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Quantum of Force: The Consequences of Counting Routine Conducted Energy Weapon Punctures as Injuries

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2015
28 pages
This study empirically demonstrated the differences in research findings on injuries caused by conducted energy weapons (CEWs) when routine puncture wounds caused by CEWs are included as citizen injuries and when they are not.
The study determined that including CEW puncture wounds unjustifiably and significantly increases the number of documented CEW injuries. The authors advise that puncture wounds from CEWs should not be included in such studies, because they are inconsistent with how injuries associated with other types of force are routinely coded and measured. In a recent paper, researchers reported increases in the risk of citizen injury associated with police use of conducted energy devices (CEWs), a finding that is contrary to that reported in most previous studies. These authors speculate that the differences in findings when compared to other similar studies may be due, in part, to the exclusion of routine CEW dart punctures as injuries by other researchers, and they called on the research community to collectively agree on how CEW injuries should be operationalized. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: July 1, 2015