N.J. police shooting sparks debate on nonlethal weapons
By William Kleinknecht
MAPLEWOOD, N.J. — When Maplewood police shot a knife-wielding schizophrenic outside his home late last month, the incident raised questions about whether officers answering a medical call could have found other ways to subdue the man short of using deadly force.
One choice the officers did not have was the use of a stun gun or Taser because New Jersey is the only state that prohibits police from using such "less-lethal" weapons. They might have used other less-lethal weapons, such as beanbag shotguns or rubber bullets, but the department does not have that equipment.