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Tasers the Topic of Tallahassee Town Hall Meeting

How safe are you in your home? That's one of the questions asked at the meeting. Are tasers a deadly weapon? When can police use it? Is it really necessary to use on a child?

These were just some of the questions asked at a Town Hall meeting Tuesday night in Tallahassee.

Gregory Bacort, a Town Hall participant, says, "I guess that's the point of events like this so you can get the chance to talk out the issues and find out what's happening and get more facts."

During the Town Hall meeting at Bethel AME Church, citizens directly asked questions to Tallahassee police officers and Leon County sheriff's deputies about tasers and policies related to the weapon.

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor organized the Town Hall meeting after a recent tasing incident that ended in the resignation of an LCSO deputy, who the agency admits wrongly tased an innocent man.

Bill Proctor says, "The incident with Demar Jackson placed this on the radar screen. We still don't understand the policy of when people may be expected to be tased, when their children may be tased in school."

Law enforcement officers at the meeting defended the taser, saying it is non-lethal and an acceptable alternative for diffusing potentially deadly situations.

Rob Tesinger, a Leon County sheriff's trainer, says, "The taser is not the ultimate answer. It's just an option, and it just happens to be the option we think will be the least likely to cause harm to the subject."

More than 100 people were at the meeting. Proctor says that's a strong indication that this community cares about this controversial issue.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office says it's reviewing its policy after the wrongful tasing incident. There's now a bill asking for all tasers to be removed from all Florida schools.


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