SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Police Chief William McManus is stopping
officers from using Tasers on anyone "known to be under the
influence of drugs," and limiting the number of officers using the
weapon against a person to one.
The San Antonio Express-News reports effective immediately,
McManus said officers are prohibited from using Tasers -- weapons
that deliver shocks of enough voltage to disrupt a person's
neuromuscular system -- if they have "firsthand knowledge" that
someone is on drugs.
The police chief's new policy is linked to medical research that
examined people who were shocked with Tasers and later died.
McManus says there a medical connection between an overdose of
adrenaline to the heart when drugs are being used called "excited
delirium" and Taser deaths.
His new policy -- announced Thursday in an internal bulletin --
requires officers who use Tasers to get 16 hours of training,
doubling the requirement.
Also, the police chief is sending the 141 officers who already
use the weapons back to the training academy for another eight
hours of training.