Israel's Police Chief Suspends Use of Taser Guns

Decision follows publication of footage showing a Yitzhar resident shocked repeatedly by police - despite not resisting arrest.

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Israel's Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino suspended on Sunday the use of Taser guns by all police officers, until a special team tasked with examining the effectiveness of the gun submits its findings.

Danino's decision follows the arrest Thursday of Yitzhar resident Boaz Albert, who was electrocuted repeatedly by police even though he was not resisting arrest.

In the video documenting Albert's arrest, he is seen running to a room in the house's interior and lying down on the floor. Officers rush in after him, and during their attempts to pick him up, electroshock him repeatedly with Taser guns.

Albert's younger brother Hanoch, who was also present at the house during the arrest, was also treated to electroshock. Due to a report of a shooting, many ambulances quickly arrived at the scene. Hanoch was evacuated to a hospital where the Taser gun's hooks were dislodged from his abdomen.

Police rules permit the use of the electroshock weapon if there is a genuine threat to an officer or the suspect.

However, over the past few years there have been numerous claims of police misuse of the Taser gun. Documents submitted to a court in 2011 showed that one stun gun alone was used some 300 times in just two months.

The Taser fires two arrow-like shots, attached to wires. The shots penetrate the skin and electric shock passes through the wires to the target.
At any point when the suspect is immobilized and on the ground, squeezing the trigger can send more electric shocks.

In the United States, where the weapon is made, the Taser gun is used extensively but remains controversial. The manufacturer, Taser, says that the weapon is not lethal, but in the United States there have been hundreds of cases involving civilians who died after receiving electroshock from a Taser.

Taser gun.Credit: AP

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