...records show that officers’ taser use in Springfield, Oregon appears to be on the decline. Springfield police fired tasers in 20 incidents in 2009 — down 43 percent from 2008, when officers used them 35 times. Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith said he’s not sure why that is, although he offered one possible reason. "It could be that people know now that officers carry tasers … and they don’t want any part of it." he said, suggesting that suspects are less likely to fight or flee from an officer because of their fear of the electroshock device. [LINK]
Or maybe... the deceptive and false claims that tasers are perfectly safe is starting to wear a bit thin. Perhaps the police officers of Springfield now realize, despite all the false and deceptive claims made by the slick-talking stungun salesmen, that tasers actually are fully capable of causing death, directly or indirectly [AMA]. Such an improved real-world understanding of possible taser outcomes would encourage consideration of other options.
Or perhaps... the media attention to each taser deployment is giving the officers reason to pause...
Either way, a 43% reduction in taser use year-on-year is a very good first step.
But to attempt to attribute this reduction solely to hypothesized improvements in the decision-making capabilities of the potentially-tasered subjects (!) is simply not credible.
That offered explanation sounds like a pathetic excuse for previous taser overuse, misuse and abuse.
It doesn't wash.
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