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Apply strict rules for use of Tasers


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 02, 2012

~~<p>In the six years since a Maui woman was zapped by a stun gun, prompting a lawsuit that stopped just short of the U.S. Supreme Court, incidents and guidelines involving the weapon's use have proliferated. Clarity from the high court on appropriate stun-gun use would have been welcome, but it recently declined to hear the case. Still, rulings in that suit and a similar one from Seattle clearly send the message that police departments here and nationwide can be sued for misuse of this potentially deadly weapon, so they had better adopt and apply clear and strict guidelines for its use.</p>
<p>Stun guns &quot;should be used only against subjects who are exhibiting active aggression&quot; or resisting in a way that could cause injuries, the U.S. Department of Justice said in guidelines last year. When used on a fleeing subject, &quot;the severity of the offense, (and) threat level to others&quot; should be considered, the guidelines say.</p>
~~

In the six years since a Maui woman was zapped by a stun gun, prompting a lawsuit that stopped just short of the U.S. Supreme Court, incidents and guidelines involving the weapon's use have proliferated. Clarity from the high court on appropriate stun-gun use would have been welcome, but it recently declined to hear the case. Still, rulings in that suit and a similar one from Seattle clearly send the message that police departments here and nationwide can be sued for misuse of this potentially deadly weapon, so they had better adopt and apply clear and strict guidelines for its use.

Stun guns "should be used only against subjects who are exhibiting active aggression" or resisting in a way that could cause injuries, the U.S. Department of Justice said in guidelines last year. When used on a fleeing subject, "the severity of the offense, (and) threat level to others" should be considered, the guidelines say. Login for more...



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