I have argued in the past that police need to start encouraging the development of less-than-lethal weaponry in order to stop killing individuals with edged or blunt weapons in “stand-off” situations. Taking a life in these situations is no longer supported by the community and to continue to do so without making changes borders on the immoral.
Eli Hagar of the Marshall Project wrote on September 23, 2015:
“In the wake of recent high-profile police shootings, manufacturers of non-lethal weapons have seized on the opportunity to sell devices they say might have saved the lives of Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, and many others. Companies with names like Micron Products, Alternative Ballistics, and Bruzer Less Lethal International are now a part of the decades-old field of less-lethal weapons — also called ‘compliance’ or ‘pacification’ devices — offering everything from bullets that don’t penetrate to devices that slow bullets down.
“’I just looked out there and there wasn’t anything that really would have been practical and useful in a tense one-on-one situation like in Ferguson,’ says Christian Ellis, the CEO of Alternative Ballistics, which tried to sell one such device to the Ferguson police department. ‘That’s why we got into this business.’”
“Police officers, for their part, already have less-lethal tools on their belts — nightsticks, pepper spray, and TASERs — and some feel that the additional options are not much more useful despite their variety and complexity. ‘It’s like comparing phone plans,’ says Sid Heal, former commander in the L.A.P.D. and an expert on less-lethal force.
“Whatever the future holds for these alternatives, police departments already have, in recent years, added a few gentler tools to their arsenals. Below, an inventory of some of those tools, as well as a look at what might flood the market soon…”
To read descriptions on these devices and the rest of the article CLICK HERE.
i agree with most of what you say about this, but not all . a taser has not only been proven to be a deadly weapon, but police have proven, time and again, that they will use a taser when there is no threat whatsoever . while i might agree police should replace guns with tasers, i’ll never agree that police need both . there is no reason to use electric shock, which is extremely dangerous, to apprehend a person . as you’ve aptly described, there are many other far superior, much less harmful alternatives
police should train with staff of mental institutions, who routinely apprehend mentally unstable patients, even when those patients have picked up some sort of object to use as weapon . they do so without using deadly force, and without use of weapons at all
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It seems that many police don’t readily go to a taser but as I recall it is ranked quite low in the use of force continuum. Teasers came after I retired but I do remember many folks thinking that they will be the “be all and end all” and eliminate the need for any officer to have to grapple or use a baton.
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whatever the thinking, the actual short history of use shows electrocution to be possible deadly force . police who are afraid of a bit of grappling to apprehend a legitimate suspect should not be police . no matter the original intention, there are far too many officers who are willing and even excited to be able to deliver such punishment to pretty much anyone who says no to them, which we have the right to do when police attempt to intimidate us into ‘cooperating’ when they have no cause to be suspicious of us