Citing public opposition, San Francisco’s police chief said Wednesday that the department will not move forward with a proposal to equip some officers with stun guns.
Chief Greg Suhr made the announcement at a Police Commission meeting at City Hall, saying there would be too many restrictions on officers using Tasers or other stun guns.
Last August, Suhr had asked the commission to approve a pilot program in which certain officers who have undergone crisis intervention training would be armed with the devices.
However, a series of community meetings earlier this year brought recommendations from the public on stun guns’ use that Suhr thought would be too restrictive.
“Not adjacent to traffic, not on the elderly, small, thin or at-risk,” Suhr said. “The constraints put on the officers were so onerous that they would be reticent to use the Tasers at all.”
Police Chief Greg Suhr drops stun gun plan[Chron]
SF police withdraws its request to use stun guns [FOX2]
San Francisco police chief withdraws Tasers plan [ABC7]
San Francisco Police Chief Withdraws Stun Gun Proposal Amid Opposition [KCBS]
He said, “There’s no reason to have it if you aren’t going to use it.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups opposed the Taser proposal, arguing that the devices are too dangerous and are often used unnecessarily.
The idea had also been viewed warily by some members of the Police Commission.
Commissioner Suzy Loftus said at Wednesday night’s meeting that shelving the proposal “is the right path moving forward.”
The devices are used by nearly every major police department in the country, as well as the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, which has had Tasers since 2002.
Similar proposals to allow San Francisco police to carry stun guns also stalled at Police Commission meetings in 2010 and 2011.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News