Excessive use of Tasers cited in DOJ report

Posted at: 04/10/2014 10:17 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Department of Justice included a lot of incidents involving Albuquerque Police officers using Tasers.

The DOJ said APD uses Tasers too often and in the wrong scenarios.  The report says they reviewed 200 incidents involving Tasers from January 2009 to April 2013.

The DOJ ruled that a third of those incidents were unreasonable.  The report said APD uses Tasers when people don't pose a serious threat, or when the person isn't mentally capable of understanding officer's commands.

In one instance, officers fired a Taser repeatedly at a man described as having the mental capacity of a five-year-old.  Another example in the report said officers fired a Taser at a man after he had doused himself in gasoline.  The Taser caused his shirt to catch fire.

Those are just a few of the incidents listed.  The DOJ said because APD officers are using Tasers inappropriately, they can't call their use of Tasers "less lethal force."  It says at minimum, it should be deemed "intermediate" force.