Only about 20 percent of Chicago police officers carry Tasers on patrol, but now, after a series of high profile police shootings, Chicago’s police superintendent has ordered that all officers be equipped with Tasers starting next year.
The number of deployed Tasers will roughly double to 1,400, said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former Chief of Staff.
“With the right policies, the right procedures and the right practices, we can change our officers’ perspectives to help them ensure their own safety and the safety of others,” Emanuel told the media.
Along with the increase in Tasers, the CPD will also change its procedures to emphasize mitigation or de-escalation techniques in hopes that officers will not resort to using deadly force as often.
“Our goal is to change the way officers think when they approach an incident,” interim superintendent John Escalante said.
The change comes on the heels of last week’s shooting of a 19-year-old man, who was killed by police responding to a domestic violence call. Officers also accidentally shot and killed a 55-year-old neighbor woman during the same call.
The shooting caused Mayor Emanuel to cut short his family vacation to communist Cuba early this week.
The city has been roiled by the incident, so much so that an Emanuel staffer was physically assaulted when he attended a prayer vigil for the victims of the shooting.
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