Daily Israel Report

Tasers Back in Use

Investigation finds that the problem is the officers, not the equipment.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/4/2013, 2:46 AM

Police on duty in Jerusalem
Police on duty in Jerusalem
Flash 90

An investigative committee that was tasked with studying taser use by the Israel Police has finished its work. Tasers will now be brought back into use, with new restrictions.

The committee compiled an urgent report following controversial incidents involving taser use, including the use of a taser to repeatedly shock detainee Boaz Albert in front of his young children. Albert was not resisting arrest.

The incidents led Police Commission Yohanan Danino to temporarily ban taser use.

The investigation revealed that the problem in recent cases was not the taser, but rather the “human factor.” The police officers involved were ignorant of the proper protocol, and lacked self-restraint regarding the use of force, the committee found.

When properly used, tasers are valuable as a non-lethal means of getting hostile suspects under control, officers said. The alternative methods of self-defense that officers would be forced to resort to without tasers are more dangerous, they warned.

The committee had several suggestions to improve standards regarding taser use, including more thorough training, refresher training regarding proper taser use procedure, and the use of disciplinary measures against officers who misuse the equipment.

Tasers will now be gradually brought back into use among units whose officers have done a refresher course on proper taser use.

Israeli police have been using tasers since 2011. Currently, there are roughly 500 tasers in use across the country, and 1,800 officers have been trained to use them.