Monday, March 5, 2012

Police use of non-lethal weapons

Now let me just say I am pro-police.  It is also probably the career I would have followed other than rocket science.  I have many cops friends and know them personally.  This comes especially import subject after the number of seemingly police abuses of non-violent protesters last fall in the occupy movement.

Stephen Coleman: The moral dangers of non-lethal weapons

What I find interesting from his report is how pepper spray in Australia only in lieu of shooting someone: an option between shouting and shooting.  The way some American police callously dumped it on people was disturbing to say the least. 

What is even more interesting is the cops I know will not use pepper spray. If you didn't know the version of pepper spray the police and military get is much stronger than anything you get as a civilian.  That stuff sticks on you for hours and is definitely an "area-effect" weapon.  In NY, the arresting officer will be spending at least the car ride in an enclosed area coughing as well.  They may have to spend hours with them.

As far as I know only Sergeants or higher are issued Tasers in the NYPD and go through extensive training.

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