This study mapped out the anti-felon identification tag (AFID) distribution patterns from multiple Taser test fires to determine the plausibility of reconstructing a Taser deployment.
Less lethal weapons, such as the Taser electronic control device, are frequently used by law enforcement agencies to overcome suspect resistance. As a means of regulating the use of Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle (Taser) electronic control devices, Taser International Inc. has issued each cartridge with tiny confetti-like pieces that include a cartridge-specific, alphanumeric serial number known as anti-felon identification tags (AFIDs). The U.S. Department of Justice has suggested that a sample of AFIDs are to be collected from the scene and treated as forensic evidence each time a cartridge is discharged. However, there has been no clear justification for this task beyond the simple tracking of the cartridge assigned to the individual law enforcement agency. The purpose of this study was to map out the AFID distribution patterns from multiple Taser test fires to determine whether it would be possible to reconstruct a Taser deployment. The results of this initial study indicate that even under controlled conditions, AFID distributions are random and provide only a vague image of the crime scene. Figures and references (Published Abstract)