No More Required Tasering for Miami Beach Cops: Chief

Miami Beach police officers will no longer be required to be shocked by a Taser in order to carry one on patrol.

Chief Daniel Oates told the department in an email Wednesday that he had learned that morning of the "long-standing practice" that officers must be shocked with the weapon in training to carry one on patrol.

"I don’t agree with this rule. I have been shocked by the Taser, and it is extremely unpleasant," Oates wrote. "I don’t believe an officer needs to go through that experience in order to be well trained in how to use the weapon."

Oates, who was named Miami Beach's police chief last June, said any officer who wants to volunteer to experience the Taser can still do so.

The use of the Taser among Miami Beach police caused controversy in August 2013 after graffiti artist Israel "Reefa" Hernandez died after being shocked with one of the weapons.

Police said Hernandez ran after they spotted him spray-painting the wall of a fast-food restaurant and he ignored their orders to stop and was shocked once with the Taser in the chest. He later died at a hospital.

Hernandez's family have demanded the arrest of the officer involved.

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