More on Tasers

After I wrote the story entitled “Could Tasers have Saved Man’s Life?” in Monday’s paper, I received an e-mail from Greg Meyers, a columnist for Policeone.com and a former captain in the Los Angeles Police Academy for three decades.

His e-mail began:

“Someone has misinformed you.”

Uh oh.


Meyers, often called upon as an expert witness in use of force cases, clarified a point I’d made in the story.

I had written that Taser darts have to penetrate the skin in the story. Not so, Meyers said.

In sum, here’s what he said:

“Taser darts do not ‘have to penetrate the skin through the suspect’s clothing,'” he wrote. “The electricity must penetrate the clothing to be effective, not the darts.

The 50,000 volts allows the current to “jump” up to a cumulative two inches through clothing. In other words, if one dart attaches to clothing an inch from the skin, and the other dart attaches to clothing an inch from the skin, the current will still reach the body. Similarly, if one dart attaches directly to the skin, and the other dart is two inches away from the skin, the current will still reach the body.

So, yes, heavy clothing is a failure factor in some cases. But usually it is not.”

Thanks for the clarification, Greg.

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