided with expanded
Taser deployment.

Attachments
Summary of all MPD Taser deployments
Summary of all incidents where Taser use was threatened, or Taser was displayed

18

MPD Taser Deployments
July 2003 - January 2005

Date

Officer

Location

Probes/Stun

Distance

S/R

Age

Taser

Case Number

7/18/2003

Wahl

4765 Hayes Rd.

Probes

7 feet

M/B

35

M26

03-84278

Large subject barricaded in hotel bathroom; very effective

Comments

8/1/2003

Skenadore

Beltline/Verona Rd.

Probes

10 feet

F/W

19

M26

03-90516

Suicidal female, 1 probe hit backpack; still taken into custody w/no escalation

8/2/2003

Samson

100 E. Main

Drive-Stun

na

M/H

28

M26

03-91086

Non-compliant subject on ground, drive stun effective

Charges
ED
1 misd

8/6/2003

Quast

Bram/Beld

Probes

10 feet

M/B

37

M26

03-93234

Armed robbery suspect, attempted suicide by cop; very effective

1 misd; 1 felony

8/9/2003

Skenadore

1754 Thierer Rd.

Probes

10 feet

M/B

44

M26

03-94374

Suicidal subject, cutting self w/razor; very effective

PC Conveyance

8/9/2003

Skenadore

2914 Industrial Dr.

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

30

M26

03-94645

Resistive subject at detox; drive-stun effective

PC Conveyance

8/25/2003

Quast

1709 Fisher St.

Probes

8-9 feet

M/W

42

M26

03-101694

Suicidal subject, noncompliant, probes hit - marginal effectivness; poss. Low muscle mass

10/9/2003

Samson

2678 S. Stoughton Rd

Probes

10 feet

M/W

26

M26

03-122690

Suicidal w/large knife, also threatening to charge officers; 2 cycles, very effective

