VIDEO: San Francisco Police Commission to vote on if officers can use tasers

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco remains one of two major cities in the country where police officers cannot use tasers.

That might all change Friday night as the issue comes back before the San Francisco police commission for a vote.

Opponents of the plan gathered outside San Francisco City Hall prior to the 5 p.m. meeting with signs reading, “Taser-free city.”

But in its recent review of the San Francisco police force, the United States Department of Justice recommended the department should strongly consider deploying tasers.

Police support the plan, but community members are wary.

“The breadth of studies show it reduces suspect injuries, and it also reduces injuries to officers,” San Francisco police Commander Pete Walsh said. “It ends when you have to use force. It ends those encounters faster and more safely.”

Not everyone agrees.

“There’s definitely huge concern around how this will impact the process that San Francisco is moving towards with de-escalation time and distance, and I know the chief put out an article that said it wouldn’t hinder that, but the community is really concerned,” San Francisco Human Rights Commission Executive Director Sheryl Davis said.

During public meetings about the tasers, some 87 percent of those speaking opposed their use.

Police say if the plan is approved, it could take up to a year before they are actually deployed.

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