Chicago police get Tasers, training to avoid fatal shootings

  • 31/12/2015
Jason Van Dyke has been charged with murder (Reuters)
Jason Van Dyke has been charged with murder (Reuters)

Chicago police are to receive new training and equipment following tension over fatal shootings of African-Americans by white officers.

In all, 1400 Tasers will be made available to officers - a stark increase from the previous 700, BBC reports.

Around 15 percent of Chicago's police officers have received training in a bid to avoid violence when resolving issues.

The city's mayor Rahm Emanuel has said every patrol car in Chicago will have a Taser, and police will learn when they can or cannot use it, according to the BBC.

The death of black teen Laquan McDonald by an officer led to the city's police chief being axed and days of protests.

On the night he was killed, officers could be heard asking for a Taser before Jason Van Dyke opened fire, shooting McDonald 16 times. Van Dyke has been charged with murder.

"Just because you train that you can use force doesn't mean you should," said Mr Emanuel. "Helping officers make that decision – and the training that goes with it – is essential."

After Christmas, Chicago police fatally shot 55-year-old mother Beattie Jones and 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, who was being "combative" toward officers.

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