Columbia police review Taser use after bridge fall

Monday, July 28, 2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- The use of Tasers by city police is under heightened scrutiny after a man who threatened to jump off a pedestrian bridge above Interstate 70 was instead severely injured in a Taser-induced fall.

Phillip McDuffy suffered two broken arms, a skull fracture and possible broken jaw on July 25 when he fell 15 feet from the bridge onto a concrete embankment below.

Police used two Tasers in an attempt to subdue McDuffy after a 90-minute standoff that snarled traffic for miles.

The Columbia Police Department's operational guidelines state that an officer should not use a Taser against someone the officer believes "is in a position where a fall would likely cause serious injury or death."

The incident occurred amid protests by several community groups over a city plan to double the number of Tasers used by Columbia police via a federal grant.

Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune,

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