In the wake of Eric Garner’s recent death after an act of police misconduct, the NYPD is reviewing its practices of using force and retraining all of its 35,000 officers. One senior police official stated that a wider use of tasers was being discussed, as it could lessen direct physical contact in a confrontation such as Garner’s. This strategy was not mentioned in Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s press conference yesterday. The New York Times reports:
During his remarks, Mr. Bratton did not mention Tasers, and it was not clear whether internal discussions about expanding the use of Tasers predated the episode on Staten Island or were in response to it. “There have been conversations, but nothing definitive,” said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal policy debates.
It is questionable how the controversial non-lethal weapons would be safer. In 2008, an overzealous tasering of an “emotionally disturbed” naked man armed only with a fluorescent light tube ended in tragedy after he fell to his death from a Brooklyn building. The officer who shocked him was so overcome with guilt, that he committed suicide eight days later. (Photo: Wikipedia)