The Mountain Times

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Moratorium on tasers needed now

Dear Editor,
MacAdam Mason, 39-years-old, was a talented artist as well as a person with disabilities, including epilepsy. He was shot by Vermont State Police with a Taser stun gun while unarmed outside his home in Thetford and died immediately thereafter.

A week to the day following his death, various advocates, state legislators and concerned citizens held a press conference and issued a statement calling for a moratorium on the use of Tasers by both local and state police across Vermont.

The statement urges that the moratorium be kept in place until standardized, statewide and state-approved policies as well as more extensive police training, including about how to better deal with people experiencing mental health crises, than is now currently available, are put in place.

An online petition had also since been created. To date nearly 1200 signatures, the vast majority of which are from Vermont residents, have been collected thus far.

The Taser moratorium and related action should not have to wait until either the results from an autopsy and subsequent reports are finally made available or, even worse, for another tragic incident along these lines to occur.

The time for prudent  leadership as well as political courage to be exercised at all levels concerning these urgent matters is sorely needed sooner rather than later.

Morgan W. Brown, Montpelier

PS- Those interested in signing onto the online petition are strongly encouraged to do so. The Web address for the petition is:

Tagged: Letter to the Editor, Taser Moratorium