Officers use tasers in three separate shootings

Three officer involved shootings, in two days, right here in Houston.

Fox 26 looked at how each of these officers discharged their tasers first, and how our local police force is making an effort to use their guns as a last resort.

"I think it's unfair to suggest that any officer is out there wanting to kill someone," said Charles Adams, a former police officer and attorney.

Adams said this past weekend was a prime example of how officers are using crisis intervention and other means of non-deadly force, more so than ever.

"We're always alarmed as citizens, when officers use force or deadly force when someone is unarmed, but we're not there we're not in his shoes," he said.

This past weekend there were three officer involved shootings in Houston that killed two people. All three officers tried to use their tasers first, before using their guns. The tasers were not effective in any of the situations.

One particular situation involved a man backing an officer into oncoming traffic. The officer attempted to tase him twice, but the suspect continued to charge him.

"He continues to try to talk to the individual to calm him," said HPD Officer John Cannon. "Instead, he starts to charge.  The officer discharges his duty weapon and fires more than one time."

Adams said that it is easy as a citizen to judge an officer's decision.

"Most police officers are public servants," said Adams. "They're put in bad situations and we all sit back and say hey we should have done this different."

The other instance put an officer in the hospital for a simple traffic violation.

"He tried to get the suspect to stop, he refused," said Thomas Gilliland, with the Harris County Sheriff's Department. "At one point, still being dragged alongside of the vehicle, he pulled his taser out and tried to deploy his taser at the suspect."

The officer was alongside a moving car and made the effort to deploy his taser.  Gilliland said in fear for his life he then fired his gun.

Many people ask why officers don't shoot suspects in the leg first. Adams responded accordingly.

"You're taught in the police academy not to shoot or wound that if you're going to escalate to the use of deadly force, you're using deadly force."

No officers were injured badly in the shootings this weekend.
 

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