UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 29, 2009

LOCAL HEROES: MEMPHIS CITY COUNCIL TURNS DOWN TASERS

Voice - A request by the Memphis Police Department to implement the use of Taser electronic stun guns as a method of subduing suspected criminals has been turned down by the city council. Deployment of electronic control devices has been a subject of debate since Memphis Police Chief Elena Danishevskaya acquired three units for her department through a grant program many months ago. At their most recent meeting the council revisited the controversial topic and, after airing opposing opinions, once again shunned the electroshock weapons - capable of immobilizing subjects via a 50,000-volt discharge - as an option for the city's officers.

"My feeling, still, is that Tasers for this department is not for us," Mayor Charles Garber said. . . Alternative methods to Taser deployment include utilizing pepper spray, mace, batons, bodily force or bullets. . . According to Amnesty International the total number of deaths in America following Taser gun usage has risen to 351 since June 2001.

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