Longer Listen

Filmmaker: Tasers Can Be Deadly

A Taser X 26 model.

The Champaign Police Department is purchasing 25 Tasers. Wikipedia Commons

Two weeks ago, the Champaign City Council voted to authorize the purchase of Tasers for the Champaign Police Department. At that time, we heard from a police officer who conducts Taser training at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute. He explained the process of training officers, and said Tasers had grown safer in recent years.

Today we hear a different perspective.  Nick Berardini was a journalism student at the University of Missouri in 2008, working as an intern for a local television station, when he was sent to Moberly, Missouri to cover the story of Stanley Harlan, a 23-year-old man who died in police custody after officers used a Taser on him during a traffic stop.

Harlan’s story inspired Berardini to begin working on a documentary on Tasers.  That film, “Killing Them Safely,” will be released in theaters later this month.  Illinois Public Media's Brian Moline spoke with Nick Berardini earlier this week about what he’s learned about Tasers during the production of this film, and more on Stanley Harlan’s death.