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City Council Exploring New Weapon To Replace Stun Guns

By Sam Bakken in News on Mar 3, 2005 8:14PM

image via shielddefense.comYesterday the city council's police and fire committee discussed a new weapon, called the Cobra StunLight, as a possible alternative to Taser International's controversial stun gun. A 54-year-old man died after, but not necessarily because, Chicago police officers shot him with a stun gun last month. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office has not yet released a decision about what exactly caused the man's death. Also in February, a 14-year-old Chicago boy went into cardiac arrest after police shot him with a stun gun.

Because of claims that the stun guns may be more lethal than originally thought, the International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a national bulletin asking all police departments to review their use. Taser maintains that the guns are safe. While around 200 stun guns remain on the streets of Chicago, Chicago Police Supt. Philip Cline said the department would not issue anymore until further review of the weapons.

And now we get to talk about the light-saber (lookit that thing!). The Cobra StunLight is a high-intensity flashlight with a laser sight that shoots capsaicin II (basically pepper spray) up to 21 feet. At the meeting, most of the concerns about the StunLight were with its size. Chicago Police officials said it would weigh an officer down. The manufacturer said they could show the council a smaller model in a few months. We're all about non-lethal use-of-force weapons, when they are in fact non-lethal. The StunLight sounds like a great alternative to the stun gun. But it's a new technology and we hope it receives closer scrutiny before its implementation than the stun gun did.

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