The NOPD plans to expand its use of Tasers and ban pepper spray. Although the police department considers both “intermediate” uses of force, Tasers have been linked to more deaths. The department says it’s easier to track their use.
The New Orleans Police Department is expanding its use of Tasers and dropping pepper spray from its arsenal as part of a consent decree addressing complaints over police brutality, training and civil rights violations.
The department says it’s dropping pepper spray because its cops hardly ever use it — just eight times so far in 2012, compared to 140 Taser discharges. The department prefers Tasers in part because it’s easier to track their use; the devices count how many times they’re discharged and onboard cameras provide video of incidents.