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date: 20 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The rapid and widespread diffusion of the TASER in American law enforcement raises questions about the processes by which police departments adopt new technologies, the manner in which concerns over that technology are overcome, and the progression that occurs over time to normalize use of that technology. This essay examines the emergence of the TASER as a popular restraint technology through the Diffusion of Innovation framework, highlighting key aspects of the innovation itself, the innovators or adopters (police), and the external environment which have influenced the spread of this technology in American law enforcement. Through this lens, the widespread emergence of the TASER is viewed as a natural, rational development in policing.

Keywords: TASER, CEW, restraint technology, diffusion, less-lethal weapons

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