APPLETON, Wis.(WFRV)- On the heels of the latest fatal officer-involved shooting involving an unarmed man in Minnesota last Sunday, there are questions regarding use of force and training for the now-former officer involved. Body camera video of the incident was released on Monday, showing officers with the Brooklyn Center Police Department, attempting to handcuff 20-year-old Daunte Wright, when Kim Porter, who was a 26-year veteran of the department yelled “taser–taser–taser” before firing one shot from her firearm. Wright died a short time later.
Local 5′ Eric Richards talked to Fox Valley Technical College senior firearms instructor Jay Zempel about the extensive training program for recruits and current police officers. “The training here at the center has different levels of training, which is the largest in the state,” said Zempel. To be exact, recruits go through 720-hours of training within the course, with over 60-hours covering firearms. “We train on handguns and rifles,” said Zempel.
The main question is, what is the difference between a handgun and a taser? “Obviously, there is a size difference between the weapons. The handgun is much heavier than the taser, with a grip that is dramatically different. The taser also has a switchback at the rear, that activates it. Without activating that switch, the taser could not be used,” said Zempel.
Lieutenant Richard Belanger is the training Lieutenant for the Green Bay Police Department. He told Local 5 the officers within his Department, officers are trained to place their tasers on their less dominant side. “An officer has a strong side and a weak side, so to speak. The dominant side is the lethal side,” said Belanger.
No one interviewed for this story could specifically comment on the investigation underway in Brooklyn Center. Fox Valley Technical College offers a civilian gun safety and concealed carry course which tends to fill quickly. For more information on the public safety training program click here.