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The Chicago Police Department is dramatically expanding its use of Tasers, adding several hundred more and putting them in the hands of patrol officers for the first time, officials said Wednesday.
The "stun guns" will go in every squad car to give front-line beat officers a more effective way to protect themselves and calm a disturbance.
But the electrical devices have caused controversy nationwide, with debates about their safety and lawsuits filed on behalf of dozens of people, some in the Chicago area, who have died after being "Tased."
Chicago police laid out their plans just hours after a 31-year-old south suburban man was pronounced dead after Midlothian police used a Taser to subdue him. Jaesun Ingles, of Riverdale, who was on parole, was stunned with the Taser after he tried to swallow a plastic bag that police believed contained drugs, resisted arrest and ran from officers, Midlothian police said. An autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner's office Wednesday was inconclusive, pending further investigation.