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Chicago police to get Tasers and training after shootings

Rahm Emanuel Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The mayor wants every city police officer to know how to use a Taser

Police in Chicago are to receive new equipment and training on how to defuse tensions following a spate of fatal shootings of African-Americans by officers, the city's mayor has said.

Rahm Emanuel says every patrol car in Chicago would be equipped with a Taser gun, which is usually non-lethal.

He said police must learn when they can use a gun and when not to do so.

Protesters have urged Mr Emanuel to step down over a case in which an officer fatally shot a black teenager.

Laquan McDonald's death led to the city's police chief being fired and days of protests,

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Media captionDashcam footage shows the moment 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was fatally shot by police in Chicago

"Just because you train that you can use force doesn't mean you should," said Mr Emanuel. "Helping officers make that distinction - and the training that goes with it - is essential."

Mr Emanuel said the department would make 1,400 Tasers available to officers, up from 700.

On the night Mr McDonald was killed, several officers were heard asking for a Taser before officer Jason Van Dyke opened fire, shooting the teenager 16 times.

Mr Van Dyke has since been charged with murder.

However, the shootings have continued.

Just after Christmas, Chicago police shot and killed two people.

Bettie Jones, a 55-year-old mother-of-five was shot "accidentally", police said, as officers opened fire on, and killed, 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, who they said was being "combative" toward officers.

About 15% of Chicago's police officers have so far received training aimed at resolving incidents without violence, officials say.

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