Use of Tasers

Nashville police are restricting the use of tasers, in the aftermath of the death of a man, after being shocked with one 19 times.

Nashville Metro Police Chief, Ronal Serpas, said tasers will be used by police supervisors only.

In a press release, the department says supervisors can not carry tasers unless they complete "taser training" at the police academy.

Serpas said the department is involved in two nationwide studies on the use of tasers and guidelines on how they should be used.

Twenty-one-year-old Patrick Lee was shocked into submission by Nashville officers on September 24, after allegedly being kicked out of a bar and stripping nude.

He died two days later at a hospital. It's still not known what caused his death.

The issue of providing tasers to officers at the Bowling Green Police Department was on the agenda for Tuesday night's meeting.

However, Commissioner Brian "Slim" Nash says it was pulled after the incident in Nashville. Nash says: "To my understanding, the issue was pulled off the agenda at the request of Mayor Walker because of the incident in Nashville. She wanted to take a look the policy we have in place."

Officer Jerry Corbitt, with the Bowling Green Police Department says it wants to get tasers for every officer and the two animal control officers.

Corbitt says: tasers are "used against a person who is resisting arrest and overcome the resistance on the arrested person, or to control a person who might be combative, or a vicious animal, things like that."

Commissioner Nash says he would have left the item on the agenda because he feels the city already has an effective policy in place.

Nash says: "If the taser is not working then you go to a more lethal form of restraint, is the best way to stay it."

There are two officers at the Bowling Green Police Department who are certified to train others how to use tasers.

Commissioner Nash says he would like to see this issue brought up again at another Bowling Green City Commission meeting.

For more information on tasers, log onto www.taser.com/flash.htm .


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