Connecticut Police Fired Stun Guns More Often At Minorities

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Hispanics shot with stun guns by police in Connecticut last year were more likely to be fired upon multiple times than were other racial groups, according to an analysis of the first statewide data of police stun gun use in the U.S., the Associated Press reports.

In cases where police pull stun guns, the report says officers also were more likely to fire them in confrontations involving minorities. Officers fired the weapons, as opposed to merely brandishing them, 60 percent of the time in confrontations involving whites, 81 percent of the time in those involving blacks and 66 percent of the time in those involving Hispanics.

The report, by Central Connecticut State University analysts, said it was difficult to draw conclusions from the information because it was the first data to be collected and many police departments appeared to underreport their stun gun use. The report calls for improved data collection but does not make any conclusions about whether police are engaged in racial profiling in their stun gun use. “With this basic information you can start asking more questions and figure out whether policies governing Tasers need to be modified,” said Michael Lawlor, Connecticut undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning. “I’m sure over time it will have a big impact. You can expect the use of Tasers will change simply because law enforcement is aware this data is being collected and reported publicly.”

 

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