Magazine article Corrections Forum

Beanbags as Too Dangerous

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Beanbags as Too Dangerous

Article excerpt

Los Angeles Times

According to surveys by law enforcement experts, the supposedly non-lethal beanbags and plastic bullets used in police departments nationwide are responsible for killing at least 12 people in the United States and Canada and injuring dozens more. Federal testing and industry standards still do not exist for non-lethal weaponry, despite a project launched to accomplish just that a decade ago. In the meantime, beanbag manufacturers defend their claims that the weapons are accurate, safe, and effective if used properly, and maintain that they may only cause injury when officers deploy them from too close a range or deliberately aim at sensitive body areas. Los Angeles County sheriff's marksman Captain Sid Heal says that the shooter can never guarantee the beanbag will hit its mark and not go astray or miss all together. …

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