Thursday, September 06, 2007

Listen To The Nice Policeman.

BBC NEWS | Wales | North East Wales | Chief constable zapped by Taser
"I very strongly advise you, if faced by an officer and a Taser, that you follow the instructions of the nice police officer, because you will not enjoy the consequences of disobedience."
I'm not sure where he got this idea of a "nice police officer"? Maybe something like this:
Russell Walker, aged 47, died after being tasered by Las Vegas police
officers on 7 June 2005. Officers were called to a hotel at 8pm when
Walker was reported as creating a disturbance. Officers tasered him
when he began to struggle with them, and they then placed him in
handcuffs. Once handcuffed Russell Walker again began struggling and
the taser was used again. The taser was used a third and final time
when Walker had been placed on a gurney(5), and he then stopped
breathing. He was pronounced dead at hospital at 9pm. Although the Las
Vegas policy on tasers stipulates that they may not be used on
handcuffed suspects, and may not be used multiple times, a grand jury
inquest into the death of Russell Walker found that the actions of the
officers were justified.
More From Amnesty International:
More than 150 people in the USA have now died after being struck by tasers since June 2001, 61 in 2005 alone. Furthermore, the patterns of concern highlighted in AI’s 2004 report continue to apply. Most of those who died were agitated and/or under the influence of drugs and most were also subjected to multiple or prolonged electro-shocks. Among taser related deaths in the past year, for example, 40 were shocked more than 3 times and one person as many as 19 times.
It's funny reading how the police try to justify this policy: "The Tasers deliver powerful electric shocks and are intended to be a "less lethal" alternative to conventional firearms." "Intended" to not kill people doesn't mean it never will.
But Amnesty International said stun guns were potentially lethal
And it's interesting here how they say "but", as if the police were denying that they were potentially lethal.
Before approving this latest trial, the Home Office ordered a medical assessment of the weapon by a special committee and it found "the risk of death or serious injury from Tasers remains low".
Some would say "low risk of death" and "potentially lethal" means pretty much exactly the same thing. There's already been one death in the UK, I'd say that's one too many.

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