Taser Issue Moves to the Ballot

8 years 2 months 1 day ago Tuesday, August 17 2010 Aug 17, 2010 Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:20:36 AM CDT August 17, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council voted Monday night in front of a large audience to let voters decide whether to ban Tasers in the city.

"Do you either go from trying to subdue someone with your hands, straight to a firearm or do you have some sort of transition between the two? And I think a lot of folks see this as a way to transition between the two," said council member Jason Thornhill.

Other council members reflected the same sentiment.

"It's much better to shoot someone with a Taser than with a firearm," said Daryl Dudley.

Because of more training and experience with Tasers, council members said they have no worries police will abuse Tasers.

"I have complete confidence in our police department that they use the tools that are available to them in the most appropriate way. So to take that away seems to be a detriment to the community," said Nauser. "Out and out banning something, I don't agree with."

Some supporters gathered outside Columbia City Hall to rally support for the Taser ban. They held signs outside off of East Broadway that read "To the Columbia City Council, for a better city for you and me, vote to make Columbia Taser free, honk if you agree."

The same group handed out pendants for city council attendees to wear during the meeting. The organizer of Monday's protest Mary Hussmann said she wants the city council to ban Tasers.

"We don't think the weapon is really reliable. It's never been proven to be safe," said Hussmann. "It's unpredictable. There's a lot of liability attached to there but there's also a lot of damage to people attached."

Hussmann said Tasers have injured thousands and killed hundreds. She said the ban would make Columbia a safer, better place because people wouldn't be carrying "conducted electrical devices allowed to be threatened or deployed in our city."

Hussmann added that banning Tasers will also improve the citizen-police relationship.

"It think they'll [Columbia Police Department] will have a much better relationship with the people," said Hussmann. "There's a lot of fear and anger and confusion about these weapons."


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