Rochester PD Taser Policies Changed After 2002 Shooting
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester Police Department will hold a news conference today to discuss the policies, procedures, and training it uses in an effort to prevent an incident similar to the one that occurred Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center that resulted in the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Some of the policies, procedures, and training were implemented nearly 20 years ago after a similar incident involving a Rochester Police Officer. On September 2, 2002, the officer was attempting to subdue a man involved in a domestic disturbance in northwest Rochester when he mistakenly pulled out his handgun instead of his Taser and shot Christofar Atak in the back.
The shooting was ruled an accident and the officer was not charged, but a federal lawsuit was filed against the City of Rochester. Prior to the case going to trial, a settlement was reached in 2005 that required a payment of $900,000 to Atak and his attorneys.
The shooting also resulted in a new policy concerning the use of stun guns and the purchase of new Tasers. The new models, which are bright yellow, are also holstered on the opposite side of their belt from where officers carry their handguns. New training requirements were also instituted by Rochester Police in the aftermath of the shooting and those requirements have been strengthened over the years to exceed those used by Brooklyn Center Police and the standards set by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officers Standards and Training.
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