Effectiveness of Tasers

, Written by Craig Smullin, Posted: Tue, January 24 2012 at 8:10 AM, Updated: Wed, January 25 2012 at 2:04 AM

As Oregon State Police investigate the shooting death of 18-year old Elias Ruiz... many are wondering if his death was preventable.
     The non-lethal taser used on Ruiz was, for reasons unknown, ineffective... and yet Medford Police are continuing to use tasers tonight.
      Days after the death of Elias Ruiz... the memorial outside the family home on Pennsylvania Avenue continues to grow... but so to do the questions.
    Chief among them, why weren't officers able to tase Ruiz effectively?
     'Nothing's 100% effective, not just tasers.'
     It's too early to say why the taser didn't take Ruiz down... but Chief George says they're still used by MPD as one of their best options for non-lethal force.
      'It is never the same circumstance or situation, certainly the same conditions or variables that play in to it every time.'
     Sgt. Mike Budreau has used his taser once in the line of duty... it didn't work.
     'He was in a full run, it struck his clothing which were thick as it was winter... the clothes were draped behind him.'
     Videos online show tasers working as designed... and also failing.
     While there are more questions than answers at this time... an 18 year old man is dead and it's unclear if an effective taser might have prevented that.    

About the Author

Craig Smullin

NBC5 News Director Craig Smullin co-anchors NBC5 News at 6 and hosts the 5 on 5 Feature Interview on NBC5 News at 5.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Craig graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California with a degree in Recreation Administration and Sports Management.

Since joining NBC5 News in 2005, Craig has performed virtually every job in the newsroom: News and Sports Reporter, Sports Anchor, Producer, series and segment Host and Anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and NBC5 News at 5. He became News Director in January, 2014.

When he's not managing a busy newsroom, Craig spends time with his wife, two young sons and two dogs. He is a dedicated fan of the San Francisco 49ers and Portland Trailblazers and loves snow boarding the slopes of Mt. Ashland.

Catch Craig anchoring weekdays on NBC5 News at 6pm.

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