July 29, 2004
TASER® International Responds to CBS Evening News Report
CBS Evening News Knowingly Fails to Report Forensic Expert Reviews on Borden Case, According to TASER
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - TASER® International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR), a market leader in advanced non-lethal weapons is dismayed that the CBS Evening News report discussed the same topic covered three months ago and did not mention that CBS received a copy of a preliminary, independent autopsy report reviewing the case of Mr. James Borden performed by Dr. Cyril Wecht, MD, JD. Dr. Wecht's report cleared TASER as a potential cause of death and was announced in a July 20, 2004 press release.
Dr. Wecht's report concludes: "With regard to the possible effects of the TASER on Mr. Borden, it is important and highly relevant to note that the autopsy clearly showed he was struck in the lower abdomen and buttocks ... It is difficult for me to perceive how the electrical effects of the TASER would have been able to permeate these heavy layers of fatty tissue and produce an adverse effect upon Mr. Borden's cardiovascular system.
"Therefore, it is my opinion based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Mr. Borden's death was directly and causally attributable to his underlying cardiovascular pathology, namely, cardiac dysrhythmia secondary to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and pharmacological intoxication.
"There is no sound pathophysiological basis upon which to conclude that Mr. Borden's death was caused or contributed to by the effects of the TASER," concluded Dr. Wecht's report.
Commenting on the report, Tom Smith, President of TASER International, Inc, said, "A national news program has an obligation to the viewing audience to present facts for both sides of the story. CBS deliberately omitted a report by Dr. Wecht that contradicts the findings of the medical examiner in the Borden case, despite the fact that a copy of Dr. Wecht's report was presented to CBS well in advance of the broadcast. This case is controversial at best, yet CBS only uses the information necessary to present one side of the case. Dr. Wecht's opinion further strengthens our belief that, while no use of force is risk-free, TASER technology provides the safest option available to law enforcement professionals," concluded Mr. Smith.
"CBS's report and the associated media sensationalism of the in-custody death issue are missing the major benefits of TASER technology for law enforcement," said Mr. Smith. "Our life saving technology is making a difference for over 100,000 law enforcement officers by dramatically reducing injuries to suspects and officers. The statistics cited in a letter from a single agency out of the 5,400 agencies, the Cincinnati Police Department, with 1,100 TASER X26 conducted energy weapons carried by all the patrol officers sums up the safety of the TASER technology," concluded Mr. Smith.
"During the past six months, the Cincinnati Police Department has had over 300 deployments of the TASER," said Lt. Douglas C. Ventre, Tactical Planning Section Commander of the Cincinnati Police Department. "Arrest related injuries to officers have dropped approximately seventy percent from the same period in 2003. Assaults on police officers have also dropped seventy percent. Suspect injuries have dropped forty percent and the use of force by other traditional means has dropped fifty percent. The number of citizen complaints arising from the use of force by officers has seen a similar reduction.
"The feeling toward the X26 TASER by officers on the Cincinnati Police Department is overwhelmingly positive. Officers now have a tool available which allows them to maintain a safe distance from a violent or potentially violent subject and still have the capability of controlling them. The X26 TASER technology levels the playing field, which has historically been slanted away from the officer," concluded Lt. Ventre.
The independent medical report was requested and paid for by David Shaw's defense attorney. David Shaw is the Monroe County Sheriff's jailer that has been charged with assault in subduing James Borden prior to his death. TASER International has now contracted with Dr. Wecht to review other pending cases.
About TASER International, Inc.
TASER International, Inc. provides advanced non-lethal weapons for use in the law enforcement, private security, and personal defense markets. Its flagship ADVANCED TASER® M26 product uses proprietary technology to incapacitate dangerous, combative, or high-risk subjects that may be impervious to other non-lethal means. Its latest product, the TASER X26 is 60% smaller and lighter than the ADVANCED TASER M26 and reduces injury rates to suspects and officers, thereby lowering liability risk and improving officer safety. TASER® technology is currently in testing or deployment at over 5,400 law enforcement and correctional agencies in the U.S. and Canada.
Call 480-991-0797 or visit our website at www.TASER.com to learn more about the new standard in non-lethal weapons.