The risk of injury or death from the use of Tasers is low, an expert witness has testified at a public inquiry ordered after the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski. J. Patrick Reilly, an electrical engineer expert witness, said yesterday the weapon is safe compared with a handgun. The Star.com reports:
“Safety is relative. You can hurt people with batons and even pepper spray,” said Reilly, a research scientist at Johns Hopkins University. “I wouldn’t want to be Tasered myself but I recognize among the arsenal of things, this may be a useful tool.”
Reilly has been offered funding money from stun-gun manufacturers and Taser International, the Arizona-based company that produces the weapon, but has declined financial grants from such companies.
He receives money from the U.S. Department of Justice, which is looking at ways to use non-lethal weapons. He has also testified at two coroners’ inquests in the Vancouver area following the deaths of two men shot with Tasers in separate incidents.