People for a Taser-Free Columbia to introduce ordinance

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | 1:30 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA—People for a Taser-Free Columbia intends to present a proposed ordinance that would eliminate Tasers as an enforcement tool in Columbia during a Thursday event.

A news conference will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the old Labor Temple, 611 N. Garth Ave.

"We have five speakers speaking on why they think (Columbia) would be better taser-free," said organizer Mary Hussmann.

The group is also holding a fundraiser art show  from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 9 at Cafe Berlin. A $5 admission fee covers snacks and beverages. 


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Ray Shapiro March 30, 2010 | 2:27 p.m.

I don't know what a "Taser-Free Columbia" means, but I for one have concerns when this devise is used for compliance, apprehensions or as personal reactions to a situation when less perceived shocking methods can be used.
It is also my hope that some day we will have better methods and technology, than the taser, to protect our police from harm.

(Report Comment)
Kelly Bethel March 30, 2010 | 3:44 p.m.

In a perfect world, law enforcement personnel wouldn’t have to resort to using tools like tasers. In case you haven’t noticed, this is NOT a perfect world and tasers were developed as an alternative to lethal force. Would you rather be tased or shot? I’d like to believe that when told by the police to stop, the bad guy would just stop. If that day comes, I would be more than happy to vote for a "Taser-Free Columbia". Until then, I think we need to pay law enforcement a good wage, give them the tools and authority they need, and leave them alone while they do their best to keep us safe!

(Report Comment)
This_American March 30, 2010 | 4:13 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Brian Clifford March 30, 2010 | 4:49 p.m.

Mary Hussman, I would love to sign your petition. I'll sign it just as soon as you climb into a police car and put your life on the line every day. Remember, our police officers deal with those members of society that the rest of us try to stay away from. You and I can just walk away, our police officers can not. You don't seem to understand that tasers actually save lifes and limbs. Before the tasers, the police officers had just night sticks and guns. The only two options were to beat the bad guy into submission or shoot him.

(Report Comment)
Doug Carter March 30, 2010 | 6:56 p.m.

Same here Brian. Forget about tasers....just let the police shoot the criminals. This would also help with the criminal justice system.
I can't believe people would rather the police shoot them with a gun instead of a taser. The taser leaves the option of life after incarceration. Sure it's not fullproof, but it's better than te alternatve....guns.
Why aren't more people more outspoken about outlawing guns....because they are necessry. So are tases.

Next, your going to want the police to just talk the ciminal down without any violence. LMAO Get a clue!!!
Try doing their job for one day and this nonsene stops!!!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 30, 2010 | 7:09 p.m.

("Doug Carter says:
...because they are necessry. So are tases.")

I think you meant taxes. You did mean taxes, didn't you?
(As in taxes are a necessary evil?)

(Report Comment)
Kate Long March 31, 2010 | 11:52 a.m.

Sure lets have a "Taser Free Columbia"...Let the cops shoot the people who don't listen to their directions, the courts will not be as busy and the prisons not so full. Problem solved.

(Report Comment)
Justin Burri March 31, 2010 | 12:30 p.m.

@ Doug Carter. I don't think anyone here is saying they would rather the police officers shoot rather than tase. That's just an ignorant thing to say. We are simply saying that how freely they use these tasers from past new stories especially in the Columbia are is the problem. Personally I'd rather the nightstick be put back to good use. The nightstick typically doesn't cause heart failure like 50,000 volts of electric current being distributed throughout your body.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 31, 2010 | 2:50 p.m.

Justin Burri wrote:

"The nightstick typically doesn't cause heart failure like 50,000 volts of electric current being distributed throughout your body."

Tasers typically don't cause heart failure. And nightsticks regularly cause long lasting bone and soft tissue injuries, and even death.

There's no good way to subdue a violent subject. And every officer will come up against a violent subject on occasion despite his best efforts to defuse the situation.

In 2009, there were 21 taser deployments (actual stunning) out of 6833 in-custody arrests (I'm assuming everyone that was tased was arrested). There were 85 deployments of pepper spray, 46 strikes, and 11 "other" uses of force. I would not say the taser is "freely" used.


(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock March 31, 2010 | 3:59 p.m.

You don't have 50K volts running through your body. It takes that may volts to "jump" from the end of the probs through your clothes. Look I have said it once and I will say it again. If you don't want to be tased then don't be a idiot and put yourself in a position to get tased. If you go out drinking and you get smart with a cop and you put up a fuss, well you asked for it. If you are a crack head and you attack a cop, you asked for it. If you get mouthy and refuse to do what the cop asks you to do because you somehow think you have the inherent right to do whatever you are doing, well you asked for it. Bottom line is do what the cop asks you to do the first time, if the cop has violated your rights then guess what, it will be on tape and then you may attempt to sue. People need to start supporting our good officers before they leave us then we will be left when sub par officers. They do a job that we don't want. Few people have ever put their lives on the line. I have. You do not know what it is like to be in a hostile area where everyone wants to kill you. If there is a tool that is less lethal and it keeps our men and women safe then they need it.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 2, 2010 | 6:32 p.m.

I think we all want our officers safe and have the ability to defend themselves from VIOLENT attack and those who might try and do them SERIOUS harm. And I also applaud what SEEMS to be a fairly 'low' reported use of tasers on the citizens, by the CPD.

But, I keep seeing two very different 'justifications' given for how and when tasers are to be used. The main justification that always seems to be given is that the taser was meant to be used as an alternative to situations that might have REQUIRED a gun, in order to LESSEN any potential lethal situations. But is that REALLY how they are being used? Did all of the situations where they were employed in 2009 really have them being used where a gun might have been called for if the taser wasn't available? I find that hard to believe.

Tasers are VERY potentially lethal,they have claimed hundreds of lives nation wide. Just not long ago we lost a young unarmed man in Moberly who was electrocuted to death by 5? taser weilding Moberly cops, who was simply on his way home from work and was killed outside his mothers home while talking on his cell phone (according to witnesses), and allegedly didn't put it down fast enough when the cops asked. This young man regardless of his possibly offending small egos did NOT deserve this and as a result the city of Moberly(actually the tax payers) had to pay out over 2 million in a settlement for the cops POOR judgement.

Again we all want our officers to have the tools they NEED for APPROPRIATE situations where they may need an alternative to a gun to LESSEN the damage caused, but I don't think really these weapons should be used as cattle prods simply becuase a cop feels 'disrespected' or that someone isn't moving 'fast enough'. Not saying this is (or isn't) happening in Columbia, haven't been able to personally peruse all of the cases, but I hope the CPD officers have adequate training and personalities to be able to handle these weapons with MATURITY and sound judgement, and to ONLY use them as they say, in situations where a gun might be called for, rather than as cattle prods.

(Report Comment)
Chris Boudreau April 16, 2010 | 4:38 p.m.

I find it funny that people are advocating things that HAVE killed people, multiple times and have been used on the elderly of our nation as well. Don't believe me? Do some research. You can find lots of videos of police tasing elderly citizens for simply wanting to know why they were being harassed in the first place. And when an officer manages to hit someone in the head with a taser it almost always kills the target. Wake up and don't say they aren't lethal, or abused because both cases have happened. All it takes is the IQ to look these things up.

(Report Comment)

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