10/16/2003

Quast

401 West Shore Dr.

Drive-Stun

na

M/H

35

M26

03-125810

Non-compliant subject on ground after foot pursuit; drive stun effective

10/22/2003

Freedman

1500 Adams St.

Drive-Stun

na

29

M26

03-127193

Resistive subject on ground; drive-stun effective

2/17/2004

Freedman

2809 Curry Pkwy.

Probes

8-10 feet

M/W

22

M26

04-17315

Large, unccoperative subject w/history of resistance; probes very effective

4/6/2004

McClurg

4101 Commercial Ave.

Probes

12 feet

M/W

41

S2

04-36669

Subject in vehicle, probes hit vehicle and not subject

4/6/2004

Ott

4101 Commercial Ave.

Drive-Stun

na

C21

04-36669

Drive-stun on above subject during struggle

4/7/2004

Grann

4222 E. Washington

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

22

C23

04-37163

Drive-stun after foot pursuit; effective

4/8/2004

Grann

E. Wash & 6th

Drive-Stun

na

M/B

34

C24

04-37597

Drive-stun, not effective

4/17/2004

B. Gonzalez

517 Woodward

Probes

5 feet

M/B

40

N16

04-41285

Large uncooperative suspect, 2 firing cycles, effective

4/18/2004

Brennan

E. Main & Webster

Probes

16-20 feet

M/B

28

C21

04-41694

Large suspect turned on officer after foot pursuit, effective

4/22/2004

Matt Schroedl

15 Buhler Ct.

Probes

4-5 feet

M/W

36

N18

04-43386

Suicidal subject w/knife; effective

PC Conveyance

4/24/2004

Grann

605 Cottage Grove Rd.

Drive-Stun

na

F/W

50

C22

04-44320

Noncompliant suspect refusing to enter squad; drive-stun effective

PC Conveyance

4/26/2004

Kobinsky

4601 Verona Rd.

Drive-Stun

na

F/W

25

W12

04-45355

Combative in squad (cuffed) kicked window, shattering it; drive-stun effective

5/3/2004

Alvarez

CCB

Drive-Stun

na

M/H

27

C30

04-48549

Resistive subject in holding cell; drive-stun effective

5/6/2004

McClurg

Hwy V

Probes

3 feet

M/W

42

S2

04-49523

Resistive suspect at end of lengthy pursuit, extended deployment, very effective

5/8/2004

Wiering

2014 Allied Dr.

Probes

1-3 feet

F/B

26

5/8/2004

Wiering

2014 Allied Dr.

Drive-Stun

na

5/14/2004

Herrera

100 S. Pinckney

Probes

1-3 feet

F/B

21

C24

04-53047

Handcuffed suspect, resisting and attempting to kick officers, effective

5/14/2004

Herrera

100 S. Pinckney

Drive-Stun

na

F/B

21

C24

04-53047

Suspect struggling with officers attempting takedown, drive-stun effective

2 misd

5/16/2004

Patterson

500 State St.

Probes

6 feet

M/W

26

C28

04-54085

Large violent suspect in major disturbance, probes very effective, 3 cycles

3 misd

5/20/2004

Grann

1798 Thierer Rd.

Probes

12-15 feet

M/B

44

C29

04-55720

Large resistive subject after foot pursuit; effective; 2-3 cycles

2 misd

5/25/2004

Kellogg

432 State St.

Drive-Stun

na

M/B

48

C26

04-58280

Resistive subject, drive-stun effective

1 misd

5/27/2004

D. Dexheimer

1542 Troy Dr.

Probes

10 feet

F/W

34

N15

04-58389

Probes bounced off suspect, no effect

1 misd; 1 felony

Probes

M/W

W7

04-50439

Resistve subject, probes missed

W7

04-50439

Follow-up drive-stun after probes missed and suspect taken to ground, effective

Yes

3 misd
1 felony; P&P

Yes

1 misd
2 misd
Unk (asst. TMPD)
1 misd; 3 felony
1 misd; 1 felony; P&P
2 misd
4 misd
1 misd; P&P
Yes

2 misd
1 misd
2 misd; 2 felony; P&P
1 misd; P&P
2 misd; 1 felony

6/3/2004

Fiore

755 Braxton Pl.

8 feet

M/W

36

S1

04-62182

Intoxicated & uncooperative suspect; probes effective; minor injury as a result of fall

6/3/2004

Armagost

4702 Cottage Grove

Probes

5 feet

M/W

60

C23

04-62077

Suspect armed with knife, probe deployment effective

6/5/2004

Kobinsky

1240 McKenna

Probes

9 feet

M/B

23

W8

04-61536

Probes fired at suspect in foot pursuit, missed

3 misd

1 misd

1 misd

2 misd; 1 felony

6/5/2004

Kobinsky

1240 McKenna

Drive-Stun

na

W8

04-61536

Drive-stun after foot pursuit; effective

5/23/2004

Pharo

2418 Willard Av.

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

16

N19

04-57064

Subject in squad spitting;drive-stun used

3 misd

6/3/2004

Fiore

4315 Bridge Rd

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

27

S1

04-62031

Incoherent/resistive subject in swimming pool; drive-stun somewhat effective

7 misd

6/8/2004

B. Gonzalez

500 N. Oak

Probes

6-7 feet

M/W

28

N15

04-64038

Probes fired at suspect in foot pursuit after 10-80; effective; 2 cycles

2 misd; 2 felony

6/14/2004

Reilly

900 Williamson St

Probes

5 feet

M/H

28

C27

04-66893

Initial minor effect, then not effective; likely due to close probe spread & low muscle mass

5 misd; 5 felony

6/14/2004

Reilly

800 Williamson St.

Drive-Stun

na

C27

04-66893

Multiple drive-stuns; pre-shooting not effective; post-shooting marginal effectiveness

6/14/2004

D. Xiong

100 S. Thompson

Probes

16-21 feet

M/W

21

C22

04-67375

Probes fired, not effective. Appears one probe stuck in clothing but too far from skin to complete cycle

6/16/2004

D. Xiong

3737 E. Washginton

Probes

3 feet

M/W

23

C25

04-67923

Probes fired at suspect in vehicle; initially effective

6/16/2004

Grann

3737 E. Washginton

Probes

3 feet

C24

04-67923

Probes fired at suspect in vehicle; initially effective; suspect removed probes after cycle; then complied

