A public records request lodged by Vermont Public Radio's John Dillon found that state police officers have deployed tasers 50 times in the year and a half since they've been in use in the state. Ten of those times, Dillon reports, the stun guns were used on Vermonters in mental health crisis, some of whom were attempting suicide.
Aired on VPR's local Morning Edition broadcast Thursday, the piece is well worth a listen. And I mean listen — not read. Dillon's use of a police recording of an especially troubling incident in Dorset last year is moving. It shows how quality radio journalism can take the findings of a public records request and really bring the point home with compelling audio.
Which is just one reason I hope President Romney doesn't defund Big Bird. Or John Dillon.