Nayor said officers would have been justified in using deadly physical force during Saturday’s incident if a Taser hadn’t been available.
Pepper spray wasn’t used Saturday and wouldn’t have been appropriate in such circumstances when officers were 4 or 5 feet away from a suspect with a knife, Nayor said. Pepper spray could increase the risk of a defendant acting more violently, he said, and officers would be subject to “cross contamination” by the spray.
Among Oneonta police, the department’s five sergeants, the lieutenant and chief are authorized to use a Taser, a non-lethal weapon that delivers a temporarily incapacitating electrical jolt.
Earlier this year, Nayor told the Oneonta Common Council that he would request more Tasers for the department. The council approved use of Tasers by city police in March 2012.