The International Association of Police Chiefs will urge police departments to review the use of stun guns because of reports that the weapons may be related to numerous deaths, USA Today reports. IACP and the Justice Department will also study more than 80 deaths to assess the risks in using the weapons. Civil rights groups and some police agencies question the use of stun guns, or Tasers, which emit electrical charges to incapacitate suspects temporarily.
More than 80 deaths have been reported since 1999 after victims were shocked with stun guns, say The Arizona Republic and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The SCLC asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to declare a moratorium on the weapon. Arizona-based Taser International has sold 130,000 stun guns to 7,000 of the 16,000 police agencies across the country. Taser President Tom Smith says that, “There was no scientific or medical evidence to suggest that these are dangerous devices. I believe this is the safest option for the use of force by police officers.”