October 4, 2010

Minneapolis Police Department Changes Taser Policy in Response to Recent Taser-Related Deaths

Soulclap to BlackLogic for letting us know that the Minnesota Police Department reacted in a proactive manner to the recent taser death of David Cornelius Smith.

With little fanfare, the Minneapolis Police Department updated a number of policies, including its use of force policy and Taser policy, as of October 1. The changes are reflected in the city's online Policy and Procedure Manual.

Under these new policies, Tasers are now considered "less lethal" rather than nonlethal.Their actions can be directly attributed to the deaths of Quincy Smith and David Cornelius Smith.

The new policy makes it clear that Tasers neither can be used on passive resistors or simply non-compliant suspects. Given the large number of complaints from citizens being electrocuted with a taser gun while handcuffed simply for speaking, if the policy is actually followed this could bring relief to the Minneapolis community.

I wonder if similar changes are being made in other cities around the nation? Do you know where the online version of the 'use of force' policy can be found in your city? If so, please share it with me. I would like to begin tracking links to these policies around the nation whenever possible.


Gunfighter said...

Interesting. I hope this worls for the department, although I worry that politicizing their use of force policy will put officers and the public at greater risk.

Reading the policiy it seems apparent that an officer in this particular department would find himself under less scrutiny if he used a handgun to shoot someone.

Unknown said...

Gunfighter - I'm going to ask this question out of sheer ignorance. When police use their handgun to shoot a suspect ... are they taught to shoot at center mass with intention of killing the suspect?

The family of Mr. Smith stated that they would have preferred he be shot in the leg. Is that something that is outside of the training of most police officers?