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Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage

80 people have died after stun guns were used on them. The country's largest police organization shortly will announce an investigation into stun gun usage and safety.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Justice Department will also study more than 80 deaths to assess the risks in using the weapons, the group said Tuesday. The actions come as civil rights groups and some police agencies question the use of stun guns, which emit electrical charges to temporarily incapacitate suspects. It's the first time a national law enforcement association has called for a review of stun guns.

In additon,

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an interfaith activist group based in Atlanta, has also asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to declare a moratorium on the weapon.

And Indiana police say civilians shouldn't be using stun guns.

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    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 16, 2005 at 09:19:14 AM EST
    Hope so, but the cops will just cover-up the murders by the state. Normal Empire business, maybe the cop can get more money to fight for the rights of the local police to kill people? Big Money in Terror\troublemakers\terrorists\kids and people who don't like government terror by police. oh yes how many cops do drugs? only when one belongs to the local gang as so many cops do today. Think Assassination of your nation by government terror gangs in washington.

    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 16, 2005 at 09:37:22 AM EST
    Some relevant local news (from an arguably "small" town. The tide of taser seems to be supporting their use. Raynham gets Tasers The argument goes that "it's better than using a 40 caliber" implying that the taser will be used in lieu of shooting suspencts. Can anyone explain how most suspects who are shot (for trying to escape or ostensibly brandishing a weapon) could be immobilized by taser (that is, how the cop could get close enough? At least be honest about what you're using it for... arrest restraint and crowd control.

    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 16, 2005 at 10:03:55 AM EST
    Because prisoners or arrestees must be detained and do resists such efforts, sometimes very strenuously, the comparison here is not between 80 deaths and 0 but between 80 deaths and however many deaths occur with other methods of restraint. I recall this some concern arising with choke holds. Certainly there would be an uproar if resisting individuals were shot. What alternative method enables the restraint with less risk to both the individual being restrained and the officers involved?

    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 16, 2005 at 10:09:25 AM EST
    I think Sophia makes an important point. Review of stun gun use policies is appropriate and desirable, but it should be done in the context of comparison to alternatives in the same circumstances.

    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 16, 2005 at 10:13:34 AM EST
    The argument goes that "it's better than using a 40 caliber" implying that the taser will be used in lieu of shooting suspencts. Can anyone explain how most suspects who are shot (for trying to escape or ostensibly brandishing a weapon) could be immobilized by taser (that is, how the cop could get close enough?
    Police Tasers tend to have ranges of about 21 ft. I seem to recall reading that most shooting incidents that police are involved in occur within about 25 feet, and that a common use of deadly force guideline is that anyone brandishing a hand-held weapon (knife, etc.) within 7 yards is an imminent threat.

    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 16, 2005 at 12:01:31 PM EST
    Thanks for the info, dicely. Using an assumption that police would only use tasers in cases of threat to self or obvious and strenuous resistance to arrest, tasers sound great. However, if I were a town official contemplating their use I would want specific information on how taser use compliments existing defenses (i.e. is it a pet hi-tech project) and what the potential for mis-use is. My view is that there is at least as much chance of tasers (no marks, scars, etc, right?) being misused and killing some (relatively) innocent victim of overzealous police as there is that some policeman will end up in a hospital or morgue for lack of one. Living in Boston through this past year of DNC demonstrations, Red Sox and Patriots celebrations (we had a little incident with a stun gun and cute sweet college girl who is now dead)I can see the police "prodding" through the crowd at will. Remember, the cost and benefit analysis should include the effect of crime prevention strategies on the community. At least in the America I knew.

    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 16, 2005 at 12:43:47 PM EST
    test

    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 16, 2005 at 12:53:34 PM EST
    Isn't Indiana one of those anti-2nd amendment states, or was I thinking of IL? Our local cops are of the opinion that citizens should generally be armed to the teeth - it makes their job easier. -C

    Re: Police Chiefs to Study Stun Gun Usage (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 24, 2005 at 11:09:30 AM EST
    Indiana is a Second Amendment friendly state. In point of fact, the Indiana Constitution provides that citizens have a right to possess arms for the defense of thmselves. Any device or method that can stop a person or prevent him from using a weapon creates the possibility of the person being seriously injured. The question to be evaluated is the point at which the device or method may be used. It should also be noted that use of a stun gun does leave marks that may be identified later.