Newsom sees Tasers in SFPD’s future 

Outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsom seems to think Tasers could be in San Francisco’s future.

Days after police shot a mentally disturbed man in a wheel chair, Newsom said it would be appropriate for the San Francisco Police Commission to consider an “organized and judicious” pilot project — and he still thinks so. The Commission has the four votes to do so, though they did not in early 2010.

Newsom said his most recent appointment to the commission, R. James Slaughter, is in favor of a Taser pilot program and should provide the fourth vote necessary to implement one.

“When I appointed a new member of the Police Commission, one of the questions during the interview was: ‘Are you open to a pilot on Tasers?’ And that commissioner is committed to doing that,” he said. “So my understanding is if that vote comes back up on the Police Commission, there would be four votes.”

Police Chief George Gascón attempted to establish a pilot allowing some officers to use Tasers in the months after his appointment to the position in 2009. However, last year, the commission voted down the proposal.

Gascón has renewed the call for Tasers after his officers shot two mentally ill men in as many weeks.

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Katie Worth

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