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Weapon Confusion

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Unintended: A Theory of Taser / Weapon Confusion

Editor’s Note: Studying performance errors in policing can be difficult for researchers who cannot ethically replicate the dangerous conditions present in lethal force encounters. To overcome this limitation, researchers routinely consider evidence derived from other professions and industries (e.g., aerospace (Airbus), aeronautics (NASA), pharmaceutical, occupational safety and health, medical, industrial engineering, and transportation). Recent events...
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What Force Science Still Teaches About BART Case, Despite Court Ruling

In the nation’s highest-profile case of weapons confusion, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a jury verdict of involuntary manslaughter was reasonable and a two-year prison sentence was warranted for former officer Johannes Mehserle, who swore that he thought he was deploying his Taser when he actually drew his pistol and fatally shot...
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First Roundup Of “Weapon Confusion” Cases Now Available Free

In at least nine incidents in the U.S. and Canada, officers have mistakenly drawn their sidearm—thinking they were deploying their Taser—and unintentionally used deadly force against uncooperative suspects. In at least two cases, the subjects have died, while others have sustained serious injuries. Often in these unfortunate events, the involved officers have become central figures...
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Force Science Explains “Slips-And-Capture Errors” And Other Psychological Phenomena That Drove The Fateful BART Shooting

Two expert witnesses with Force Science backgrounds are believed to have been influential in a jury’s recent decision to reject a murder conviction of a former transit officer accused of deliberately shooting an unarmed suspect in the back during a handcuffing scuffle. The witnesses, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Institute, and...
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