Connecticut police officers fired their stun guns at blacks and Hispanics at a higher rate than at whites in 2014, according to a new data analysis. Of the 437 stun gun firings during the year, 43% of the suspects were white, 35% were black and 21% were Hispanic, the Associated Press found. Whites make up more than 80% of the state’s population.
In some cases, officers threatened to fire their stun guns but did not do so. This outcome was more likely for whites, for whom it happened 40% of the time. Black suspects were not fired at 20% of the time and Hispanic suspects 31% of the time.
In 2014 Connecticut became the first state that requires its officers to document all uses of their stun guns. The data is being released at a time of increased scrutiny over police treatment of minorities and calls for more stringent documentation of violent interactions between police and citizens.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 17 people in Connecticut have died since 2005 after police hit them with stun guns. Twelve of those people were minorities.