Taser Watch Australia - Counting the Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons

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Whoa, whoa, whoa! "A Taser was used on the youth three times in "stun mode" before it took effect, New South Wales Police said." What other MODE does a Taser have?! Are the Australian police using Tasers that have another MODE other than "stun"? What would that other mode be? "Excited Delirium" Mode perhaps?

This thread is for the unfortunate soul who is yet be the first Australian death by Taser. God help us...




Police use Taser on teenager

AAP
November 22, 2008 12:04pm

POLICE have used a Taser stun-gun on a teenager who allegedly assaulted an officer while resisting arrest.

A Taser was used on the youth three times in "stun mode" before it took effect, New South Wales Police said.

Police said the youth became "aggressive and violently resisted arrest" after being involved in two fights inside and outside a take-away shop on Anzac Parade, Maroubra in Sydney's east, about 7pm (AEDT) last night.

"When an officer was struck in the face, the youth was warned by a sergeant that a Taser would be deployed if he failed to comply," the statement said.

"The device was then deployed three times in drive stun mode, taking effect on the third occasion."

Before police used the Taser, several youths were involved in a fight with a 45-year-old man inside the fast food restaurant on the corner of Maroubra Road and Anzac Parade, police said. The youths then became involved in another fight on the footpath before police intervened.

Police said the group of males fled after police approached the 16-year-old and the 45-year-old who had a head injury.

The alleged assault on police occurred when officers tried to arrest the youth. The 16-year-old boy has been charged with assault, assaulting police, resisting arrest, offensive language, and affray. He has been refused bail to appear at Parramatta Children's Court today.

The 45-year-old man was treated by ambulance officers before being taken to Prince of Wales Hospital where he was admitted with facial bruising and lacerations.

The use of the controversial weapon comes after the NSW Ombudsman last week recommended a two-year moratorium on the roll-out of Taser stun-guns to all general duties police, saying operating procedures are "inadequate" and should be reviewed.

The report raised concerns about the risks posed by last month's $1 million roll-out of Tasers to senior general duties officers.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,24001511-2862,00.html


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Offline mr anderson

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Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2008, 01:49:25 AM »
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24678451-5013871,00.html

Belinda Merhab | November 20, 2008


THE NSW Ombudsman has recommended a two-year freeze on further roll-outs of Taser guns, saying police standards for their use are inadequate, and the health risks are unknown.

Bruce Barbour told state parliament yesterday that general-duties police, who were issued the stun guns last month, were using Tasers at a higher rate than special operations police, who began using them in 2002.

"It is clear the number of incidents where Tasers will be used in the future will increase significantly," Mr Barbour said.

"There is already evidence of this. Tasers have been used on people on five occasions in the first two weeks of general-duties use. This compares with only 48 incidents over a five-year period" by special unit officers.

The Ombudsman's investigation found officers from special units had predominantly used Tasers from a distance, but in the first two weeks of use by general-duties officers, in four out of the five incidents the Tasers were used in drive-stun mode, where the gun is applied directly to skin or clothing.

The use of Tasers, which stun a victim by emitting a 50,000-volt electric shock, have been linked to heart complications and death.

Queensland police last week Tasered a 16-year-old girl who had ignored police instructions to move on, because she was waiting with a sick friend for an ambulance to arrive.

In another case, a 56-year-old NSW man who had threatened police with a frying pan died 12days after receiving three Taser shocks.

According to his death certificate, the man, who had heart disease, hepatitis C and schizophrenia, died of a heart attack.

Mr Barbour was unable to say whether the Taser played a role in the man's death.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said he was only made aware of the man's death through the Ombudsman's report on the case.

Mr Scipione said there was a training manual for the use of Tasers, and officers had to get an 80 per cent pass rate in a written exam before they were accredited to use the weapon.

Mr Scipione said Tasers had been drawn, but not necessarily used, 70 times since last month's roll-out of the weapons. He said there had not been related injuries to police or citizens.

Every Taser use was recorded by an inbuilt camera and was then downloaded and reviewed by Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Owens, he said.

But Mr Barbour said general-duties police were inadequately trained and informed on Tasers and the associated dangers.

