Taser Bill Passes Vt. Legislature

Published 05/09 2014 09:40PM

Updated 05/09 2014 10:52PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - The ACLU says it's believed the State of Vermont is poised to be the first state to regulate the use of tasers by police.

This bill has been in the works for years. It all started with the taser death of a Thetford man, Macadam Mason in 2012.

That brought together people from law enforcement, civil rights, disability rights, and mental health advocates.

Now the legislature has given its okay to the taser regulation bill, which includes:

  1. Annual reports on taser use.
  2. It will stressed to officers to de-escalate situations before using a taser.
  3. There will be required taser training for officers.
  4. The adoption of a statewide policy.
"This is not the end, it's really the beginning of the work because what's going to happen is for the first time there's going to be a consistent statewide policy, all departments around the state that have got to adopt and use as their basis for when they can use tasers," says Allen Gilbert, executive director of ACLU-VT.

The ACLU says the state's criminal justice training council will develop the policy. All police departments must adopt it by January 1st, 2016.

The bill now heads to the governor, who is expected to sign it.

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