Why police officers often resort to lethal force as their first response
So how are Tasers used? In the 2012 study, the majority of departments that used “CEDs” (60 percent) put them on the same level as impact weapons, such as batons. 25 percent placed them lower, on par with “hard empty hand” tactics (like slaps); and 13 percent placed them even lower, on par with “pain compliance” tactics (like pinning a suspect’s arm behind his back).
That’s in line with what criminologist and former police union official Thomas Nolan says, noting the discrepancy between how Tasers were first marketed to police and how they’re used today. “Cops are not considering that (a Taser) is an escalation of force,” he says. “Instead of ratcheting down the instances of deadly force, they’re ratcheting up instances of non-lethal force.”