GA County Drops Tasers; Feds Probe Jail Death


Federal officials are reviewing the death of a man shocked repeatedly with a Taser at the Gwinnett County, Ga., Jail, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says. as concern grows, DeKalb County, Ga., has decided to stop using the stun guns. DeKalb collected its 125 Tasers and put them in storage after Taser International, which manufactures the devices, posted a bulletin on its Web site warning that multiple or prolonged blasts could impair breathing and lead to death. The use of Tasers in the Atlanta area has come under scrutiny since May 2004, when Frederick Williams, a 31-year-old father of four, died after he was zapped repeatedly while being restrained at the Gwinnett County Jail.

In the last two years, more than 20 lawsuits have been filed against Taser, including some by police officers who say they were hurt while training with Tasers. Police in Birmingham and sheriff’s deputies in Lucas County, Ohio, have stopped carrying Tasers. Chicago police terminated a plan to distribute Tasers to officers in the wake of a death there. DeKalb County became the largest law enforcement agency in Georgia to discontinue using Tasers.


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