Taser Reform

July 23, 2013

Using the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU of Michigan obtained police reports from law enforcement agencies across the state that include narratives of incidents involving the use of tasers on civilians. These documents were summarized in a 2013 ACLU of Michigan report titled Standards for Stun Guns: A Call for Uniform Regulations for Tasers in Michigan.

The report documented inconsistent departmental standards for use of tasers, non-compliance with departmental standards, non-compliance with industry standards, and perceived racial discrimination in the use of tasers. The report also included summaries of several incidents that involved the use of tasers on handcuffed suspects.

Because three of the summaries involved the East Lansing Police Department, representatives from the ACLU met with East Lansing officials in May 2013, and the city attorney prepared a memorandum for the police department on the limitations on the use of tasers on individuals in handcuffs.

(ACLU Attorney Mark Fancher.)