"They do not give adequate guidance about situations where they shouldn't be used," the Ombudsman said. "It must be remembered that Tasers are not a non-lethal weapon, they are just a less lethal weapon."

Mr Barbour recommended a two-year review into Taser use, and said the standards that deemed Tasers safe applied only to healthy people.
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Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 09:26:56 PM »

Give us Tasers or face work bans, say Victorian police
Article from: Herald Sun

July 11, 2008 12:00am

POLICE have called for a ban on issuing fines in a push for more staff and equipment, including the force-wide introduction of Tasers.

The Police Association is deciding on how and when to implement a range of workplace bans, including a refusal to issue penalty notices, after a series of meetings with officers across the state.

Key issues raised were a lack of manpower and up-to-date equipment, force command interference in the running of the union and powers bestowed upon the Office of Police Integrity.

Work bans could be enforced as soon as the end of this month.

One resolution stated: "As the current State Government and Chief Commissioner of Police have refused to take adequate steps to resolve the issue of resourcing and, as it affects community safety and members of Victoria Police, this meeting calls for the implementation of work bans."

Another read: "That this meeting demand force command supply all members with a non-lethal option of Tasers by January 1, 2009."

Police officials said their hands were being forced on the issue.

"This meeting has been forced to make the motions (regarding work bans) and does so reluctantly, but wants the Police Association to make it clear to the public that we are taking these actions in the interests of community safety and member welfare," it was stated at one of the meetings.

The 14 meetings were held as a follow-up to the vocal mass police rally at Rod Laver Arena in April.

Outgoing Police Association secretary Sen-Sgt Paul Mullett said the association executive met last Tuesday to discuss the outcome of the meetings.

The association was planning some form of action and would have a series of meetings with workplace delegates to help to determine what kind, he said.

Sen-Sgt Mullett said that concerns highlighted in a recent Herald Sun police survey -- a lack of resources being the biggest worry -- remained.

"Nothing has changed in terms of the attitude of our members," he said.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,24001511-2862,00.html


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 09:41:22 PM »

Was this the first death?



Taser death was news to me: police chief

November 19, 2008 - 10:48AM

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says he was only made aware of the death of a person after use of a Taser when he read a report by the NSW Ombudsman.

NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour released a review on Wednesday raising concerns about the training of police and their use of Tasers, referring to the death of a person 12 days after being shocked with the weapon.

Mr Scipione said he read a copy of the report on Tuesday

"That incident has been identified to us only through the course of this particular review," he told reporters.

"That's why we've said we need more information."

Mr Scipione said the person involved had a history of severe medical issues and the incident happened before Tasers were distributed to general duties officers on October 1.

"I'm assuming that it happened well before we rolled out to general duties. It must have been a number of years ago," he said.

"If the police use the Taser and that person was released and dealt with and subsequently died, how or why would the police know?"

Mr Scipione said there was a training manual for Tasers and officers had to get an 80 per cent pass in a written exam before they were accredited to use the weapon.

"There are clear rules in there," he said.

In response to concerns that Tasers had been rolled out to general duties officers while the Ombudsman's report was in preparation, Mr Scipione said he had seen no good reason to delay.

"I had no idea of the timing of the report," he said.

The Ombudsman has called for a moratorium on the roll-out of Tasers to general duties officers until another independent review over the next two years has been completed.

Mr Scipione said no decision had been made on a further roll-out.

"I have always said that I would review the process after we assess and evaluate their use by mobile supervisors," he said.

General duties police had used Tasers on 70 occasions since they were issued them on October 1, Mr Scipione said.

Every Taser use was recorded by an in-built camera and was then downloaded and reviewed by Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Owens, he said.

http://news.smh.com.au/national/taser-death-was-news-to-me-police-chief-20081119-6aud.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
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He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2008, 09:50:02 PM »

Police chief defends taser use

21/Nov/2008
By David Petale

POLICE Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has defended the increasing use of stun guns by officers, saying they are the preferred option for taking down an offender.
Opposition police spokeswoman Margaret Quirk said there had been a four-fold increase in the use of tasers by police in the last year and has called for greater scrutiny.

“There is no question that tasers are an important tool for police to deploy in life-threatening situations,” she said.