6/21/2004

Goehring

533 W. Washginton

Probes

12-15 feet

M/W

36

C29

04-70356

Suicidal subject fled from ambulance; probes effective

1 misd
2 misd
PC Conveyance

6/25/2004

Herrera

303 N. Henry

Drive-Stun

na

M/B

27

C30

04-72053

Drive-stun to resistive suspect; effective

6/29/2004

R. Gonzalez

3500 E. Washington

Probes

12 feet

M/B

31

N18

04-73768

Probes fired at suspect after foot pursuit; effective

1 misd

7/4/2004

L. Walker

519 E. Johnson

Probes

10 feet

M/B

41

C30

04-76494

Suspect actively fighting another individual; probes effective

1 misd

2 misd

7/8/2004

Wiering

4833 Sheboygan

Probes

4 feet

M/B

38

W14

04-78141

Noncompliant suspect after 10-80; OC ineffective; probes effective

7/13/2004

Patterson

State & Johnson

Probes

5 feet

M/B

22

C28

04-80878

Noncompliant suspect after foot pursuit; 2 cycles; very effective

7/31/2004

Tripke

4501 Verona Rd

Probes

8 feet

M/B

33

W9

04-88794

Retail theft suspect in foot pursuit; probes effective

8/3/2004

McConnell

2914 Industrial Dr.

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

42

C21

04-90076

Suspect actively resisting in squad at detox, kicking at officers; drive-stun marginally effective

8/10/2004

B. Gonzalez

North & E. Wash

N15

04-93275

Suspect attempting to flee by getting on motorcycle; probes effective

3 misd

04-94992

Probes deployed at suspect in foot pursuit, one probe missed, ineffective

2 misd

S6

04-94992

Probes deployed at suspect in foot pursuit; ineffective; appears clothing was cause

Probes

Armed?

Mental Commitment

4 misd; 1 felony
1 misd; P&P
2 misd
2 misd; 1 felony; P&P

6 feet

M/W

22

8/14/2004

Tye

2300 Allied Dr.

Probes

10-11 feet

M/B

18

8/14/2004

Esser

2300 Allied Dr.

Probes

10-11 feet

8/22/2004

B. Gonzalez

2229 Superior St.

Drive-Stun

na

M/B

33

N32

04-98526

Arrested person violently resisting, two drive-stuns effective

2 misd

8/23/04

Dunnington

600 W. Badger

Probes

5-6 feet

M/W

21

S4

04-99207

Unccoperative subject, probes initially effective, then failure (poss. Weapon defect)

1 misd

8/23/04

Green

W. Beltline & Whitney

Drive-Stun

na

M/B

35

04-99187

Resistive subject, several drive-stuns delivered, marginally effective

2 misd

8/23/04

Frei

125 Crystal Ln

Probes

6 feet

M/W

43

N19

04-99258

Violent suspect after foot pursuit; knee strikes & front kick ineffective; probes effective

3 misd

8/25/04

Radke

11 N Seventh St.

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

29

04-100153

Suspect resisting after being handcuffed, kicking at officers; drive stun effective

2 misd

Yes

MPD Taser Deployments
July 2003 - January 2005

Date

Officer

Location

Probes/Stun

Distance

S/R

Age

Taser

Case Number

8/28/04

McConnell

1980 Atwood Av

Probes

11 feet

M/W

41

C21

04-101720

8/28/04

R. Gonzalez

3737 E. Washginton

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

24

N15

04-101264

Suspect physically resisting; probes effective

8/30/04

McConnell

2914 Industrial Dr.

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

26

04-102185

Suspect physically resisting being put into 4-point restraints at detox; drive-stun effective

