Brandon Ishmael told police in Ft. Worth, Tx., on Oct. 7 to kill him, but “we declined,” said SWAT officer Paul Genualdo. Instead, they shot Ishmael, 30, with a large, soft-tipped, bullet-shaped foam projectile designed to cause pain. He then surrendered. Only SWAT officers have access to this weapon right now, but police are considering providing a similar weapons system to patrol supervisors, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reports .
“We are currently looking for funding to place less-than-lethal options with our patrol officers as well,” said Marc Povero, police spokesman. In a challenging time for police departments nationwide because of questions surrounding the fatal shootings of mostly African-American men, less-than-lethal options for police officers are being given close scrutiny. “It provides us with the resources to take a person into custody without having to deploy a lethal weapon,” Genualdo said. “Our goal is to always take people into custody, safely. And that includes bad guys.” SWAT members use a launcher for their foam rounds that costs $3,000. The rounds themselves cost about $30 each and have a range of about 100 feet. Officers also have bean-bag rounds that are fired from a 12-gauge Remington 870 shotgun that have a range of about 50 feet.