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Theodore A. Hoppe

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The Criminal Misuse of Tasers by the Pollice

Incidents such as this are becoming more frequent:

"After wandering away from a Montana veterans home, 77-year-old Korean War Veteran Stanley L. Downen, who suffered from severe Alzheimer’s, fell and hit his face on the pavement after being tasered by police, resulting in his death three weeks later, according to a lawsuit filed by Downen's granddaughter."

http://www.examiner.com/article/taser-death-of-77-year-old-veteran-with-alzheimer-s-prompts-lawsuit

As the article indicates there are other stories of this nature.

"Other incidents of extreme overreaction and police abuse with tasers like Downen's have been seen across the country. Last year, A Chicago woman who was 8-months pregnant was tasered by police over a parking violation. Police in New Mexico tasered a 10-year-old boy after he allegedly refused to wash an officer’s patrol car. A 50-year-old Texas man who was having a seizure was tasered by police, causing a heart attack and permanent brain damage."

Vermont is currently holding hearings regarding a statewide policy on taser use by the police and state police. Legislators saw a need for such a law after an individual with a history of mental illness died after being tased by the state police.

What are your thoughts? Is the use of tasers by the police against vulnerable populations a growing concern? Do police overreact or escalate a situation? How could situations be handled better?

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