“They should, however, be used as a last resort. Anecdotal evidence in Western Australia suggests there may be instances of inappropriate use and we need to be confident that the use of tasers does not become routine.”

Mr O’Callaghan told 6PR radio that police preferred to use tasers as the non-lethal option because they were the safest and most effective weapon in their arsenal.

“No person has been shot by an officer in WA since we issued tasers,” he said.

“If you use capsicum spray the offender is down for about 40 minutes washing the gas out of their eyes, if we use the baton we are trained to strike the elbows and knees and that could break a limb. The taser is fast and over quickly.”

Mr O’Callaghan said officers were trained to use tasers as a last resort.

“Any time the taser is used there is a recording inside the device so we know when it has been used, they then have to complete a use of force report, and we review those reports. I am happy with our policies and the policy is becoming tighter and tighter”.

However, Ms Quirk said she was concerned the use of tasers was becoming too common and called for more training in their use.

“Experience and professional judgement are important factors in the use of tasers. Less experienced police officers should be provided with adequate training and supervision,” she said.

She claimed a report by the New South Wales Ombudsman suggested tasers could cause an irregular heartbeat and threaten lives.

“The report concluded that while it was safe to use a taser on a healthy adult, doubts existed on its use on a range of other vulnerable people who police typically encounter in serious situations,” she said.

Mr O’Callaghan acknowledged the risks but said he was confident tasers were the best non-lethal option for front line police.

“There is always a risk in whatever type of force you use, but I’m happy with the level of training our officers receive and we will continue to look at their use and how we can improve it,” he said.

http://inmycommunity.com.au/news-and-views/local-news/Police-chief-defends-taser-use/7513247/


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2008, 09:50:44 PM »

Police proceed with stun gun trial

Dylan Welch Police Reporter
November 21, 2008

THE Government is refusing to commit to key recommendation's in a scathing Ombudsman's report into the use of Tasers in NSW.

The report, released on Tuesday, advocates a two-year ban on any further distribution of the stun gun to police and another independent review of the weapon's dangers.

"We are committed to a 12-month, careful, gradual trial, as we were when we announced [the trial]," a spokesman for the Police Minister, Tony Kelly, said.

Police also maintain they did nothing wrong in the 2002 case of Gary Pearce, who died weeks after being hit by a Taser, with medical experts supporting the statements that any link with Mr Pearce's death would be remote.

Gary Pearce, a violent, mentally ill 56-year-old, died 17 days after being shot with a Taser during a specialist police raid on his Sydney house in May 2002.

Police announced they were extending the distribution of the weapons to senior officers at each of the state's 80 police commands early last month, the first time the weapons would be in the hands of general duties police in NSW.

"We believe we are reviewing the use of our Tasers after every single use," a spokesman for the Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, said.

To help assuage community concern police fitted the guns with a camera on the stock, which automatically records when the gun is drawn.

The Ombudsman also faced criticism from the company responsible for the production of the weapons, Taser International. Its chief US lobbyist sent a letter to the Ombudsman accusing him of "selective reporting" and using "incomprehensible and indefensible case studies".

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/police-proceed-with-stun-gun-trial/2008/11/20/1226770649503.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
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He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2008, 10:02:42 PM »

Commissioner defends police Taser use

Tim Clarke and Chris Thomson
November 20, 2008

The use of Tasers by police on violent offenders is safer than hitting them with a baton or disabling them with pepper spray, WA police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has said.

WA shadow police minister Margaret Quirk, whose former Labor government introduced Taser stun guns into the police force, claimed this morning it was only a matter of time before somebody was killed by the stun guns.

But Dr O'Callaghan said he was mystified as to why the issue was being raised in WA, on the back of the New South Wales ombudsman calling on the NSW government to halt a further rollout of Tasers to police.

"In 2008 we have had 852 withdrawals, that is not necessarily about the usage of them but the withdrawals of them. Of that 852 we have had only had 14 complaints," Dr O'Callaghan said.

"We consider them safe … and I can say since Tasers have been introduced in WA and rolled out to all police officers no one has been shot with a firearm by a police officer, that is a good thing.

