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Police RuleBook: Use of Tasers

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posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 04:48 PM
Found a website that has looked at different law enforcement agencies and shows how different they each set the rules for the use of a Taser.

TASER WEAPONS Use of Tasers by Selected Law Enforcement Agencies

Although none of the agencies have separate use-of-force policies that specifically address Tasers, all seven agencies include the use of Tasers into their existing policies.

The placement of the Taser on the use-of-force continuums of the agencies varied.10 Specifically, we found that the seven agencies placed the Taser at three different levels on their use-of-force continuums. As shown in table 1, two agencies—the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department—permit the use of Tasers when a police officer perceives the situation as potentially harmful, as when a subject engages in assaultive behavior that creates a risk of physical injury to another. Impact weapons, such as night sticks and batons, can also be used in these situations. They include, for example, instances in which a subject attacks or threatens to attack an officer by fighting and kicking.

Four other police departments—the Austin Police Department, the Ohio
Highway Patrol, the Phoenix Police Department, and the San Jose Police
Department—allow the use of Tasers at a lower level in the use-of-force
continuum in situations that the officer perceives as volatile
.11 This occurs, for example, when a subject is actively resisting arrest but not attacking the officer. The use of chemical sprays12 to subdue the subject is another option in such a situation. Finally, one agency—the Orange County Sheriff’s Department—allows the use of Tasers in situations that an officer perceives as tactical, such as when a subject is “passively resisting” by not responding to the lawful, verbal commands of the officer.

*The link above has a chart that shows the use of force for these agencies.*

THIS is the reason why we are seeing people tased on video who seem to have done nothing to provoke the "tasing". Some law enforcement agencies allow officers to tase somebody for not listening to their verbal commands, some only if the person is actively resisting arrest, and others ONLY if the person may actually risks personal injury to another person.

What law enforcement needs to do is come up with a guideline that ALL law enforcement agencies follow for the use of Tasers in there "Use of Force" guidelines. The taser should not be used as a non lethal weapon when people do die after being tased.

[edit on 5/12/07 by Keyhole]


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