9/6/04

Wixom

4825 Lovell La

Probes

4-5 feet

M/A

15

04-105838

Violently resisting suspect; probes effective

9/28/04

Meinert

1701 Blossom Lane

Probes

8-10 feet

F/W

22

04-115932

Suicidal subject w/ knife, probes effective; 2 cycles

10/1/04

Alvarez

Fairchild & W. Wash

Probes

10 feet

M/W

26

C23

04-117644

Uncooperative subject walking away from officer; probes effective

10/6/04

Wiering

2349 Allied

Probes

1-3 feet

F/B

31

W14

04-119488

Violent female, probes effective

C26

Comments
Suspect fleeing; probes effective; 2 cycles delivered

10/9/04

L. Schwartz

2001 Sundstrom

Probes

3 feet

M/B

15

04-120869

Violent juvenile, probes deployed w/minimal effectiveness followed by drive-stun; clothing failure

10/10/04

Heimsness

10 S. Midvale

Probes

7 feet

M/B

21

W13

04-121252

Violent suspect fleeing from traffic stop; struggled w/officers; probes effective

10/12/04

Milton

2009 Melrose

Probes

15 feet

M/W

32

N19

04-122010

Probes fired at suspect, both missed; suspect still complied

10/30/04

W12

04-130102

Uncooperative subject, probes effective, 2 cycles

Heimsness

3129 Maple Valley

Probes

10 feet

M/W

22

11/4/04

Knight

6813 Schroeder Rd

Probes

4-7 feet

M/B

26

W8

04-132568

Unccoperative subject, only one probe hit; suspect complied

11/6/04

Alvarez

2914 Industrial Dr.

Drive-Stun

na

F/W

35

C28

04-133436

Unccoperative subject at detox, resisting being put into restraints; drive stun effective

Charges
2 misd; P&P
2 misd
3 misd
PC Conveyance
2 misd
2 misd
4 misd
1 misd; P&P
3 misd
1 misd
PC Conveyance; P&P

11/8/04

Morovic

2500 Fish Hatchery Rd

Probes

8-11 feet

M/B

15

04-134317

Fleeing juvenile burglary suspect; probes fired through/over fence; missed

D. Xiong

109 Cottage Grove

Probes

6-8 feet

M/W

29

C26

04-134027

Resistive subject at detox; minimal effectiveness; poss. Low muscle mass or close probe spread

11/13/04

Acre

2914 Industrial Dr.

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

44

W10

04-136484

Uncooperative subject at detox; drive-stun effective

1 misd; 2 felony

C29

04-141096

Uncooperative subject struggling w/officers; drive-stun effective

04-141653

Violent suspect after short pursuit; not effective; appears one probe missed

3 misd; 3 felony
3 misd; 1 felony

1 misd
PC Conveyance

11/24/04

Alvarez

215 S. Bedford

Drive-Stun

na

M/B

44

11/27/04

McClurg

2200 W. Broadway

Probes

1-3 feet

M/B

43

12/5/04

R. Finnegan

3400 Hwy 30

Probes

5 feet

M/B

32

C21

04-144792

Violent suspect aggressing on officer; probes effective; 2 cycles

12/8/04

R. Gonzalez

2453 Upham

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

21

N19

04-145638

Resistive suspect; 2 drive-stun cycles delivered; effective

12/9/04

Armagost

1321 Tompkins

Probes

3 feet

F/W

17

C26

04-146303

Violent female suspect w/knife; probes effective; 2 cycles; very close probe spread

12/11/04

Valenta

712 S. Whitney

Probes

3 feet

M/B

40

W7

04-147143

Resistive suspect exiting squad; probes initially effective, wires likely broke mid-cycle

12/11/04

Nale

712 S. Whitney

Drive-Stun

na

04-147143

Drive-stun attempted during struggle; Taser malfunctioned (no spark)

12/14/04

Esser

1034 Moorland

Drive-Stun

na

M/W

51

04-147483

Drive-stun to buttocks during struggle; not effective

PC Conveyance

12/18/04

Shane Olson

4321 Britta Pkwy

Probes

10 feet

M/H

55

04-149783

Suspect believed to be armed w/knife; dual deployment, marginal effectiveness due to heavy coat

5 misd; 1 felony

12/18/04

Kobinsky

4321 Britta Pkwy

Probes

10-15 feet

04-149783

Suspect believed to be armed w/knife; dual deployment, marginal effectiveness due to heavy coat

