Stun Guns Used in Vermont 50 Times in 18 Months

October 9, 2012

Records show Vermont State Police troopers fired electronic stun guns 10 times in past 18 months at people threatening suicide or at others experiencing a mental health crisis.

State police say the weapons were deployed a total of 50 times in that period.

Vermont Public Radio reports it asked for the information under the state’s open records law.

The request came after a Thetford man died in June after police used a stun gun on him.

Police say electronic weapons reduce injuries and allow them to make arrests or defend themselves without resorting to firearms.

But people like AJ Reuben, a lawyer for Disability Rights Vermont, have challenged the use, saying when a person is suicidal, mentally impaired or emotionally distraught, they may not fully understand what’s going on.

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