"If someone deploys a baton it is likely kneecaps and elbows are going to be broken and obviously the recovery time for that is long.

"If someone deploys AC (pepper) spray the recovery time is up to an hour. The recovery is for the use of a Taser is instant as soon as the Taser is withdrawn."

Ms Quirk today told the Radio 6PR Morning Program that the use of Tasers had jumped from 178 times in 2006 to 804 times in 2007.

"So we're using them a lot more and ultimately I think someone will die," Ms Quirk said.

"I don't want a situation where the police accused of killing that person don't get a better idea of why they're used, how they're used and what procedures are as to when police can use them.

"Ultimately someone will be killed and I don't want a situation where police are exposed because procedures are lax or a coroner makes a report that we should withdraw their use."

Ms Quirk called on the Barnett Government to clamp down on the inappropriate use of stun guns. But Dr O'Callaghan said the alternative was a lot more dangerous for officers.

"In the past police officers had to engage in hand-to-hand combat to resolve situations. I don’t want police officers to do that, they don’t need to place themselves in danger," he said.

"If someone attacks the police officer, it is likely the police officer will withdraw a Taser and I am not offering any apologies for that.

"The officers like them for resolving violent and dangerous situations, and they are very effective at doing that."

A NSW Ombudsman's report released this week said there was conflicting medical opinion on whether Tasers could cause irregular heart rhythm, which could be life-threatening.

"The report concluded that while it was safe to use a Taser on a healthy adult, doubts existed on its use on a range of other vulnerable people who police typically encounter in serious situations," Ms Quirk said.

In Queensland, an inquiry is underway after one of the devices was used on a 16-year-old girl.

In WA, each time a Taser is used, a record is made and officers are required to lodge a report. The Corruption and Crime Commission also has an oversight role.

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/commissioner-defends-police-taser-use-20081120-6c4s.html?page=-1


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2008, 10:05:24 PM »

CMC hits police report on taser trial

Michael McKenna | November 17, 2008
Article from:  The Australian

A SECRET Queensland Police report on a year-long trial of tasers has been rejected by the Crime and Misconduct Commission as a whitewash designed to ensure minimum controls on the approved full-scale arming of more than 5000 frontline officers early next year.

The corruption watchdog - helping to draft guidelines for the use of the 50,000-volt stun guns - wrote a letter last week accusing police of delivering a biased evaluation on the controversial trial, which ended in June.

A spokeswoman for the Queensland Police Service said last night consideration was now being given to the CMC criticisms, but that the force's evaluation report of the trial was still in its draft stages.

The Bligh Government has been widely criticised after earlier this year announcing the widespread arming of police with tasers without waiting for the completion or findings of the secretive trial.

Across Australia, the weapons - which Amnesty International claims have killed 300 people in the US alone - are being introduced without parliamentary scrutiny and with little public debate.

The stoush between the two Queensland law-enforcement bodies comes amid a CMC investigation into police officers who in April held down and tasered a 16-year-old girl who had defied a move-on order because she was waiting for an ambulance to treat her sick friend.

The girl, who cannot be named, had a charge of obstructing police dismissed after the Children's Court last Friday ruled one of the two officers involved did not give adequate directions, under police move-on powers, before he and two private security guards held down the slightly built teenager, shot her in the thigh with the taser and then arrested her, initially on a charge of assaulting police.

The incident occurred on April 11, the first night of an extension of the police taser trial to general duty officers.

Closed circuit television footage of the incident, seen by The Australian, shows an apparent breach of the guidelines in tasering the slightly built juvenile - who was sitting down in a garden bed the time - where there was no risk of injury to police.

The incident involving the girl was one of the only "taser deployments" not publicly revealed during the trial by police.

One of the officers involved in the incident told the Brisbane Children's Court last week he had not been trained in using the weapon at close quarters or within a group situation.

The officer, who cannot be named, told the court that a safety bolt, needed to ensure the taser remained fastened to his belt, was not available when he armed himself with the weapon for his patrol that night.

The taser and its holster was kicked off during the skirmish with one of the 16-year-old's friends and fell to the ground among a group of teenagers he had ordered to move on.

The two officers now face disciplinary action.

