Friday, November 07, 2008

Medical Panel Issues Interim Findings on Stun Gun Safety

During the three-year period from 2003 to 2005, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported 2,002 arrest-related deaths to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Deaths in Custody Reporting Program. For many years, police leaders have sought alternatives to lethal force and better methods to subdue individuals to limit injuries and death.

Less-lethal devices have been used by
law enforcement for decades; during the early 1990s, pepper spray became the less-lethal option of choice for law enforcement and corrections agencies. Although pepper spray is inherently safer than lethal-force options and may be preferable to blunt-force methods, many advocates were concerned that pepper spray was associated with in-custody deaths. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reviewed those cases and, in 2003, issued a report that found pepper spray was safe and effective.


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