Tasers are a non-lethal weapon that police officers have used for years to subdue unruly or belligerent people. Recently, an early morning altercation between NBA player Donte Greene and NFL star Jo-Lonn Dunbar resulted in the use of tasers, bringing the 6-foot-11 Greene to the ground. While some believe that tasers are a necessary tool that helps curb deaths, other view the weapon as a free pass for officers to turn a gun on citizens without the risk of taking a life. Is the use of this electroshock weapon being used too liberally by police officers or have these weapons saved the day more often than not?
Nevada Taser Laws
In the state of Nevada, the law does not consider taser guns firearms. This means that both police officers and citizens can legally own and use tasers, but must only be utilized in times of self defense. Police departments across the nation have varying guidelines for when to use an electroshock weapon, making exceptions for particularly aggressive situations or suspects resisting arrest.
In the case of Greene and Dunbar, officers only used their weapons after giving fair warning and decided the situation required immediate action. Police warned Greene to stop attacking Dunbar from behind, and used force when he refused to quit. Officers felt they had the right to use their tasers in the situation because Greene would not listen to their commands. But where exactly is the line that law enforcement officials
Crossing the Line
While police departments have their own rules for using tasers, most officers agree that electroshock weapons should only be used in reasonable circumstances. Police brutality is a major concern when dealing with tasers, and officers must be aware that if they stun a suspect with one of these weapons, their actions could be viewed as extreme and inappropriate if the situation doesn’t warrant excessive force. As a general rule of thumb, tasers shouldn’t be used if a suspect does not pose a threat to other citizens or police officers. Unfortunately, this is a line that is difficult to determine and has resulted in many tragic outcomes over the years.
If you or someone you love is facing a serious criminal charge, contact Lass Vegas criminal defense attorney Gabriel Grasso. Grasso has helped hundreds of people get the justice they deserve, call (702) 868-8866 today to find out more information or to set up a consultation.