Texas Lawmaker Files Bill Limiting Taser Use

(December 21, 2006)--A state lawmaker filed legislation Thursday calling for limits on the use of Tasers by officers.

The bill by Representative Lon Burnam of Fort Worth would limit Taser use to situations when an officer is justified in using deadly force.

The bill will be debated during the next legislative session, which begins Jan. 9.

It comes as Taser use by officers across the state is under scrutiny after various incidents, some of which have involved deaths.

Last month, Houston Mayor Bill White called for an independent study of the city police department's use of Tasers.

That came two weeks after police used a Taser to subdue Houston Texans offensive lineman Fred Weary during a traffic stop.

Weary denied any wrongdoing, and a judge dismissed charges of resisting arrest.

In May, a 24-year-old Waco-area man died after officers shocked him twice with a Taser.

A medical examiner's report said an electric shock from a Taser contributed to the April death of a domestic violence suspect in Lubbock.

In April, an Austin police officer was suspended for 70 days for a 2005 arrest in which he used a Taser in part to subdue a man who fled the scene of a traffic accident.

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