Cops Behaving Badly: Suicide by Taser

Fire safety tips: Not for civilian motorists only.

Pro tip for all you police officers out there: If you’re trying to PREVENT a suicide, it might be a good idea not to try to subdue the individual using something that could kill them:

ARLINGTON, Texas — A suicidal man who had doused himself in gasoline became engulfed in flames at an Arlington home Monday after an officer used a stun gun on him, police said.

The officer who used the Taser on the man believed that the man was holding a lighter in his hand and was about to use it, police spokeswoman Sgt. VaNessa Harrison said at a news conference.

Harrison acknowledged the risk of using an electrical stun gun near gasoline, but said the man was “very frantic and erratic and became a danger to everyone in the room.”

Oh yeah, and here’s another pro tip: Electrical sparks, e.g. from a Taser, can set gasoline on fire. And if he’s already frantic and “a danger to everyone in the room”, maybe the last thing you want to do is spark him up into a frantic human torch, eh? After all, spark plugs are how gasoline gets burned in a car engine.

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