Evaluating the 4th Circuit’s decision to limit officer use of Tasers: a descriptive and time-series approach
Police Practice and Research
In 2016, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Armstrong V. Village of Pinehurst that the use of conducted energy devices (CEDs) on resisting but non-violent and stationary defendants was unconstitutional. Because most empirical studies show that the adoption of CEDs led to reductions in suspect and officer injuries, there are concerns that placing greater restrictions on CED use may increase the risk of injuries. Officers may resort to alternative methods of force to gain citizen compliance, including hands-on tactics, batons, and firearms. Findings from an interrupted time-series analysis show significant reductions in CED uses and threats and increases in firearm threats. Interestingly, significant reductions in suspect injuries were also found. Other findings from a survey of large law enforcement agencies that fall within the Fourth Circuit’s jurisdiction to assess the impact of the Court’s decision on policy are presented. Policy implications and future research are discussed.
Conducted energy devices (CEDs), officer and suspect injuries, police, TASER, use of force
Hunter M. Boehme, Allison Martin, and Robert J. Kaminski. "Evaluating the 4th Circuit’s decision to limit officer use of Tasers: a descriptive and time-series approach" Police Practice and Research (2022): 523-538. https://doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2021.1982713