Monday, March 01, 2010

Was Caner Really Tazed?

In my last post, I linked to the above YouTube video showing Ergun Caner being tazed during a chapel service. At approximately 40-44 seconds in the video, you will see the person, who shot the tazer, taking out the "lead" that provided the tazer the ability to do its shocking job.

Now for those of you who watch Cops on TV, you may have noticed that this person only removed one lead. At least that was what I noticed. At the time of posting this video last Thursday, I didn't think too much of this. I simply don't know much about Tazers.

Well, Saturday morning, a former police officer friend called me after watching the video link from my previous post. He informed me that he had been re-certified the other day with Tazers. He also explained to me that if you watch carefully at the 24 second point of the video, which is when the Tazer is fired at Caner, you will see one of the leads fall to the ground. He then explained to me that the Tazer will not work if only one lead goes into the person being Tazed.

In God's providence, I went on an ambulance run early Sunday morning and two police officer friends happen to be nearby. One works for the local police department and the other works for the State police. I asked them about this video and if they would explain to me how the Tazer works. I even sent one of the officers a link to the video via e-mail and asked if Caner was actually shocked by the Tazer. Here was his response.
Definitely Not!!!!!!!
Was not even possible, the way the probe hit, with t-shirt only it was probably a rigged deal, they don't bounce off!!
Now to my knowledge, no one has ever challenged Ergun Caner on this point. To be honest, I am not even certain this needs to be discussed. It was only for show anyway, and the point was not whether or not Caner was shocked. It was simply a sermon illustration. Of course, those of us within the Christian faith, who see this method as a denial of the Regulative Principle of Worship, see this as being inconsistent with the faith. And those who are on the outside of the Christian faith see this as merely being a show or entertainment because that is what Christianity is anyway.

Whether or not you agree that this needs to be discussed, I see this as another reason why "Theology Matters".


Howard Fisher said...

I have watched other videos on how the Tazers work. It seems that they can mis-fire and not work. They simply need to be reloaded with a new cartridge. So I am not arguing that this was done on purpose as my police officer friend implies in his quoted statement.

Perhaps they did not have another cartridge. Perhaps loading another one would take up unnecessary time and cause disruption to the flow of entertainment or the message being preached.

Whatever the reason was, the fact is, Caner was not shocked.

Turretinfan said...

And yet he took a dive, apparently... strange. said...

It is impossible to be tased if both of the probes don't stick. The circuit isn't complete and no energy is flowing.

Rev. said...

Fascinating...and sad.

Atlantians said...

If you watch carefully, the probes do both hit him.
One then falls off almost immediately.

It is possible he fully intended to be tazed, and it simply didn't stick.
In which case, could it simply be the case he only got a small initial jolt and collapsed because of that?

I have no reason to think it was a faked attempt.

Maybe it was a partially-failed attempt, but it seems genuine.
And if he even got a small initial shock that could easily be enough to cause him to buckle and fall down.

You can hear the tazer crackle and you can see a puff if dust/smoke from the wires and the prongs as they fly through the air and hit him.

Atlantians said...

Another thing: You saw him convulse once briefly. That would be consistent with an initial shock and accompanying muscle spasm.

He only convulsed once briefly, and that is consistent with the prong falling off at the same time.

Can anyone refute my points?

If so, please do.

I am just throwing ideas out there. I am not an authority or experienced on the topic.

Atlantians said...

A few more observations:

It was obviously a live taser. You can tell by the discharge noise, the fact the wires were fired, and the reaction of the crowd.

Being tased is not that big of a deal, and it makes no sense nor would there be motivation to fake it.

Again: Even if Ergun only got a small zap, that would be enough to at the least shock him a bit, startle him, and induce him to collapse. At the very least, one might collapse by psychological anticipation alone.

In conclusion:
It seems simply unreasonable to suspect that he somehow or for some reason faked this show, without far more solid evidence.

There are plenty of other things to focus time on... like: Why was he being tased during a sermon to begin with?! Is there justification for that? Was its intended effect worth the showmanship of it all?

Howard Fisher said...


Thanks for the comments.

"He only convulsed once briefly, and that is consistent with the prong falling off at the same time."

I thought of that and asked my police officer friends. They didn't think that would happen. In fact, all three of them thought that would not happen. Nevertheless, I must concede that that could be a possibility.

"Being tased is not that big of a deal, and it makes no sense nor would there be motivation to fake it."

I agree. I do not really see a motivation. My personal opinion is as you described it. He was initially hit, and due to the moment, he flung forward thinking he was going to get shocked. When he didn't, it was too late. He had already given the show. There simply was no point in stopping and reloading, at least from his perspective there would be no point.

Which leads to your comment,

There are plenty of other things to focus time on... like: Why was he being tased during a sermon to begin with?! Is there justification for that? Was its intended effect worth the showmanship of it all?"

I agree. This is a clear violation of the Regulative Principle and a violation of Sola Scriptura.

But since so many do not want to even go there, since so many only want to further the Kingdom for Jesus using methods like this, then in the minds of some, it seems that integrity would be the factor to be discussed. But I think all of these things are tied together.

God Bless

Gordan said...

Explain to me why the two guys holding his arms were not shocked when he was...?

Isn't that why they're careful to yell "Clear!" when they apply the cardiac arrest paddles to a patient? You don't want to be touching the guy when the electricity flows through him, right?

Or, I guess my physics classes could have all packed up and left my brain.

Howard Fisher said...

Tazers don't work that way. As an EMT, I know that you remain clear of an AED. However, Tazers are not designed in the same manner.

There are other videos with someone being tazered, and those holding the person being tazed are not shocked.

"Once the electrodes hit their target, the Taser sends a pulse with about 50,000 volts and a few milliamps."

Another site states,

"High voltage, in itself, is not dangerous. One can receive a 25,000-volt shock of static electricity from a doorknob on a dry day without harm. The physiological effect of electrical shock is determined by: the current, its duration, and the power source that produces the shock. The typical household current of 110 volts is dangerous because it can pump many amperes of current throughout the body indefinitely. By contrast, the ADVANCED TASER power supply consists of 8 AA alkaline 1.5-Volt batteries capable of supplying 26 Watts of electrical power for a few seconds."

A twelve vote battery that might run you video camera will not start a car. A 50,000 volt system run by 1.5 volts alkaline batteries simply will not have then ability to electrocute anyone.

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

Whether or not he was actually tazed or not, whether he took the full shock or only a partial shock, I think we can all agree: Caner has his finger on the pulse of the heart of his brand of evagelicalism. This is really cool stuff! It's almost as if there were some sort of Gospel message in play, here, rather than just a meagre attempt to shock the audience into reverential awe and delight at the sheer spectacle of it all. Almost. I almost felt the Spirit. Almost.

But, mostly, I was just disgusted. Yes, folks, this is LU chapel, at its finest.