LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Experts in California are testing a new ‘Spider-Man’-style device that may end up being the new standard for non-lethal takedowns in departments across the county.
After reports showed that nearly 50 people had died in 2018 from the shocking effects of Tasers, departments are looking at new alternatives. Now, a new device called Bolawrap might become standard for on duty officers across the United States.
Essentially the device fires a rope-like tether that’s designed to entangle the suspect. Whether they’re fleeing or attempting to come at a member of law enforcement, the device could be a quick way to gain compliance from an unruly suspect.
Tom Smith is the president of Wrap Industries, the designer of these new devices. He says that it’s imperative for officers to have another option before turning to a more lethal option.
“Whether it is a Taser, pepper spray, baton … there’s been this gap created by the courts requiring that a higher level of force be used at the appropriate time,” said Smith. “This tool fits perfectly into that gap giving the officers another option to use before having to use that high level of force to end that conversation very early, very safely,” he said.
So is Smith trying to get rid of the Taser altogether?
It’s not likely. Not to mention, he also helped develop TASER International with his brother, which has morphed into Axon Enterprises, the manufacturer of a large proportion of body-worn cameras for police officers in the United States. Smith told Reuters that he helped develop these technologies before moving on to Wrap Industries in order to help continue the development on non-lethal weapons.
The cellphone-sized device works at a range between 10 and 25 feet, Smith says. It moves quickly… 640 feet per second quickly…
“And that is… you won’t see it,” he said.
When the tether strikes into the suspect, it quickly wraps around them, working to render them incapacitated.
— Wrap Technologies (@WrapTechInc) September 16, 2019
What does it feel like? According to cops who tested it on themselves, it does the job without putting the suspect in pain.
“I personally went ahead and took the opportunity to get wrapped myself and the reason I did that – it is important for me to understand what an individual who is going to get wrapped is going to feel, and to me it’s very negligible,” said Bell Police Chief Carlos Islas. “There was no pain.”
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Reuters tracked deaths attributed to Tasers since their release.
“Reuters has documented a total of at least 1,081 U.S. deaths following use of police Tasers, almost all since the weapons entered widespread use in the early 2000s, including 49 in 2018.”
The device is now being tested in departments across the United States, as well as in New Zealand and Australia, Smith said.
Check out how it works below!
Tied up and immobile.
— Tyler Paley (@TylerPaley) September 10, 2019