Vt. Holds Forum On ‘Stun Gun’ Use By Police

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Several people speaking out about Vermont police use of electronic stun guns are saying much stronger statewide standards are needed.

But former Burlington Deputy Police Chief Walter Decker defended use of Tasers by police, saying they sometimes substitute for more lethal firearms.

The comments came during a public forum hosted Monday by Attorney General Bill Sorrell, who promised to hold it after he cleared a state trooper of criminal liability in the stun gun death of a Thetford man last year.

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would impose statewide standards on Taser use in Vermont.

The forum also heard from A.J. Ruben, supervising lawyer with Disability Rights Vermont, who said many in the disabled community view Tasers as a torture device and a reason to fear the police.

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