Israel Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Yohanan Danino has reinstated the use of Tasers less than a month after banning them. His decision followed a police investigation into the electroshock guns, which found that police misuse often stemmed from a lack of training or disciplinary action in cases of abuse.
Police attorney Col. Morris Chen, head of the police's emergency division, led the investigation, which was ordered by Danino in mid-August. The investigative team was tasked with determining the operational efficacy of the gun and examined whether it was prudent or possible to distinguish between the Taser and other shockers.
To reach its conclusions, the committee observed the procedural use of the Taser in Israel and abroad, and reviewed findings from a comprehensive survey covering various Israeli police units.
The committee found that human error was the most common factor leading to misuse. A recent string of incidents involving abuse drove Danino to order a complete freeze of the weapon's use. But the investigation determined that increased familiarity with the weapon among officers and stricter discipline could help limit abuse.
In light of the committee's findings, police decided to overhaul training procedures for Tasers. Officers will be trained to familiarize the various units with the weapon. Use of the Taser in contradiction to proper procedure will result in disciplinary action.
Danino called for the investigation after a video was released to YouTube in August showing the violent arrest of Yitzhar resident Boaz Albert, who had violated a restraining order. The footage showed policemen dragging Albert through his home, in front of his family, and using a Taser at point-blank range to incapacitate him.
Albert filed a complaint with the police following his detention.
The Taser was introduced into the Israel police force in 2011. Currently, the police have about 500 of the weapons, used by 1,800 specially trained officers. The device, which is defined as non-lethal, is used in Israel and other Western countries, where it has gained a reputation as an effective deterrent that gives police a sense of safety during operations.