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Cameras, No Tasers, For Police

Repeated efforts to introduce the use of stun guns to the San Francisco police force as a way to reduce shooting deaths at the hands of officers have gone nowhere. Greg Suhr, who was recently forced out of his job after another fatality, was just the latest police chief in this city to have lost the battle to use Tasers. The Los Angeles Times reported in December that San Francisco is one of only two large cities in the entire country not to give its officers stun guns. Detroit is the other holdout.

But on May 31, Mayor Ed Lee announced that the city’s police department and its officers’ association had agreed on the use of cameras to be worn by the police officers. Lee framed it as being a part of an effort of “funding police department reform, rebuilding community trust, and bringing a culture change in how we handle conflicts on our city streets.”

Martin Halloran, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, welcomed the move, adding that body cameras “are not a panacea, but they provide a key record of events for use in investigations — and are a clear signal to our community that police officers hold ourselves to the highest standards.”

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