TASER BURN MARKS ON SKIN
The purpose of this project was to document and compare burn marks on skin from three TASER models in both drive stun and probe mode using pork hock as a skin substitute. There has been some documentation of TASER burns on live human skin, but most documentation relies on case studies and focuses on the older TASER X26P model. There has yet to be any research attempting to empirically document and classify these burn markings. Research of this nature is important for developing techniques to identify and classify TASER burns in order to corroborate other evidence of contact with TASERs in legal investigations.
Pork hock was selected as a skin substitute due to ethical constraints of using human skin. TASER X2, TASER X26P, and TASER 7 were applied directly to pork hock in both drive stun and probe mode. Drive stun was administered for 5 seconds, and probe mode was administered for the automatic 5 second cycle. Each of these applications was repeated 3 times with each TASER model. Potential burn areas were imaged using a Keyence VHX-6000 Microscope.
Analysis & Results:
Images were analyzed for indications of burning including presence of discolouration, presence of texture change, as well as number and size of burn markings if present. No detectable burns were present from the drive stun mode. Some discoloration was present surrounding probe wounds from TASER X2 and TASER 7, but there was insufficient data to perform statistical analyses.
Due to the conductive properties and lack of inflammation in response to heat, pork hock may not be an ideal material to study TASER burns. Future research may focus on developing a methodology using skin substitutes to study TASER burns. Alternatively, a database of images may be gathered with assistance from individuals who receive TASER burns, such as during police training for example.
The images below are samples of the data collected for this study. Ink was used for the drive stun application to mark the area in which burns may be present.