Recent Taser Deaths Prompt Questions | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Recent Taser Deaths Prompt Questions

Play associated audio

By Michael Pope

In Arlington, Virginia, two people died this year after police officers used a Taser® on them. That's raised new concerns about the use of stun guns in Virginia.

Amnesty International conducted a nationwide study in 2008 and concluded that the use of Tasers should be banned among police agencies. But Dana Schrad of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police says she disagrees with those who argue that Tasers are too dangerous.

"Well, I guess we can take officers' guns away too," says Schrad. "The fact of the matter is that there are times when officers have to use lethal force or less than lethal force to bring someone into compliance."

Kent Willis of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia says there's mounting evidence that the devices are just too unpredictable, which is why his organization is about to launch a study to investigate the recent Taser® deaths in Virginia.

"The subjective reaction to the recent deaths in Virginia leads us all in the direction of saying that we want to ban Tasers," says Willis. "But we think before we come to that conclusion we need to study this more thoroughly."

Willis says he hopes to have the ACLU's recommendations before the next session of the General Assembly.

NPR

Ruth Rendell Dies, Pioneered The Psychological Thriller

The British mystery writer was known for her Inspector Wexford series and in her later years became active in Labour Party politics. NPR's Petra Mayer has this remembrance.
NPR

'Bourbon Empire' Reveals The Smoke And Mirrors Of American Whiskey

A new book suggests that tall tales on craft bourbon labels are the rule rather than the exception. They're just one example of a slew of "carefully cultivated myths" created by the bourbon industry.
NPR

Site Using Candidate Carly Fiorina's Name Attacks Her Record At HP

The site, carlyfiorina.org, says the Republican presidential candidate laid off 30,000 people while she ran Hewlett-Packard. Fiorina does not deny the figure but says, overall, the firm created jobs.
NPR

As Emoji Spread Beyond Texts, Many Remain [Confounded Face] [Interrobang]

There's a growing tendency to bring the tiny hieroglyphs off of phones, but not everyone is fluent. New takes on emoji integration suggest misunderstanding may be remedied with universal translation.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.