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CHICAGO — More than 780 Tasers are on their way to the Chicago Police Department, according to the city.
The new Tasers mean police will now have access to 1,481 Tasers, according to a city news release. All officers responding to calls will receive a Taser at the start of their shift.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced late last year that more police would receive Tasers and training in how to use them. At the time, interim Supt. John Escalante said 21 percent of the Police Department is trained to use Tasers and he wanted to double that.
The push to use more Tasers came after police shot and killed Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier on Dec. 26 in Austin. LeGrier had been swinging a baseball bat and his father called police, the Jones family said at the time. Jones, who lived below LeGrier’s father, was shot by police while answering her door. LeGrier was also shot and killed.
Jones was “accidentally struck and tragically killed,” police said. The incident received national attention and came on the heels of the city releasing a controversial video showing police shooting at 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing the teen.
The city has a $10 million contract with Taser International so Chicago Police can receive Tasers and training, according to the Sun-Times.
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