Pittsburgh Panel Offers Advice On Proper Use Of Tasers


Tasers are not the “perfect weapon” that some imagine; nor are they killers we must ban, says University of Pittsburgh law Prof. David Harris. Rather, Tasers are tools that can make both citizens and police officers safer, if used properly, he says in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Proper Taser use comes down to four things: policy, training, supervision, and accountability.

Harris volunteered to have the device used on him as a member of a 10-member group appointed by District Attorney Stephen Zappala when a man died after being Tased. His description: “I could not move and was seized by terrible pain, like the worst charley horse I ever had suddenly afflicting every muscle, along with a grinding, pulsing, vibrating sensation. It lasted only five seconds, but it felt like the longest five seconds of my life. I never lost consciousness, but my mind narrowed its focus to one thought: STOP THIS!” The group’s report can be seen at http://www.law.pitt.edu/wp-content/uploads/harris/Taser-Working-Group.pdf).

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