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Houston mayor calls for TASER study

The Associated Press

HOUSTON- Houston's mayor has called for an independent study of the city police department's use of Tasers, two weeks after officers zapped a pro football player with the weapon.

Mayor Bill White said the city should "promptly" select an outside group to conduct the study, which would examine data accumulated since the department adopted Tasers for widespread use two years ago.

Activists have been calling for a study or moratorium on Taser use. They argue blacks are a disproportionate target of the devices, which use jolts of electricity to subdue combative suspects.

On Nov. 14, an officer used a Taser to subdue Houston Texans lineman Fred Weary during a traffic stop. Police reports said the 29-year-old "became verbally combative and extremely argumentative."

Weary denied any wrongdoing and a judge subsequently dismissed charges of resisting arrest.

Police commanders review each case involving a Taser, White said, but a study could help assure the community that the devices aren't used "based on stereotypes."

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