Prior to Shooting, CMPD Officers Tried “Tasering” Man Charging Them

From By Caroline Vandergrif, September 20, 2013

Before CMPD Officer Randall Kerrick shot and killed unarmed Jonathan Ferrell, another officer tried to use his Taser on the victim. CMPD said that the Taser was “unsuccessful,” but has not elaborated on why it didn’t work.

As the investigation continues into the shooting death of 24-year-old Ferrell, many questions remain unanswered.

In a press release, CMPD said Ferrell ran towards the three officers who arrived on the scene early Saturday morning. Then, “Officer Thornell Little deployed his CMPD-issued Taser at Mr. Ferrell, but it was unsuccessful.”

According to CMPD, Ferrell continued to run toward Office Kerrick, who shot Ferrell ten times.

CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe talked to the Charlotte Observer and said “that a Taser fired by a second officer missed Ferrell.”

TASER International said that for a Taser to work, both probes must make contact with skin or within an inch of skin through clothing to provide a circuit for the electrical output. This causes Neuro Muscular Incapacitation (NMI).

According to TASER International, sometimes thick jackets prevent a probe from getting close enough to the skin, or clothing where the probe is attached can move and break the circuit.

An ineffective deployment can also happen when there is a short spread between the probes, a probe hits an area with low nerve of muscle mass or one or both probes miss the target.

In an email, Steve Tuttle with TASER International said, “TASER technology is not a magic bullet and many challenges can occur in a dynamic response to resistance. However, the TASER has a 94 percent field success rate that is unmatched by any other less lethal use of force.”

But in this case, the Taser was unsuccessful in preventing deadly force.


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