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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Police May be Too Quick to Use Their Taser

From USATODAY.com: 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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