Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tasers Come To NJ

Last year I wrote about the possibility of tasers making their way in police hands in NJ, the only state keeping them from police. The NJ Attorney General has given the green light to tasers in the state:
TRENTON — For the first time, New Jersey police have been given the right to use stun guns in certain situations by Attorney General Anne Milgram — for example, on armed, emotionally disturbed persons who refuse to surrender.

Ewing Police Chief Robert Coulton, president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, called Milgram’s decision “a good first step, since we’ve advocated use of them.”

How could it be a good first step? he was asked.

“Because anything that we can do to save lives is good.”

New Jersey is the last state to authorize stun-gun usage, and this comes only after approval by a blue ribbon advisory committee that included retired Superior Court Appellate Judge Dennis J. Braithwaite and the executive director of the chiefs’ association, Mitchell Sklar.
The following paragraph from the same article demonstrates why I'm confidant that tasers will be abused in the Garden State, just like they've been everywhere they've been deployed:
Asked about nightmare videos depicting rogue police use of the stun guns, Coulton said, “Any level of force can be lethal in dealing with combative people, individuals who sometimes resist arrest, any level of force can be lethal, from firearms, to hand-to-hand altercations.

“So with anything, when you’re dealing with controlling violent and aggressive individuals, sometimes those worst-case scenarios that are unfortunate do occur. And they will continue to occur in a profession when you deal with people that are combative and resisting arrest and are dangerous.”

Coulton said it’s important that the appropriate reprecussions happen, “whether it be departmental discipline, or criminal charges and dismissal from police service. It’s a reality. They do happen from time to time, they do occur.
With an attitude like that, there's little hope for restrained use of any randomly death-dispensing implement.

Welcome to our united torture states, NJ.