COLUMBIA — A “Speak Your Mind” event Wednesday night at Hickman High School featured a five-member panel that discussed the safety and effectiveness of Tasers.
About 100 students attended the event.
Hickman students talk about Tasers at Schoolhouse Talk, the Missourian's blog about K-12 schools in Columbia.
The main topics of discussion were the safety of Tasers and the proper training and oversight for police officers.
- Ed Berg, Coalition to Control Tasers
- Mary Ratliff, Columbia NAACP
- Tom Dresner, deputy police chief, Columbia Police Department
- Wayne McDaniel, MU professor
- Michael Lyman, Columbia College professor
Berg: “Tasers are not the ‘wonder weapon’ they were made out to be.”
Ratliff: “There’s no sense in a situation (between police and residents) getting blown out of proportion. There can be win-win situations.”
Dresner: “If Taser was proven to kill people … it would be shut down.”
McDaniel: “More research is needed to understand the mechanisms of death associated with Taser stimulation.”
Lyman: “It is a legitimate law enforcement tool provided it is used under the proper circumstances.”
A coalition of six community organizations calling itself the “TASER-Free Columbia Campaign" announced on Oct. 30 a proposed November 2010 ballot initiative that would ban all use of Tasers inside city limits.
Several members of the group had previously called on the Police Department to adopt a set of national Taser guidelines, which the department did in the spring.