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Bealefeld talks Tasers on ’60 Minutes’

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III was interviewed for a “60 Minutes” piece on Tasers that aired Sunday night.

Bealefeld expressed some skepticism about the electric shock devices, saying he was “not a fan” and that he feared they could be used as a “short-cutted method” for getting people to comply.

Bealefeld said that less than 500 Tasers have been issued to the department’s 2,800 sworn members.

Even so, the department has at least two lawsuits pending against it for allegedly using Tasers unnecessarily. Leon Coley, a 66-year-old man with heart ailments, sued two police officers last month, saying they shocked him with a Taser twice while he was sitting on his couch in his home. According to the suit, the officers were responding to a phone call from Coley’s wife, who was in a verbal argument with Coley.

The department is also currently in litigation with Carl Jackson, a disabled Navy veteran with “skeletal issues” who says two officers assaulted him and shocked him with a Taser outside his home “without reason or cause” in June 2010.

Watch the video from “60 Minutes” Sunday night: