After Death, Vt. Activists Demand Taser Moratorium

06/27/12 1:04PM

AP/Toby Talbot
Rep. Jim Maslan, D-Thetford speaks at a news conference on Wednesday in Montpelier. Mental health advocates and civil libertarians are calling for a moratorium on police use of stun guns in Vermont.

Advocates want police to stop using stun guns until there's more training in the weapons' use and in how to deal with people suffering a mental health crisis.

That call by the American Civil Liberties Union and Vermont Legal Aid comes in the wake of 39-year-old Macadam Mason's death in Thetford.

Mason died after a state trooper shot him in the chest with a stun gun. The cause of death hasn't been determined.

Wendy Beiner of the National Alliance on Mental Illness said Mason sought help. "And he did what he was supposed to do, which was reach out and hel called for mental health assistance," Beiner said. "And what he got in return was shot."

Governor Peter Shumlin said he doesn't support a moratorium. "Tasers are an important tool in law enforcement in Vermont," he said

Shumlin said stun guns help state police defuse a situation without resorting to a firearm.



tasers taser thetford state_police aclu politics
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