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'60 Minutes' takes on TASER, controversy

Last night’s show featured look at history of TASERs and controversial issues surrounding police training and deployment of the device

By PoliceOne Staff

Last night’s episode of CBS' '60 Minutes' featured a segment on the TASER that explored both the public and officer safety benefits as well as looming debates surrounding “the hottest new tool in the police officer's belt”.

The segment featured an interview with Rick and Tom Smith, the founders of TASER International, who discussed the history of the device, how it has improved officer safety and counter-arguments to the claims that they are dangerous.

Also interviewed was Geoffrey Alpert, professor at the University South Carolina's Criminology and Criminal Justice Department, who authored the NIJ study that claims some police officers reach for the weapon too quickly – such as those in the infamous 'Don’t tase me, bro' video that became a YouTube sensation.

Approximately 500,000 officers in the U.S. carry a TASER, according to the show. Nearly 1.5 million suspects have been TASERed by authorities and 485 have died afterwards.

Watch the segment below, and tell us what you think in the comments section.


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