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Md. Report Calls for More Taser Restrictions

Md. Report Calls for More Taser Restrictions

The Frederick News-Post via YellowBrix

December 23, 2009

Two years ago, a 20-year-old died after a Frederick County sheriff’s deputy shocked him with a Taser. Now, a state task force is recommending that Tasers be used in fewer instances and that law enforcement track their use more closely.

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler created the Task Force on Electronic Weapons after a string of Taser-related problems, including the death of Jarrel Gray on Nov. 18, 2007. The task force report, released Dec. 17, makes 60 recommendations that largely focus on training, use-of-force, reporting and investigating Taser discharges, and monitoring usage data.

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The report’s first recommendation, which Frederick County NAACP president Guy Djoken called the most important, is that the community should be involved in crafting Taser policies.

Law enforcement agencies “should, and have the responsibility to make sure (community groups) are involved in the process,” he said. “As we move forward, we need to make sure the legislative body of the state understands this very well.”

Djoken said he investigated the county’s first Taser discharge at a public school, involving an 18-year-old senior at Tuscarora High School in 2007. As he talked to parents and teachers, no one seemed aware that Tasers could be used in a public school. He said the community needs to understand the Taser regulations and help shape them if they are to be effective.

The task force also recommended that officers not only be certified and recertified in Taser usage, it specified that training should emphasize that a Taser is “less-lethal weapon, and not a non-lethal or less-than-lethal weapon.”

Djoken said the Frederick and Maryland chapters of the NAACP, as well as the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, had stressed this point all along and were pleased to see it incorporated into the report.

Whereas people are careful with guns and regard them as lethal weapons to be used only in dire circumstances, Djoken said officers were much less likely to consider the effects of using Tasers, which can also be fatal under the right conditions.


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  • Erpd_swat_max50

    molineaux4068

    over 4 years ago

    156 Comments

    I'm a cop in MD and this garbage right here is why it's so hard to be a cop in MD and do your job. I don't even carry the Taser because of this kind of BS. I can't wait to see what comes out of this.

  • P23-2_max50

    kevw25

    over 4 years ago

    1298 Comments

    what a joke

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 4 years ago

    19386 Comments

    Is every citizen an arm chair quarterback who has never touched the ball?

  • Blue_line_max50

    ACecala

    over 4 years ago

    1966 Comments

    "The report’s first recommendation, which Frederick County NAACP president Guy Djoken called the most important, is that the community should be involved in crafting Taser policies."

    When the "community" learns proper use of force policy, qualifies with each leathal and non-leathal weapon and makes sure everyone in the "community" understands all aspects of each disiplin, then maybe.

  • Scan_max50

    bleu1240

    over 4 years ago

    312 Comments

    A good ideal on paper, however the community does not have the stomach to do the job.

  • Th_christmas2006_max50

    sfaoldguy

    over 4 years ago

    6 Comments

    Community input is a good thing but the final decision does need to be made by those who are qualified to do so.

  • Draped_badge_max50

    184retired

    over 4 years ago

    3804 Comments

    The commuinity needs to know NOTHING...They are not cops, they have never faced the situations cops have and will never know what it is like to be in those situations...Restrict the use and you may see more shootings by police and more injuries to police...But then again no one cares when a cop gets hurt..Never makes the headlines...This is BS...And I guarantee there is already a policy in place,,,it just doesn't include the input from the NAACP and the community...

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 4 years ago

    19386 Comments

    A set policy and training is a good thing. Still I would rather be Tased than shot with a high power gun. The family that Tassed together stays together.

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