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Law Professor to Serve on Taser Use Committee

Duquesne University Law Professor Ken Gormley, past president of the Allegheny County Bar Association, has been appointed to a committee that will study the use of Tasers in Allegheny County.

The 10-member group was formed by Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. after Andrew Thomas, 37, died shortly after Swissvale police officers had stunned him in August.

“As law enforcement becomes more complex with the advent of new technology, issues such as these need to be examined,” Gormley said. “This committee will take seriously its charge to study when and how Tasers should be used and make recommendations to the district attorney that will, hopefully, be beneficial. One goal will be to educate the public regarding fact and fiction when it comes to use of Tasers. Another goal will be to provide guidance to police officers with respect to the proper and improper uses of these effective but potentially dangerous law enforcement tools.”

Gormley, who specializes in constitutional law, formerly served as mayor of Forest Hills and oversaw its police department.

The blue-ribbon committee, consisting of prominent members of the legal and law-enforcement communities in Allegheny County, will be chaired by former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Cappy.

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