Councilman says police shouldn't use Taser on kids

Use of police stun guns against children "torture."

A report by an international human rights group condemning the use of stun guns has prompted calls in Cincinnati to prohibit police from using Tasers on children younger than 11. Councilman Christopher Smitherman proposed Wednesday that Cincinnati police set a policy prohibiting officers from using Tasers on children aged 7 through 10. Department policy, following national standards, already prohibits Taser use on children younger than 7.

Smitherman's proposal was prompted by the release of an Amnesty International report this week describing the use of police stun guns against children "torture."



Police are too quick to grab for Taser's power, say critics

Teens and pregnant women have felt jolt in King County

When deputies pulled her over, Valinda Otis told them she was pregnant and needed to use the bathroom. When they wouldn't let her go to a nearby restroom, she walked toward it, anyway, she said, and was quickly handcuffed and placed in a patrol car. She screamed and kicked the car door. That's when a deputy with the King County Sheriff's Office pulled out a Taser, pressed it against her thigh and jolted her with 50,000 volts of electricity. "It was a sharp pain," said Otis, 24, who was three months pregnant at the time of the September incident. "I kept asking, 'Is it gonna mess up my baby?' "

Tasers have been used locally to end violent standoffs and subdue suicidal people, but a Seattle Post-Intelligencer review found they're also being used routinely in far less threatening situations -- including against juveniles, pregnant women and people who have already been handcuffed.


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