Officers Use Less Lethal Force
A 45-year-old Columbus, Ohio, man who was threatening to harm himself and others was shot with two bean bag rounds on April 4, causing internal bleeding near his spleen. He later died of his injuries. Nevertheless, the Columbus Police Department intends to keep using bean bag guns as a “less lethal” weapon option until investigations into the incident have been completed.
All law enforcement agencies in the Columbus area have some type of less-lethal options at their disposal for use in dangerous situations. These less-lethal weapons include bean bag guns, pepper spray, pepper spray guns, Tasers, and batons.
In another recent incident in Columbus, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office used a Taser gun to subdue a man running through a neighborhood with a sword in his hand.
The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and the Muscogee Municipal Marshal’s office use Taser guns, but Marshal Greg Countryman says his office only uses the weapons in courtrooms and only in situations where deputies believe that their use is warranted.
The decision on when to use the Tasers is left up to individual deputies, Countryman says, explaining that it depends on the situation.
Likewise, the decision to use bean bag rounds is “so judgmental,” says Capt. Joe McCrea of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department, adding that “it’s easy to Monday morning-quarterback it.”
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA) (04/11/05); Gillespie, Pat .