By Tim Redmond
In the wake of a study written by Assistant Chief Morris Tabak that says that some fatal shootings could have been avoided if the cops had less-lethal alternatives, the Police Commission is going to look at the use of the high-voltage stun guns. Chief George Gascon favors equipping officers with the weapons.
It's probably true that Tasers would have saved lives if the cops had zapped some suspects instead of shooting them. In the Asa Sullivan case, for example, an unarmed mentally ill man died when officers opened fire; a less-lethal alternative would have been more than adequate to subdue the guy.
But Tasers have their own problems -- particularly if officers are authorized to use them in situations where drawing a firearm would be prohibited. Consider the case of Oscar Grant, killed by a BART police officer who later argued that he thought he was pulling a Taser, not a pistol.
Grant clearly wasn't enough of a threat that the BART police should have used lethal force to subdue him. But using a Taser apparently seemed just fine. See, once you give the cops Tasers, they're going to see them as a simple way to incapacitate unruly people -- unless there are very clear rules. Tasers can kill people, too, and should be treated as an alternative to lethal force -- not an alternative to handcuffs.
Most Commented On
- Greg prefers a conspiracy theory to facts and logic - March 12, 2014
- kUkJstKKhU - March 12, 2014
- The City Cannot Impost Additional Restrictions - March 12, 2014
- It's The Typical Result of A Huge Fire - March 12, 2014
- Why all the venom? - March 12, 2014
- Hey, it's a tax on poor, stupid people so why wouldn't I support - March 12, 2014
- The three of them couldn't light a campsite fire between them - March 12, 2014
- Wait, I heard that the fire was the fault of AirBnB? - March 12, 2014
- Yeah, he's just yet another progressive control freak who wants - March 12, 2014
- Also - March 12, 2014