While not common, instances of police officers accidentally firing with pistols when they meant to draw their tasers, as police in a suburb of Minneapolis said Sunday when an officer shot and killed Wynn Wright , Are not completely uncommon.
In 2018, a rogue Kansas police officer Accidentally shot a man Who was fighting with a fellow officer. In 2019, A police officer in pennsylvania Shouted “Taser!” Before shooting an unarmed man in the torso. And in 2015, a former Oklahoma Reserve deputy Killed an unarmed man When he accidentally grabbed her hand.
Ed Obayashi, a California-based expert on the use of force by law enforcement, said that with proper training, it should be difficult for officers to confuse a gun with a tusser. “But unfortunately it happens – it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last,” he said, referring to Mr Wright’s fatal shooting.
In a 2012 article published in the journal Law American for effective law enforcement, Capt. Greg Mayer, a retired Los Angeles Police Academy instructor, documented nine similar examples between 2001 and 2009.
One of the most famous cases It happened in Oakland, California in 2009, when a White Bay area official shot and killed a black man on New Year’s Day. The man, named Oscar Grant III, was unarmed and was lying when the officer shot him. The officer was acquitted of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter charges, but pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 months in prison.
Scott A., a retired sergeant of the Los Angeles Police Department. Defoe said that most police departments require officers to wear their tenders so that they are not confused with their pistols. Tacers are also often marked with bright colors to distinguish them from pistols, and the grips are usually distinguished from firearms.
“If you get enough training, you should be able to tell that,” he said.
In most cases, Deputy Obayashi said, confusion occurs when officers move both arms to the same side of their body, or move their unconscious guns in the opposite direction of their body in such a way that for them to reach them It becomes easy to have a dominant hand and cross-draw without any deliberation.
In six of the nine cases of the 2012 article, including the shooting in Oakland, officers wielded both weapons on the “strong-arm” side of their bodies.
In many cases, officers did not spend much time in jail, or in any service. In the case of pennsylvania, For example, the district attorney stated that the officer violated a policy that required officers to wear a taser in the opposite direction of their firer. Nevertheless, he stated that the officer was “not an officer of the criminal mental condition required to be convicted of a crime under state law.”