CrimProf Blog

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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Featured Download: Harris on Taser Use

021428_001_DIG_DSC_6907_01 David A. Harris  (University of Pittsburgh - School of Law) has posted Taser Use: Report of the Use of Force Working Group of Allegheny County (University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Forthcoming)  on SSRN. The first-person account of what it feels like when a law faculty member is tasered will be of interest to deans and nondeans alike. Here is the abstract:

This Report concludes that Tasers can be worthwhile and safe weapons in the police arsenal, but only if they are used consistent with proper policy, training, supervision and accountability. Anything less makes the use of these weapons a risky choice from the point of view of both police officers and the public. The Report discusses the scientific and medical research on Tasers, and sets out the best practices that should appear in any Taser policy. The Report also makes recommendations concerning situations in which Tasers should never be used, and situations in which police should only use these devices with extreme caution. It also contains a first-person description of what it feels like to be shot with a Taser, based on the experience of the Report’s primary author.

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In view of the dismally inadequate training and supervision of officers in the United States, I believe the TASER should be banned, except by use of a few highly trained senior officers. NO front line officers should use it.

In Cook County you can become a correctional or Sheriff's officer with only two months of training after High School. This is not enought to train the officers about mental health issues, health issues, and all the problems associated with using TASERS and deciding to use a TASER.

You may want to read the following two articles about use of TASERS by police:

Posted by: Dr Linda Shelton | Nov 27, 2009 9:17:39 AM

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