Stun guns used 50 times in 18 monthsOctober 06,2012
COLCHESTER — Records show Vermont State Police troopers fired electronic stun guns 10 times in the past 18 months at people threatening suicide or at others experiencing a mental health crisis.
State police say the weapons were deployed a total of 50 times in that period.
Vermont Public Radio reported it asked for the information under the state’s open records law.
The request came after a Thetford man died in June after police used a stun gun on him.
Police say electronic weapons reduce injuries and allow them to make arrests or defend themselves without resorting to firearms.
But people like AJ Reuben, a lawyer for Disability Rights Vermont, have challenged the use, saying that when a person is suicidal, mentally impaired or emotionally distraught, he or she may not fully understand what’s going on.
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