Some law enforcement groups are urging Congress to fix a flaw in George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 that classifies electronic control weapons (ECWs) such as TASERs as "deadly force."
In letters to Congress, the groups are warning that the legislation will end the use of Tasers, seen by many as a less harmful way to subdue suspects.
The bill rushed through the House said that when used against a suspect “multiple” times, ECWs become deadly force weapons, the Washington Examiner reports.
But the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association said that is a misunderstanding of stun guns and why they are used and will likely result in officers instead just going for their firearms.
“If passed into law, this language will greatly undermine the utility of electrical control weapons and will result in an increase in deaths and serious bodily injuries to citizens and officers alike,” said the sheriffs.
“Multiple discharges of an ECW can be important in the event the first deployment does not make a good connection with the subject and NMI (neuromuscular incapacitation) is not achieved. In fact, two-shot ECWs were created for this purpose,” said NOBLE Executive Director Dwayne Crawford.