MIAMI, Fla. – According to a recent article in the Miami New Times, citizens and public interest groups, including The American Civil Liberties Union, are calling for a revamping of the policies and procedures within law enforcement agencies that govern the use of Tasers.
Current wording in many police handbooks labels Tasers as “nonlethal” methods of defense and control. The suggestion is that these tools of enforcement be labeled as “less lethal” and their use limited in some capacity. This recommendation was made to Miami Beach Police Department in a report provided by an external auditor. To date, MBPD has not followed the advice.
There is little doubt that there are thousands of police officers utilizing these tools correctly for every one police officer that is not. It is, unfortunately, that one police officer who may very well end up killing someone. In fact, although the exact number is not clear, it is estimated that local taxpayers have paid in the millions for Taser-related settlements.
The people that law enforcement officers are charged with protecting are beginning to lose trust. Taser abuse is rampant and citizens are worried.
A representative of the ACLU says, “It’s obviously very disturbing to hear that police officers are using these weapons and then not reporting to their supervisors.”
What people may not realize is that the number of times a Taser is fired can be not only documented, but confirmed. The problem does not lie in the proper use of the Taser, but the non-reporting of its use, and the failure of departmental supervisors to design and follow a system of checks and balances.
Tasers may very well save the lives of those that are sworn to serve and protect the citizens of Miami and, for that, most people are thankful. Tasers may also be used to subdue 6-year-old children, as was seen in 2004.
The question now is, “Has it gone too far?” A tool that was meant to be utilized instead of a gun in potentially deadly situations has become drawn and fired in non-lethal situations. The issue and its remedies now lie in law enforcements’ hands, and the time for change has come.
If you know someone who was injured in a car accident, be sure to call a Miami car accident lawyer as soon as possible.