Call for Suspension of Taser Use

Amnesty International says police departments across the country should suspend use of taser devices until their safety can be independently confirmed and formal policies are drawn up governing their use. Gerald Le Melle, A-I's deputy executive director for advocacy, says that in too many cases, police use tasers as a weapon of first rather than last resort. The group says more than 70 people have died in the U-S and Canada in the past four years after being "zapped" by tasers. Le Melle says most police departments studied in the Amnesty International report have no written policies governing the appropriate use of tasers. He says policies should be formalized or taser use should be suspended. Taser International did not respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment.