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NYPD May Issue More TASERs in Use of Force Changes

July 24, 2014  | 

Days after the death of a man who was subdued by police officers on Staten Island, the New York Police Department is undertaking a sweeping review of its training and tactics, Commissioner William J. Bratton said on Tuesday.

A senior police official said one change under discussion was the expanded use of Taser stun guns, which are available to a small number of New York officers but have been controversial there and elsewhere because of the risk they can pose to people with heart problems and other medical issues, reports the New York Times.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said stun guns could be a way to provide officers with more options for subduing people who were resisting arrest and avoiding the close contact that can lead to serious, even fatal, injuries to officers and suspects.

During his remarks, Mr. Bratton did not mention Tasers, and it was not clear whether internal discussions about expanding the use of Tasers predated the episode on Staten Island or were in response to it. "There have been conversations, but nothing definitive," said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal policy debates.

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