Phoenix Stun-gun maker Taser International has started telling police agencies to avoid firing the devices at suspects’ chests, explaining that there’s an “extremely low” risk of ill effects on the heart and that doing so will make defending lawsuits easier.
The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company made the recommendation in an Oct. 12 revised training manual, saying it “has less to do with safety and more to do with effective risk management for law enforcement agencies.”
The manual includes a graphic displaying the human body and “preferred target areas.” The company recommends firing Tasers anywhere but at the head, neck and chest. The manual says to avoid chest shots “when possible” and “unless legally justified.”
Taser critics call the company’s new recommendation an admission that the devices can cause heart attacks.