Activists hold anti-Taser vigil after year of deaths

In Santa Rosa, Calif., residents are not happy with their local law enforcement.

After two men died by police wielding Tasers in the last two months and four more in the past year, a number of Sonoma County groups rallied about 40 people to protest the electro-shock weapon.

"Although it might seem like a lesser evil, they have been misusing it to such a degree that it has become lethal in this county," said Maggie Coshnear, a member of the county's October 22nd Coalition.

Sherry Heyberger, a 40-year-old hairdresser, stood on a curb during the rally holding a sign that read "Tasers are Torture."

Nathan Vaughn, the most recent victim of Taser use, was hit three times by a Taser less than two minutes after a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy entered his home.

Vaughn, 39, was assaulting his father and his mother had called police for help, but less than an hour after the deputy arrived, Vaughn was dead.

"He shouldn't have died the way he did," Heyberger said. "He's been in and out of jail, yeah, but does that call for someone being Tasered three times?"

Tasers have grown increasingly controversial as stories like Vaughn's continue to surface across the country.

In Houston, Texas, a naked man disturbing the neighborhood died after police shocked him with a Taser four times.

A recent report found that 400 people in the US and Canada have died from Taser shocks since 2001. Since the report was issued, Canada has begun removing the weapon from its police forces.

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