Tasers are on the duty belt of nearly every American police officer. Their manufacturer, Axon Enterprise Inc., has long promoted the device as extremely effective at helping police resolve dangerous situations without using their guns.
But a yearlong investigation by APM Reports shows Tasers are often less effective than the company has claimed. And just as Tasers can save lives when they subdue suspects, when they don’t, the outcome can be deadly.
In Vermont we explore what happened when police using Tasers failed to subdue a mentally ill man. In Texas, we talk with a lawyer who is suing Axon, claiming a police officer was injured after her Taser failed to incapacitate a suspect. We visit Axon Academy Bootcamp in Fort Worth, Texas. And we talk with police officials in Southern California, where the Taser was first developed.