Stop Taser Accidents AND “Accidents”

The week, yet another officer involved "incident" occurred. With the trial for the murder of George Floyd looming large in the public eye, another man is dead at the hands of a police officer. This time the officer involved, who discharged a firearm which killed Dante Wright, claims to have thought she was holding her taser.

But here's the simple fact of the matter: It doesn't matter if this claim of a mistake was the truth or a lie because the result of this officer's actions was the death of a man who did not deserve to die. This is not the first time an officer has made this claim, either. And while there are a number of issues ranging from clear cut racial justice to police training to the assumption that tasers are widely considered to be non-lethal to argue, such arguments take time. This incident could very well be repeated while we argue, and too many lives have been lost already.

In the meantime, there is an exceptionally simple stop-gap measure that can be taken to prevent any police officer from confusing OR "confusing" a gun for a taser. Paint the tops of all the police tasers bright neon orange and train officers to check to see if that tale-tell taser orange is present before firing. This simple measure will destroy any argument of a mistake in the short term and clearly determine an officer who says "I didn't realize it was my gun" to be a murderer, plain and simple. A nationwide deadline for this simple fix to be implemented should also be set, to prevent any city or precinct to claim that "we haven't gotten around to it yet". 

Orange paint on a taser is a simple short-term preventative measure that will be a fast and cost-effective way to save lives, by either preventing true mistakes OR by robbing officers with ill-intent from killing average, everyday people on the street of a convenient excuse. Let's buy ourselves some breathing room to argue the other necessary points related to this issue so that no one else dies in the meantime.

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