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URBANA — In making his case for why Urbana police would be better equipped with Tasers, Police Chief Patrick Connolly has been showing to city boards and members of the public a video in which a Taser came into play.
In the video, which shows a real incident from earlier this year, Urbana police respond to reports of a man with a knife on East Main Street near Dodson Drive, where he is blocking traffic and cutting his wrists.
The video may take a few seconds to begin; there is an introduction by Connolly; then there is audio from emergency dispatchers and callers who are reporting a man with blood on his clothing. Video images appear at about the 1:55 mark.
When police arrive, the man does not respond to officers' commands that he drop the knife. Even when he is surrounded and struck with rubber ammunition from a less-lethal shotgun, he continues to evade police.
Shortly after the 7:00 mark in the video, a Champaign County sheriff's deputy hits the man with a Taser. The man collapses, and police are able to get him and the knife under control.
Connolly, who narrates the video here, has shown it a number of times now. He said it was an extremely dangerous situation for everyone involved and, after seeing it, he'd "be remiss" if he did not seek the city council's permission to buy 10 Tasers for specially-trained officers.