Cops Donâ€™t Have to Shoot to Kill, Tasers Work Just Fine
And NYPD sergeant has made it to the news for tasering and killing a 49 year old man who was threatening the officer with a bottle.
Three officers were at the scene where the man was armed with a glass bottle. The sergeant tasered the man who fell to the ground, and then the officer tasered the suspect once more, after he was subdued.
The man went into cardiac arrest and was later taken to Einstein Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
As far as the sergeant, the NYPD’s Force Investigation Divison decided not to take disciplinary action because the cop in question is a thirteen year veteran of the force at the 45th precinct.
As an alternative to shooting suspects, police officers use of tasers is just as deadly. Earlier this year the Central Connecticut State University collected data on how often cops use tasers and how often they kill discharging a “stun-gun”.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut (ACLU) stated that since 2005, 14 suspects had died due to the police use of a stun gun.
The ACLU said that state criminal justice division data revealed that “in none of these instances was an investigation launched into police use of deadly force.”
In most instances, the medical examiner determined the direct cause of death was not the officer facilitated by the taser, but rather “excited delirium” or “cannot be determined”.
In both of these instances, the medical examiner’s decision on cause of death could be construed as covering up the fact that stun guns can be considered deadly force and should be used with the same regulatory consideration as other weapons at the officer’s disposal.
For example, in 2012 a federal lawsuit was settled for $125,000 after it was shown in court that a Connecticut police officer tasered a suspect 4 times, resulting in their death. At the time of the incident, the medical examiner lied when he wrote down that the suspect’s death was due to “excited delirium” brought on by PCP.
According to a report published by the Associated Press, in the state of Connecticut, police use their stun gun against African-Americans and Hispanics far more often than they do when compared to whites.
In fact, “State and municipal police reported 641 incidents involving stun guns last year, including 437 actual firings and 204 threats of use.”
Just in 2015 alone, Connecticut officers fired tasers at white suspects 43% of the time, while African-Americans were fired upon 35% and Hispanics 21%. Conversely, then the officer threatened to fire the stun gun, but did not, white benefitted 61% of the time; whereas African-Americans and Hispanics saw a combined 39% reprieve.
Michael Lawlor, undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning for the state of Connecticut, commented : “It seems like in the cases where it was threatened but not used, there were far more white people involved. Why that is and whether there is some other explanation, we’re going to go through the data and try to figure it out.”
When it comes to the number of stun gun instances:
• 60% involve a white suspect
• 69% involve an Hispanic suspect
• 80% involve an African-American suspect
The use of police tasers by officers was not prior announced to whites 40%, Hispanics 31%, and African Americans 20%.