Tasers. Good idea? Bad idea?

Comments

Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

There are three connected parts to this string. I'll put each part up in a separate post, but I am going to reverse the order in which they appeared in the San Francisco newspapers TV news.

"SFPD Chief George Gascon renews call for Tasers

San Francisco's police chief is renewing his call to arm his officers with Tasers following Tuesday's shooting of a man. It was the second officer-involved shooting in two weeks in San Francisco.

Chief George Gascon believes Tasers may provide a good "less than lethal" option and that they should be part of his department's arsenal of weapons. He also wants to see if his officers need more training.

Last spring the police commission rejected Gascon's proposal to buy Tasers after raising questions about safety and abuse.

Gascon says he will ask the police commission to approve Tasers at its next meeting."

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

"Homeless man sues SFPD officers who shot him while in wheelchair.

Randal Dunklin, 55, was born with polio, is confined to a wheelchair, and suffers from mental illness. On Jan. 4 police responded to call saying he was slashing tires in front of the mental health office on Howard Street and the rest of the incident was caught on camera."

"'Police officers can only use deadly force if there's an imminent threat to their lives or safety, or the lives to someone else and I didn't see an imminent threat here,' said John Scott, Dunklin's lawyer."

"The City Attorney's office declined comment on the suit, saying they have not seen it."

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

"SFPD officer shoots man in wheelchair.

A San Francisco police officer shot a man in a wheelchair after being stabbed in the city's South of Market District Tuesday morning.

The officer involved shooting occurred near the Department of Mental Health Clinic. Police officers responded to a call of a man slashing tires and vandalizing city vehicles.

Doreen Paddock works in the building. She says the suspect is a regular visitor to the clinic and has a reputation.

'He's a little bit of trouble maker,' she said.

A police spokesperson says the officer was stabbed and first fired a non-lethal bean bag weapon and then another officer fired his service revolver.

A witness took a video on his cell phone. It shows Dunklin in his wheelchair. He first stabs an officer in the shoulder who tries to subdue him with pepper spray. Police then fire a bean bag round at Dunkin. As Dunklin is hit, he whirls around in his wheelchair. The light catches a flash of metal from an object in his moving hand. Two officers fire their service revolvers simultaneously with the move of Dunkin's hand. The object in his hand, apparently the knife he stabbed the officer with, flies through the air. Dunklin falls wounded from his wheelchair."

And now, a few more comments, and a question:

Chief Gascon said he believes his force should be supplied with Tasers because a Taser would have produced a different outcome.

"A Taser more than likely would have ended this scenario probably at the earlier stages, but we don't have a Taser," Gascon said.

Regarding the shooting of the man in the wheelchair, he adds, "We will be evaluating tactics and techniques that are being taught today that we should be teaching and whether there are additional tools we should be having."

The envelope please....

"If San Francisco police officers were supplied with tasers would this shooting have occurred?"

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Pat Randall 1 year, 8 months ago

I thought in the first post you said the officer was penned in the corner by the man in the wheel chair. Seems there are a lot of changes in the story and we will never know the truth.

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John Lemon 1 year, 8 months ago

Tom; I support the use of alternatives to deadly force. Tasers are one option. Pepper Spray, Shotgun Bean Bag rounds, Batons, etc., are other options that are now considered "normal". Yes, on occasion a person who is Tased may suffer complications from the jolt but so may persons hit with other weapons that are designed to subdue a person. If the alleged criminal is taken into custody alive when conditions would have allowed lethal actions by police, it is a preferable outcome.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 8 months ago

Tom, As I read your posts again this morning you are talking about two different men aren't you?

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

"Seems there are a lot of changes in the story and we will never know the truth."

Different story, Pat.

" If the alleged criminal is taken into custody alive when conditions would have allowed lethal actions by police, it is a preferable outcome."

I don't think it could be better said.

"Tom, As I read your posts again this morning you are talking about two different men aren't you?"

Right, Pat.

The first one happened in Houston; this one is in Frisco.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

Pat,

What do you think about the tasers? Should the police have them or should they just shoot an unruly suspect?

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Pat Randall 1 year, 8 months ago

Tasers in most cases. The person they shoot is only a suspect until he has his day in court. No plea bargaining. I think that is the worst thing the law has ever come up with. Jared Loughner gets off with life in prison a plea bargain after killing all those people in Tucson . He should have been shot.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm inclined to agree about the Tasers. In fact, I was surprised to find that a large city like San Francisco doesn't already have them.

As for plea bargaining, I'm not sure. Maybe someone else has some thoughts on that.

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