New stun-gun regulations for Conn. after multiple deaths

A 22-year-old died after being stunned by East Hartford police

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– Following the death of a Manchester man, Connecticut police departments will need to implement strict rules for the usage of stun guns by the end of January, the Connecticut Post reports.

The 22-year-old died after being stunned by East Hartford police. This was the 14th death involving police usage of a stun-gun since 2005.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed the law last summer, which requires police departments to account for and report each instance in which an officer uses a stun gun.

Bridgeport police used a stun gun to bring 51-year-old Ronald Cristiano Jr. of Trumbull under control in November 2011. After being shot with the taser three times, he was pronounced dead. However, the state medical examiner declared that he died because of a cocaine overdose. Cristiano’s family is still suing the Bridgeport Police Department, claiming that the stunning was the cause of his death.

The medical examiner has not found that the victims’ deaths were the result of being stunned. The examiner did, however, say that the cause of death was “excited delirium.” The officers claim they felt threatened, because Cristiano was naked and appeared high on drugs at the time they stunned him.

Under the new policy, if a person is injured after being stunned, the officer must offer medical assistance to the person, including an ambulance if needed. The policy also calls for a written use-of-force report to be completed, as well as justification for using the stun-gun.

Other regulations include the requirement of stun-guns to be carried in approved holsters, and a limit to stunning a person the least amount of times necessary. Police departments need to submit a form regarding the use of stun guns by January 15 of every year.

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