Arming SF Cops With Stun Guns Proving "Tricky"

No slam dunk to arm SF cops with Tasers as well as firearms.

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Feb 11, 2013  |  Updated 10:58 AM PDT
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Police Raid Occupy Oakland Tents

AP

San Francisco police will make a case to arm its officers with stun guns at a community meeting at the Bayview Opera House on Monday evening.

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The seemingly simple step of putting stun guns -- including those made by the Taser brand, which deliver 50,000 volts of electricity rather than fire bullets -- into the hands of police in San Francisco has proven anything but.

There's been quite the outcry over the prospect of arming San Francisco police officers with electricity, according to the San Francisco Examiner. The police will host another town meeting in the Bayview on Monday night in order to take public comment on the issue, but two prior meetings have drawn clear lines.

Opposed to the plan to put stun guns in the hands of 118 officers -- about 5 percent of the force, who would be educated on how to defuse situations with subjects suffering from mental illness -- are groups like the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the  local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

Police chief Greg Suhr wants to give his officers a less lethal option following a July incident in which a chocolate factory worker, who had supposedly threatened a coworker with a box cutter, was shot by police, according to the newspaper. There are other recent incidents on record in which officers resorted to firearms, the newspaper reported.

Using tasers on "pregnant women, children, elderly people and very thin people" could also be fatal to all of the above, so Suhr is seeking language that could regulate such use, which is proving "tricky," according to the newspaper.

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