Skip to Content

EXPLAINER: How does an officer use a gun instead of a Taser?

(AP) -- Police in Minnesota says an officer who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop accidentally drew her firearm instead of her stun gun.

Experts say such cases are rare, but they do happen occasionally.

Similar cases have been reported in recent years in California, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Bill Lewinski studies police psychology and has used the phrase "slip and capture" errors to describe the phenomenon.

Lewinski says officers sometimes perform the direct opposite of their intended actions under stress.

Their actions "slip" and are "captured" by a stronger response.

Other experts disagree and say a major factor in why officers mistakenly draw their firearms is that stun guns typically look and feel like a firearm.

Author Profile Photo

Associated Press

Skip to content