Review board calls for full briefing on how Orlando police officers are trained to use Tasers

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Citizens Police Review board has requested a full briefing from the Orlando Police Department on how officers are trained to use their Tasers.

The request was sparked by the death of Daunte Wright, a Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota who was shot and killed when an officer there said she mistook her gun for her Taser.

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The letter requesting the briefing was sent to the chair by a member of the police review board.

“I believe that it is critically important that we be informed as to what safeguards, policies and procedures are in place to prevent similar errors within OPD,” the letter stated.

Board Chairwoman Caila Coleman agreed.

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“I appreciate you writing this letter because that case was definitely concerning, where a police officer who I believe had been on the force for 25, 26 years confused her gun for a Taser,” Coleman said.

Orlando Police officers deployed Tasers 198 times in 2019 and 257 last year, and 9 Investigates found out Orlando Police are in the midst of changing out its Tasers. Right now, every officer carries and all-black Taser.

Later this year, officers will receive the new Taser 7, which is bright yellow with a black handle, with an added feature that will automatically activate the body camera. Like now, officers will be required to wear it on the opposite side of their gun.

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“I’d also like them to expand that just a little bit, on when it is appropriate on when they’re trained to fire either a Taser or a weapon into a moving vehicle,” Board Member Tom Keen said.

Orlando Police told Eyewitness News that state law requires four hours of Taser training in the academy and one hour per year by each agency. In addition, above what the state requires, new recruits complete and eight-hour day of Taser training. The internal affairs director was in attendance for the meeting and agreed to work on putting together a training and briefing for the board.