New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Do officers have confidence in their stun guns?

On Behalf of | Sunday Jul 11, 2021 | Police Misconduct

Recently, a Minnesota police officer made national headlines when she gunned down a man. When explaining the officer’s actions, the chief of police claimed she had mistaken her service weapon for a less-lethal stun gun.  

Even though there are plenty of stories about officers misusing stun guns, reaching for one may keep an officer from killing a suspect, bystander or someone else. Regrettably, though, officers with the NYPD may be losing confidence in their stun guns.  

Stun guns may be less effective

According to a recent study, stun guns may be less effective at subduing individuals than they were in the past. In 2017, the NYPD replaced the sun guns officers carry with a newer model. While the old model was effective 78% of the time, the newer model only works approximately 71% of the time.  

Officers may believe they only have one chance

To protect themselves and the public, officers may have to quickly detain suspects. If a suspect has a weapon or seems otherwise dangerous, officers may opt for service weapons over stun guns. Still, officers should not be trigger happy. In fact, they have a duty to respond with the correct level of force for the situation. 

Even though both service weapons and stun guns may have a place in modern policing, officers should never shoot someone they could stop with other means. Ultimately, if officers shoot a person you love instead of using a stun gun to subdue him or her, you may have a valid legal claim.