Complaint Filed over Chicago Police Department’s Policy Limiting Use of Tasers

The shift to focusing on police body cameras permits Axon to deemphasize its sale of Taser guns, like this one seen in 2012, designed to temporarily incapacitate suspects with an electric shock before arrest
Ethan Miller/AFP

Chicago’s police union filed a complaint over recent changes to the police department’s policy for the use of Tasers by police officers.

The changes to Taser policy discourages officers from using the less-than-lethal weapons in situations where people are “running away, intoxicated, or vulnerable to injury.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson oversaw an overhaul of Taser policy in May. But, when the rules were implemented in October, they contained “a lengthy revision” limiting the situations in which the use of tasers is encouraged. Fox News reports that the revision was made “without input from the city’s police union.” The union responded by filing a complaint with Illinois Labor Relations Board, claiming the new rules violate the union’s “collective bargaining rights by implementing new rules without negotiating.”

The rules suggesting limitations to department-approved Taser use come after the Chicago PD quickly acquired enough of the less-than-lethal weapons to ensure every officer responding to calls possesses one. The Chicago PD went from “745 [tasers] in 2015 to about 4,000 now” and plans to buy more.

Dominique Franklin Sr. welcomes the new Taser policy. His 23-year-old son died in 2014, after being tasered by police, falling, and striking his head on a pole. Police were trying to arrest Franklin’s son for allegedly stealing a bottle of vodka.

Franklin said, “Too many cops do stuff because they feel they can get away with it.”

University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman is suing the Chicago PD, claiming the new Taser policy still places insufficient constraint on officers. He said, “They still refuse to stop telling … officers that it’s OK to Taser people who pose no immediate threat to anyone. You need hard and fast rules on this.”

It must be noted that there has long been concern that Chicago PD policies create an atmosphere that discourages police from taking action necessary to defend their own lives. On October 7, 2016, Breitbart News reported that a female officer who was being beaten refused to shoot the aggressor for fear of public relations backlash. The officer had to be hospitalized following the assault.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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