CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Police May be Too Quick to Use Their Taser

From Increasingly, police facing stubborn lawbreakers, belligerent drunks or violent suspects are reaching for stun guns to shock them into submission. In one recent incident, a hospital security guard in Houston used a Taser on a defiant father trying to take his newborn home, sending father and daughter to the floor.

Police say Tasers are valuable tools for avoiding hand-to-hand struggles that can injure officers and citizens. Small, portable and often effective even when merely brandished, Tasers -- which fire tiny, tethered cartridges that transmit electrical currents -- have become common in law enforcement in recent years, with some 11,500 police agencies using them.

But critics say Tasers are being used as a weapon of first resort, sometimes on frail or mentally ill people. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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