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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ineffective tasers lead to shooting deaths

January 3, 2011
Jennifer Anderson, Portland Tribune

... Re the Dec. 27 shooting death of 34-year-old Marcus Lagozzino in Southwest Portland, and the Jan. 2 police shooting death of a homeless man at an abandoned Southeast Portland car wash: In both incidents, police used Tasers, but the devices were ineffective. “Tasers don’t work well when people are wearing bulky clothing,” Reese said. They also don’t work when the person is “very intent on committing a violent act,” he added. A November city audit on the police bureau’s five-year-old Taser program noted that they are effective 80 percent of the time.

1 comment:

Kate said...

In this interview two important improvements were suggested. These are:
• "Officers routinely look for improvements that can be made after grand jury reviews and other incident reviews, [Police Chief] Reese said he’s asked his training officers to look at what policies or tactics that can be made now rather than wait a while. He’ll also ask an outside expert to look at what changes can be made."
Don't wait till "after". Canadian cases have taken years to hold inquests and make reccomendations, and police seem reluctant to make any changes before then, perhaps because these might be seen as admission that something was wrong.
"[Portland Mayor]Adams said he met with City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees the city’s emergency services, to ask what kinds of questions 9-1-1 operators ask to gain information about a situation and make appropriate changes."
Often, including in the Dziekanski case, the message police received left out or distorted the details dispatchers were told, especially family member warnings that subjects were mentally or physically ill.
Good luck, Portland ...