The police ethical standards unit is investigating the incident and is considering the findings of the Children's Court.

"This review process identified issues with the deployment, and steps were taken to address these issues by providing additional training to the officers involved, and to review procedures to ensure such issues were addressed," the police said in a statement.

Police in every state and territory are using the devices - deemed by the UN to be instruments of torture - although Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT restrict them to specialist squads.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24660334-5006786,00.html


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 10:07:07 PM »
Give us the Taser now, say police

Article from: Sunday Mail (SA)
NIGEL HUNT
November 16, 2008 12:30am

FRONTLINE police should be armed with Taser guns now, rather than waiting for the results of a planned trial of the weapon, the SA Police Association says.
Association president Mark Carroll said there was "ample evidence" of the weapon's effectiveness available from other police jurisdictions to justify its introduction.

It has been revealed the trial of the devices, announced by Police Commissioner Mal Hyde in June, will not start this year.

Tender documents calling for the supply of the weapons have not yet been finalised, which means the trial is at least six months away.

Given that timetable, any decision on their wider introduction is unlikely to be made before the end of 2009.

Mr Carroll said the delay was "unacceptable" and called on SAPOL to scrap the trial and fast-track the introduction of Tasers.

"We supported the announcement that frontline police were to trial Tasers, because we hold strongly to the view that the Taser would help reduce the incidence of serious injury to police and offenders," he said.

"We are intensely frustrated by the length of time SAPOL has taken to begin the trial.

"The announcement was made in June and today we don't seem any closer to the launch of any trial."

In June, Mr Hyde revealed the department would conduct a trial of Taser X-26 weapons in two Local Service Areas and a country region.

Two patrols each shift are to be equipped with the weapon – which uses a 50,000-volt shock to subdue an offender – following a lengthy evaluation by STAR Group officers.

It has now emerged the department may examine other similar devices as part of the trial.

The Sunday Mail has learned a Queensland defence manufacturer has written to Mr Hyde requesting its weapon – the Stinger S-200 – be included in the trial. Queensland police have just completed a trial of both weapons and have ordered 1240 Tasers for its frontline officers.

A spokeswoman for Mr Hyde said there was no firm timetable for the trial of the weapons.

"Part of our trial will be looking at all electronic incapacitation devices, but a tender and procurement process has to be undertaken first to select the preferred unit, which would then be subject to a field trial," she said.

Mr Carroll said the association wanted 24-hour access to Tasers for frontline police so they were equipped with a non-lethal alternative to handguns, particularly when more offenders are presenting with drug and mental health issues.

"Interstate and overseas jurisdictions have trialled the Taser extensively and so has SAPOL," he said.

"Other electronic control devices have also undergone trials and subsequent rejection in favour of the Taser.

"We question the basis upon which SAPOL believes it needs to reinvent the wheel. SAPOL well understands the benefits of the Taser, particularly following a trial which STAR Group officers undertook."

The association intends to lobby for creation of a national police uniform and equipment standards council.

At present, state and territory police forces wear different uniforms, use different cars, carry different guns and trial the same or similar products.

"Surely better, safer equipment for officers, as well as government budget savings, would come from a collaborative approach among police forces across Australia," Mr Carroll said.

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,27574,24658365-2682,00.html


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2008, 10:17:18 PM »

Police feel heat after girl tasered

Michael McKenna | November 15, 2008
Article from:  The Australian

QUEENSLAND police face disciplinary action after they held down and tasered a 16-year-old girl who had defied an order to move on because she was waiting for an ambulance to treat her sick friend.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission and police ethical standards unit are investigating the April incident - during a year-long trial of tasers - which has drawn a strong rebuke from a magistrate of the Brisbane Children's Court.

The girl, who cannot be named, had a charge of obstructing police dismissed after the Children's Court yesterday ruled one of the two officers involved did not give adequate directions, under police move-on powers, before he and two private security guards held the slightly built teenager down, shot her in the thigh with the taser and then arrested her, initially on a charge of assaulting police.

Magistrate Pam Dowse also criticised the police officers for over-reacting to the teenager's refusal to leave her unconscious friend, a girl, before the ambulance arrived. The teenagers were alleged to have been involved in an earlier altercation with another group of tourists.