12/21/04

Herrera

117 W. Main St

Probes

5 feet

M/W

34

C31

04-150965

Violent suspect in rear of squad, kicked officers multiple times, probes effective

3 misd; 1 felony

12/24/04

Rife

1329 Temkin

Probes

5 feet

M/B

33

W11

04-152104

Uncooperative subject w//mental health issues; probes very effective

PC Conveyance

12/29/04

Leerek

2121 East Springs Dr.

Probes

10 feet

M/W

24

N19

04-153268

Fleeing suspect, probes not effective; clothing

1/1/05

Paulson

1007 W. Badger

Probes

8-11 feet

M/W

34

05-352

W12

Barricaded subject, poss. Armed, uncooperative, emerged from building, probes very effective

Yes

1 misd; 1 felony; P&P

11/16/04

W10

Armed?

2 misd

2 misd

3 misd; P&P
4 misd
2 misd; 1 felony

3 misd; 2 warrants
PC/ED

1/18/05

Reilly

600 S. Thornton

Drive-Stun

na

M/B

31

05-005944

10-80 subject resisting after pursuit; drive stun moderately effective;

1/21/05

Harder

201 S. Gammon

Probes

21 feet

M/B

14

05-007239

Fleeing Juv. Reaching in pocket, initial recation then continued to flee; probably bottom probe came out

1 misd; 1 felony
1 misd

1/21/05

Kobinsky

Gamon/Watts

Probes

3

M/B

28

W12

05-007301

Uncoop. Subject; 1st cycle into lower leg due to coat, initially effective, wire broke during struggle

1 misd

1/21/05

Kobinsky

Gamon/Watts

Probes

3

W12

05-007301

Reload & 2nd probe deployment to hamstring, effective

Yes

MPD Taser Deployments - Display or Threat Only
April 2004 - January 2005
Date

Officer

Location

Probes/Stun

Distance

Taser

Case Number

4/16/2004

Grann

500 N. Oak

Laser Only

na

C22

04-40646

After foot pursuit, laser on suspect drew compliance

Comments

4/27/2004

Fiore

2914 Industrial

Display Only

na

04-42820

Displayed X26 and threatened use, suspect compllied

5/1/2004

Radke

St. Mary's ER

Display Only

na

04-47543

Suspect refused to enter squad, taser displayed, complied

5/6/2004

Leerek

1933 Manley St.

Verbal Threat

na

04-49942

Suspect resisted, ofc. Threatened to use taser, suspect complied

5/15/2004

Radovan

7000 Mineral Point Rd.

Display Only

na

04-53898

Noncompliant suspect after foot pursuit, threatened w/taser, complied

5/27/2004

Wiering

2114 Rosenberry

Display Only

na

04-58918

Suspect refusing to exit vehicle, display effective

5/24/2004

Wiering

2349 Allied

Display Only

na

04-57538

Diplayed to disorderly suspects; effective

6/9/2004

J. Dexheimer

Beewick St.

Laser Only

na

04-64992

Uncooperative suspect, laser display effective

6/11/2004

Sweeney

116 W. Washington

Laser Only

na

04-65686

Uncooperative suspect, laser display effective

6/23/2004

Orvis

4202 Milwauke St.

Display Only

na

04-68689

Uncooperative suspect after pursuit, display effective

6/23/2004

Sweeney

2351 Allied Dr.

Laser Only

na

04-65412

Uncooperative suspect in bedroom; laser display effective

6/21/2004

L. Schwartz

2230 Rosenberry

Laser Only

na

04-70212

Semi-cooperative; laser display effective

7/2/2004

L. Schwartz

2300 Allied

Display Only

na

04-75289

Displayed X26 and threatened use, suspect compllied

04-76143

Uncooperative subject at detox in seclusion room; spark-demo used; subject complied

7/3/2004

Ostrenga

2914 Industrial

Spark Demo

na

7/11/2004

Wiering

4219 W. Beltline

Laser Only

na

S4

04-79681

Suicidal subject w/knife; taser display gained compliance

7/18/2004

Sweeney

2914 Industrial

Laser Only

na

04-82475

Uncooperative subject at detox in seclusion room; display & threat; subject complied

