In June, Brian Cardall was driving home to Arizona from Utah when he stopped his car, removed his clothes and flagged down vehicles on the road. This happened due to his bipolar disorder. His wife had given him medication and informed the police of her husband’s condition and that it would take some time before the medication settles in. However, when Hurricane Chief of Police Lynn Excell and Officer Ken Thompson arrived on the scene, they ordered Cardall to get down on the ground. Cardall refused to do so and Thompson fired his Taser striking Cardall in the chest who was still naked. When Cardall attempted to rise, Thompson gave him a second jolt and within minutes, he was dead.
The legal use of tasers began less than twenty years ago and has been a controversial issue. Before the invention of tasers, the incidence would have been settled with the officers arresting and handcuffing Cardall. Unfortunately, this incident resulted in Cardall’s death. Cardall’s death could have been prevented; Cardall who was not even armed was tasered due to his condition. Tasers allow officers to protect themselves and neutralize threat from others without using physical contact. Is this invention necessary and will more lives be taken?
Source: D, Steven. “Cops Taze Disturbed, Unarmed Naked Man to Death for ‘Walking Toward Them’”. Booman Tribune, 5 December 2009. Web. 7 December 2009. < http://www.alternet.org/blogs/rights/144389/cops_taze_disturbed,_unarmed_naked_man_ to_death_for_%22walking_toward_them%27/#more>
Student Researchers: Anna Kung, Shannon Cree, Delana Colvin
Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Media Studies, DePauw University
Evaluator: Jamie Knapp, Library and Information Services, DePauw University