ACLU of Northern California Special Report: The Stun Gun Fallacy
Schlosberg found that even as stun-gun-related deaths rise dramatically, the weapon remains largely unregulated. “We fear that in the absence of strong regulations on how police use the weapon,” said Schlosberg, “we are likely to see more unnecessary deaths.”
Taser International, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based manufacturer, has yet to concede that their product has led to a single identifiable death. The company continues to downplay safety concerns and bills its product as “non-lethal.” Taser’s reluctance to acknowledge potential dangers is particularly disturbing as over 95% of surveyed police departments rely on use policies supplied entirely by the manufacturer.
The ACLU-NC has been working to reform Taser policies and issued the following recommendations:
* Pass legislation that allows Tasers to be used solely as an alternative to deadly force.
* Adopt stricter policies that strictly regulate the number and duration of Taser shocks. Policies should protect vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people under the influence of drugs.
* Bring all training materials in line with new information and retrain all officers who have completed the Taser International training.
The ACLU-NC "Stun Gun" report was distributed to every police and sheriff’s department in Northern and Central California with over 25 sworn officers; to smaller departments known to use Tasers; and to city councils and supervisors in key areas. "The Stun Gun Fallacy" was widely read, and it has succeeded in effecting policy changes in jurisdictions throughout the region. Though many Taser regulations remain flawed, several police departments have recently changed their Taser regulations. The new guidelines represent a step in the right direction.
Link= The Stun Gun Fallacy: How the Lack of Taser Regulation Endangers Lives
(Follow the link in the second paragraph on the above introduction page to get to the download page.)
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