The Charlotte Observer points out the obvious in this morning's editorial with the headline "Here's key in Taser use: Police using good rules".
The basics of the Observer's view is Tasers don't kill people cops do.
"We don't argue with the idea that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers should be armed with the safest weapons available. So in that sense, the Charlotte City Council's decision to buy new Tasers that prevent officers from firing high voltages of electricity for more than five seconds at a pop makes sense.
But this move does not end concerns over the use of Tasers, associated with the deaths of two suspects in Charlotte in the past three years. These are not truly the "non-lethal" weapons that they are so frequently advertised to be."
Cedar's Take: CMPD has guidlines as to when "non-leathal" force is permitted. Sadly those rules are not really hard and fast when it comes to Tasers.
As an example have a look at CMPD's "Use of Force Continuum" color chart here. The idea is that somewhere between Defensive Resistance and Active Aggression the suspect is subject to being Tased.
The written part of the directives which are here, are even less clear "An officer may use non-deadly force upon another person when and to the extent that the officer believes it reasonably necessary".
Looking though 100s of Taser events many suspects were only offering verbal resistance when they got zapped. In other words, in the officers mind mouthing off could make it "reasonably necessary" to Tase a suspect.
The protocol to execute a person in the electric chair requires a 15 second application of 2,450 volts. CMPD Officer Dawson gave 17-year-old Darryl Turner, 37 seconds at 50,000 volts.
Officer Dawson thought is was "reasonably necessary" to give Darryl Turner a continuous shock for 37 seconds. But CMPS determined that he violated CMPD directives and was given a 5 day active suspension.
In this video the mouthly woman gets Tased for a whole lot more than 5 seconds. She sure does a lot of yammering.
WSOC TV NEWS: "Police have not said when officers will get the new Tasers. Even when they do, they may not use them right away because officers may need new training."