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The Use of Taser: Analysis Essay

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Updated: Sep 11th, 2022

Introduction

The use of taser has been acknowledged as a non-lethal alternative to pepper spray, batons, as well as firearms due to its low levels of causing harm to the lives of the officers, the citizens, as well as the crime suspects. The use of taser, however, is faced with a number of challenges. Apart from its demand of high levels of expertise, taser is compounded with challenges that have led to a heated debate against its effectiveness. To assess the effectiveness of tasers, therefore, there is need to understand the major aspects of risks of using taser, which are against the national as well as the international laws: the degree of control and the impact on the lives of the citizens, the police, as well as the crime suspects (Williams, 2008). It is due to such risks that users of tasers need to employ rigorous measures to eliminate threats in order to enhance acceptability. This paper will establish the most prevalent arguments against the use of tasers by the law enforcers, and then analyze the placement of taser in the ‘linear use of force continuum.’

Discussion

It is apparent that tasers are faced with a number of contradictory inferences, as some researchers question the effectiveness of its use on the grounds of heart disease as well as increase in mortality rate amongst the tassed people. Despite the fact that the use of tasers has been credited to limiting the number of deaths resulting from fire arms, some researchers have in the recent past attributed taser to an increase in mortality rate amongst the tassed people who happen to be suffering from heart disease, as well as suspects who are victims of drug addiction.

Despite this controversy, placing taser at the mid rage level in the ‘linear use of force continuum’ plays a crucial role in determining how the device should yield to substantial result. This level helps to establish the circumstance under which tasers should be used. These circumstances include suspects who are non-compliant to the verbal orders from the officers, suspects who depict volatile situations under which the officer is compelled to use the taser, such as resisting arrest, and, finally, suspects who pose a certain degree of threat to civilians or to the police officers (Bennett, Hess, & Orthmann, 2006). Even though the placement of taser at the mid range level is controversial, this level is of paramount importance since it takes into account factors that should be considered before a crime suspect is tassed, thus reducing the morbidity and mortality rate of crime suspects.

However, the use of tasers has been credited to causing a number of deaths after tassing people who are intoxicated by drugs. Such deaths, however, should not affect the placement of taser on the ‘linear use of force continuum,’ since the officers using tasers should be conversant with policies that underline the circumstances under which tasers should be employed, and the impact of tasers on the health impaired people who should not be tassed at all (Bennett, Hess, & Orthmann, 2006).

Thus, deaths resulting from the use of tasers do not affect my opinion on the placement of taser on the ‘linear use of force continuum’ because death cases should be judged by determining whether the taser was used as stipulated by the law. Hence, the judgment should entail a quick analysis of the suspects’ as well as the officers’ intentions, because the credibility of using a taser is ascertained by determining the circumstance under which the taser was employed (Bennett, Hess, & Orthmann, 2006). As such, the death cases resulting from the use of tasers are not attributed to incorrect placement of the taser in the ‘linear use of force continuum,’ but the problem, according to (Williams, 2008) lies in the municipalities, as they are responsible for providing adequate training to officers with regard to upholding the rights of the citizens against excessive force.

Conclusion

From the argument presented in this paper, it is clear that the use of tasers serve the role of limiting excessive use of force amongst the law enforcers. However, the effectiveness of its analysis is affected by differences in laws governing its use from one region to another. Proper understanding of the factors that contribute to effective use of tasers is necessary in ensuring that the law enforcers reap benefits from it. This paper has identified the reasons under which the law enforcers should use tasers by addressing the complexity of the issue.

References

Bennett, W., Hess, K., & Orthmann, C. (2006). Criminal investigation. Independence, KY: Cengage Learning.

Williams, H. E. (2008). Taser electronic control devices and sudden in-custody death: Separating evidence from conjecture. Springfield, Ill: C.C. Thomas.

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