Lawmaker Says She’ll Try Again With Stun Gun Bill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A state bill to require complete documentation of every use of a stun gun by police failed this week, but the sponsor says a new version will appear soon.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, the Law Enforcement Officer Stun Gun and Taser Use Reporting Act would have required all police officers to record “certain information concerning the tased person,” after subduing a subject with a stun gun.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

The bill also would have required every police department in the state to collect data on stun gun use to be analyzed by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and presented to state officials.

Opponents easily prevailed and defeated the bill 76-41 in the Illinois House of Representatives Thursday.

But state Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) says she will be back with another bill.

Davis says it appears that the more stun guns are handed out, the more they are used.

The Lake County Coroner has determined a stun gun shock was partially responsible for a 45-year-old man’s November death following a conflict with North Chicago police.

Davis said her bill was needed following disclosures of drastically expanded use of the weapons. There’s been a five-fold increase in stun guns use since 2008 by Chicago Police.

In Chicago, police logged 853 stun guns uses in 2011 — a fivefold increase over 2008, according to figures compiled by the city’s Independent Police Review Authority.

Davis wanted the reports to say whether the stun gun was used on people who were armed, intoxicated or aggressive.

She also wanted to know the race of people who had been shocked with a stun gun.

Davis says she is not against Taser use, but she does want to reduce it.

“It would be a reduction in unnecessary use,” Davis said. “Now, when it’s necessary, I support it and I applaud it. When a police officer or someone’s life is threatened, of course you should use the Taser. That’s better than shooting them with a weapon than killing them. But if you are just having a dispute verbally with someone, I don’t think you should use your Taser.”

But opponents successfully argued the measure would overburden local police.

The bill picked up nine sponsors before it was defeated. Davis says for the second go-round, she will work the House, and predicts the bill will still pass by June 1.

  • Jim

    The way I’ve perceived it, the stun gun was introduced to take the place of the night stick. The taser is an excellent tool to deal with people who are intoxicated, agressive, or non-compliant. I don’t believe they should be used when confronted with a weapon. The crazy teen who attacked officers with a knife was an example of a situation where a taser wasn’t the best choice. The people doing the complaining don’t realize that the alternative to the taser is cracking a criminal over the head with a weapon. Then people would whine and cry about that. The Rodney King arrest was an example of that!

  • Pelon

    The other alternative is going back to using deadly force! Taser use is used in lieu of Deadly force!

    Less Tazer Use = More people being shot by Police!

    It’s one or the other, folks! The Police Officer is going to go home safe and in one piece!

    Another example of a Politician who has no clue of Police work! They should stick to being the hacks that they are!



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