Thuringia: Tasers hardly play a role in the police

In Thuringia, only the special police units have so-called tasers.

Thuringia: Tasers hardly play a role in the police

In Thuringia, only the special police units have so-called tasers. But even with them, the electric weapons are used very rarely.

Erfurt (dpa/th) - Electric weapons still do not play a major role in the everyday life of Thuringian police officers. In 2021, the weapons available to the state police were not used once, according to the Thuringian Ministry of the Interior's response to a small request from Left MP Sascha Bilay. The "distance electropulse devices", as the weapons are called in awkward administrative German, were only carried along last year. According to earlier information from the ministry, the so-called tasers in Thuringia were last used in 2018.

Tasers look a lot like pistols and shoot small metal darts hanging from thin cables. A strong electric shock can be transmitted to an attacker's body via these cables. Their realistic deployment distance is up to around five meters.

In recent years there have been repeated political debates, including in the Thuringian state parliament, about whether patrol officers should also be equipped with these weapons. Currently, only the special units of the State Criminal Police Office in Bavaria, which are used primarily against particularly violent suspects, have Tasers. They can access a total of six such devices.

In addition, there was also discussion about equipping prison officers with it. Proponents of these weapons argue that Tasers are a milder weapon than firearms. Critics point out the dangers that emanate from it. Among other things, they are considered to be particularly dangerous when used against people who have cardiovascular diseases, for example.

Red-Red-Green has so far blocked all attempts to expand the circle of Thuringian police officers who have access to Tasers.

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