Scholsberg, M. Recommendations regarding Taser use. September 21, 2004 letter
from the ACLU of Northern California to the San Francisco Police Commission.
An upcoming link will take you to an excellent letter written on September 21, 2004, by Mark Scholsberg (then the “Police Practices Policy Director” of the ACLU of Northern California) to the San Francisco Police Commission. At the time it was written, San Francisco’s Police Department was considering their first purchase and deployment of Tasers.
Within his letter, Scholsberg provided many important references to support the 2004 position that:
“While the ACLU of Northern California does not advocate for an outright ban on taser use, we urge you to only allow tasers to be used as an alternative to deadly force or where there is an imminent threat to human life.”
In light of the yet unanswered questions regarding the safety of tasers particularly when used on individuals under the influence of drugs or with preexisting heart conditions we urge you to follow the lead of the police forces in the United Kingdom and only authorize taser use in cases where deadly force would otherwise be authorized or where there is an imminent threat to human life. Adopting this standard will give officers a less-lethal force option to use in lieu of their gun and could result in saving lives, while at the same time, not jeopardizing additional lives in situations where deadly force is not warranted.”
Several of Scholsberg’s references are Taser International Internet Website pages. However, after his 2004 letter was sent (and published by the ACLU), Taser International REMOVED THOSE PAGES from their Website. Thankfully, an Internet Pages Archive search helped me find and capture many of the deleted Taser Internet pages. Additionally, Google helped me find several other of Scholsberg’s references.
Below is a list of Scholsberg references that are available in THIS Library, with their LINKS. I place these links “ahead” of the link to Scholsberg’s letter so that you know about them before reading the letter just in case you wish to “check” any of Scholsberg’s information during or after reading his letter.
Here you go! I’ve posted this letter in PDF file format.
If you don’t have an Adobe Acrobat PDF file program, you can download a FREE version HERE.