A US police officer has demonstrated the “huge difference” between a gun and a Taser in a viral TikTok video, describing how it is difficult to confuse the two items in an officer’s arsenal, in the wake of Daunte Wright’s death.
The video posted from the account of a man named Brian B had about 6 million views and 1.4 million likes before the account was taken down after it became viral and triggered an extensive online conversation.
The officer, appearing in his police uniform in the Tiktok video, can be seen loading his belt with both Taser and pistol before tapping the pistol as “dominant” and Taser as “not so dominant.”
"Huge weight difference, guys - I don’t understand how we can mistake a Taser for a gun or a gun for a Taser,” he said in the video before sitting down.
"If you’re in the heat of the moment and you do something like that, you shouldn’t be doing this job."
He went on to say that “nobody likes a bad cop less than a good cop” and an officer does not have to be quick in pulling out a gun or Taser thinking everyone is a threat.
“I’m not going to put my life on the line to try and fix your stupidity and deal with restoring the peace with my public that I serve just because of your stupid actions,” he said.
“It makes no sense. Ninety-nine percent of our job is communication. You don’t have to be quick to pull out a gun or a Taser on somebody and think everybody’s a threat.”
The video comes as a response to Wright’s death after he was shot by the now former police officer Kim Potter in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center, during a traffic stop.
Ms Potter, who had served 26 years as a veteran of the force, has been charged with the second-degree manslaughter of Wright, 20. The former police chief Tim Gannon, who also resigned after the incident, claimed she accidentally fired her gun instead of deploying her Taser.
Ms Potter’s handgun was on the right side of her duty belt at the time of the incident and her Taser on the left, said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension after examining the belt, reported CNN.
The news release from Washington County Attorney Pete Orput’s office also said that the Taser is of yellow colour with a black strip in a straight-draw position, which means that Ms Potter could have used her left hand to pull out the Taser.
According to the Brooklyn Center Police Department manual, all three of its pistol models – Glock 17, 19 and 26 – weigh significantly more than a Taser. While Glocks have a safety trigger, Tasers do not.
The shooting occurred on 11 April about 10 miles from the courtroom where former officer Derek Chauvin is being tried over the death of George Floyd. Wright’s death again sparked protests across Minnesota for almost a week.
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