Stun guns are considered non-lethal alternatives to guns. They are considered effective because they just shock a person, causing no serious injury. However, Tasers can be abused, and in extreme cases can even result in death.
Amnesty International stated in 2012 that at least 500 people in the United States have died since 2001 after being tased either during their arrest or while in jail.
The video below is a perfect example:
The un-armed man in the video can be seen being yanked from his car and being hit and Tasered by the police.
None of the officers gathered at the scene intervened to stop this brutal, violent attack.
Though numerous incidents of weapons abuse, including Tasers, by the police have come to light, but there hasn’t been any documentation of such — until now.
Connecticut has taken a stance and acted upon it. Cops are actually required by state law to fill out documentation every time they pull a Taser. In some of the state’s police departments, officers have to experience being Tased themselves before they do it to any suspect.
The Institute of Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP), at Central Connecticut State University, was tasked by the Office of Policy and Management's Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division with compiling and analyzing the reported Taser data.
According to the report, Connecticut's police used such measures 650 times last year.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that African-American men were about three times more likely to be Tased.
Ken Barone, a researcher at Central Connecticut State University's Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, co-wrote the report that says researchers need more time to figure out what's driving those racial disparities.
Taser International warns against using its stun guns on people experiencing psychiatric crisis or on children.
However, "Nearly one-third of all Taser incidents involved a person that the officer believed to be emotionally disturbed," Barone says.
Researchers in Connecticut say they hope their state will serve as a model of tracking Tasers for the rest of the country.