Use of stun guns under scrutiny


New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) — The News 8 Investigators recently looked into the use of stun guns by law enforcement agencies in Connecticut. We learned that they are used by more than half of the police departments in the state.

A master instructor, who has trained more than 1,000 police officers on how to use them correctly, says the stun gun is a very effective weapons system because it can incapacitate a suspect quickly. But, a leading civil rights attorney believes more studies need to be done on the effect these weapons can have on a person who is high on drugs, mentally compromised, or in a state of rage.

“There is a suggestion that application of this electrical force to a person who is already fried, so to speak, because of substances and suffering from mental illness can overload their circuitry and cause death,” said attorney Norman Pattis. “There is some evidence.”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, 16 people have died since 2005 in police confrontations in the state involving stun guns.

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