The number of Vermont lawsuits we’ve uncovered alleging Taser abuse by police and resulting in settlements has climbed to eight with a total pay-out by police of $287,500. And our list of Awful But Lawful cases contains descriptions of 10 Vermont cases where Taser user was at least questionable, if not inappropriate. But the most critical news of police misuse of Tasers may have come in a report issued last week by investigators in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. After a two-year review, they found that officers in the Albuquerque, N.M., Police Department engaged in a pattern of excessive use of force. One of the areas of abuse specifically noted in the report was Taser abuse. And the DOJ investigators recounted a series of abusive Taser incidents that are eerily similar to Vermont cases.
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