CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A new court ruling limiting the use of Tasers in five states, including West Virginia, could pose safety issues for both officers and suspects, law enforcement officials say.
Last month, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to restrict the use of Tasers unless the person is creating “an immediate safety risk.”
Clarksburg Police Chief Robbie Hilliard said employing Tasers against those fleeing law enforcement would not be considered a legal use, unless they are armed or dangerous.
“Yes, it will always make an impact,” Hilliard said. “I issued a directive last week to use caution when they deploy that Taser. Avoid using the drive stun mode of taser (touching the subject), but actually deploy the taser with probes from 15 to 35 feet.”
If necessary, use the live stun that also has the probes with prongs and darts that deploy and hit a person with neuromuscular incapacitation, he said.
“I believe it could cause safety issues. Our use of force and injuries to officers have dropped dramatically due to the Tasers…