7/27/2004

Ostrenga

1905 Beld St.

Laser Only

na

7/31/04

Knight

50 Hollywood Dr.

Laser Only

na

8/5/04

Fiore

2601 Fish Hatchery Rd

Display Only

na

8/9/04

Xiong

4017 Claire St.

Laser Only

na

8/13/04

Wixom

2301 Carling Dr.

Laser Only

8/19/04

Favour

1411 Theresa Terr.

8/20/04

Wiering

8/23/04
8/26/04

04-87111

Uncooperative subject, laser display effective

04-89080

Uncooperative & intoxicated subject; laser display effective

04-90998

Robbery suspect, complied at sight of taser

04-93201

Juv. Out of control, laser effective

na

04-94787

Foot chase suspect hidden in apartment; laser display effective

Laser Only

na

04-97085

Domestic suspect attempting to flee out widow; display effective

4705 Jenewein

Display Only

na

04-97593

Large suspect, noncompliant; taser display gained compliance

Wiering

6300 Bettys Ln

Display Only

na

04-98864

Ofc. Responded to fight involving bats, group began to walk away, stopped w/taser display

D. Xiong

141 Langdon

Laser Only

na

04-100245

Robbery suspect fleeing on foot; laser displayed in front of him - suspect stopped

W7
C23

8/26/04

Reilly

141 Langdon

Display Only

na

04-100245

Multiple robbery suspects fleeing on foot, taser displayed - suspects complied

8/27/04

Radke

5236 Piccadilly

Laser Only

na

04-101109

Noncompliant domestic suspect; laser display effective

9/2/04

Sheffer

1738 Roth St.

Laser Only

na

04-103692

Uncooperative & threatening subject; display effective

9/7/04

Jugovich

213 Swanton

Display Only

na

04-106303

Drive stun threatened on noncompliant suspect; effective

9/15/04

Kobinsky

5317 High Crossing Bl

Laser Only

na

04-109758

Uncooperative, threatening suspect; display effective

9/3/04

Wiering

2309 Carling Dr.

Display Only

na

04-104075

Taser threatened at two suspects fighting; one complied, one fled

9/19/04

L. Schwartz

1210 McKenna

Laser Only

na

04-111566

Taser pointed at subject attempting to flee; effective

9/21/04

Kellogg

700 State St.

Laser Only

na

04-112533

Taser use threatened, effective

9/30/04

Krahn

100 N. Broom

Laser Only

na

04-116772

Taser pointed at uncooperative subject; effective

10/18/04

Wiering

5600 Russett

Display Only

na

04-124472

Uncooperative subject on traffic stop; display effective

10/24/04

L. Schwartz

704 Odana

Laser Only

na

04-127293

Domestic suspect hiding in garage; laser effective

10/28/04

Pharo

1619 Troy Dr.

Laser Only

na

04-128829

Juv. With knife, laser effective

10/27/04

Wixom

2422 Allied Dr.

Laser Only

na

04-128710

Uncoop. Subject
Aggressive Juv. At mall, laser effective

C29

11/16/04

Pharo

89 East Towne Mall

Laser Only

na

04-137762

11/22/04

Shane Olson

676 S. Whitney Way

Laser Only

na

04-140280

Uncooperative retail theft suspect; laser effective

11/26/04

Grann

1203 MacArthur

Laser Only

na

04-141388

Escape suspect leaving bldg.; laser effective

12/4/04

Pharo

300 Oak St.

Display Only

na

04-144490

Physically resistive suspect in squad, display effective

12/19/04

Krahn

1209 MacArthur

Display Only

na

04-149988

Taser use threatened during struggle

12/26/04

Bitterman

3301 Cityview Dr.

Laser Only

na

04-152617

Uncooperative subject, laser display effective

1/12/05

D. Dexheimer

1810 Northport

Display Only

na

05-004172

Resisting subject, display effective

1/15/05

Kobinsky

481 Hilton

Display Only

na

05-005165

Resistive subject; display effective

1/25/2005

Patterson

431 W. Main

Laser Only

na

05-008963

Resistive subject; laser effective

 

 

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Federal Prison Handbook - Side