I was reading the online copy of the Spokane Police Policy Manual (PDF) and the part covering the use of the TASER caught my attention.
Here's the stated purpose.
When properly applied in accordance with this policy, the TASER™ device (ECDElectronic Control Device) is considered a nondeadly control device that is intended to temporarily control a violent or potentially violent individual, while minimizing the risk of serious injury. It is anticipated that the appropriate use of such a device will result in fewer serious injuries to officers and suspects.
Although not absolutely prohibited, officers should give additional consideration to the unique circumstances involved prior to applying the TASER™ to any of the following individuals:
Here is one of the individuals where use of the TASER is not absolutely prohibited.
Passively resisting subjects.
Remember, the intended purpose of the TASER is "to temporarily control a violent or potentially violent individual, while minimizing the risk of serious injury."
Later on the policy states this:
The TASER™ shall not be used to torture, psychologically torment, elicit statements, or inflict undue pain on any individual.
That contradiction bothers me. Worse, after a careful read of the language in the entire policy on TASER usage, in my mind the police here can use the TASER just about any time they wish. Anybody could be described as potentially violent.
3 days ago