Ms Dowse said it was not unreasonable for police to have allowed the group of about six to remain until the ambulance arrived, given that the number of adults present appeared to have the situation under control. "It didn't seem to be a crisis requiring such a stern response," she said.

The Weekend Australian was initially refused access to the court proceedings, following an objection by police prosecutors.

Access was later granted after undertakings were given not to identify the defendant, any of the police involved or the location of the incident.

The Bligh Government has been widely criticised after this year announcing the full-scale arming of more than 5000 frontline police with the 50,000-volt tasers - barely six months into the year-long trial.

According to police guidelines, a taser should not be used on juveniles "except in circumstances where there is no other reasonable option to avoid the imminent risk of injury".

In the hearing yesterday, the police officer - who said he believed at the time that the girl was between 16 and 20 - conceded he may have breached guidelines.

"In hindsight, I can say yes, but at the time I didn't know she was a juvenile," he said.

A CMC spokeswoman last month said it had concerns the use of the taser had been "inappropriate and excessive".

"We have have made some preliminary inquiries into the matter," she said.

"We will await the outcome of the court proceedings before deciding whether further action is warranted."

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,24654141-5006786,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline mr anderson

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2008, 01:29:33 AM »
We'll naturally see a rise in these stories and especially at protests.
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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 02:02:41 PM »
RELATED STORY FROM THE UK

British police to get Tasers

From correspondents in London
Agence France-Presse
November 25, 2008 05:29am

POLICE forces across Britain are to be equipped with Taser stun guns after a successful pilot scheme with the controversial high-voltage weapons, officials said today.

Critics argue that the guns, which deliver a 50,000-volt charge, are "potentially lethal", but the government said they are crucial and is paying for 10,000 of them to be distributed around the country.

"I am proud that we have one of the few police services around the world that do not regularly carry firearms and I want to keep it that way," said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

"But every day the police put themselves in danger to protect us, the public. They deserve our support, so I want to give the police the tools they tell me they need to confront dangerous people.

"That is why I am giving the police 10,000 Tasers to ensure that officers across the country benefit from this form of defence," she said.

The stun guns deliver powerful electric shocks up to 10 metres away, stopping victims in their tracks and making them easier to arrest.

The decision to extend their use by police came after a pilot scheme in 10 British police forces, in which Tasers were deployed on more than 600 occasions over the past 12 months but only used 93 times.

Rights group Amnesty International voiced alarm at the decision, saying that 300 people had died after being shot with Tasers in the United States and Canada.

"We don't actually oppose the use of Tasers as long as it's by a limited number of highly trained specialist officers, responding to genuinely life-threatening or very dangerous situations," said Amnesty's Oliver Sprague.

"Tasers are potentially lethal weapons which are already linked to numerous deaths in North America and that's why wide deployment without adequate training is a dangerous step too far for British policing."

Last month the firm that distributes Taser stun guns in France lost the first in a series of high court battles over claims that the supposedly safe police weapon can be lethal.

SMP Technologies had sought damages from a human rights group, RAID-H, which had published material arguing against the pistol's use, including a cartoon of a Taser-wielding robot emblazoned with the image of a dead body.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24703155-23109,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2008, 02:08:33 PM »

I saw my first Victorian police officer armed with a Taser 2 days ago. As I have posted before I have a friend who graduated from the police academy in Melbourne he told me that regular police were not going to get Tasers and they were only for Armed Response and Crowd Control. I kept telling him that all police would get Tasers soon. Well it looks like as of the first of next year I was right. Not a hard call really this is happening all over the world.


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 10:29:42 PM »
Yes! This is good news. To bad it won't happen here in Austraila



Met rejects plans for more Taser guns

The Metropolitan police is to boycott the home secretary's plan to arm 10,000 frontline officers with Taser stun guns because of their potential to cause fear and damage public confidence.

The Metropolitan Police Authority said yesterday it had no intention of immediately taking up Jacqui Smith's offer to sanction an increase in the availability of Tasers. "We recognise the potential to cause fear and damage public confidence if the use of Tasers is extended to non-specialist trained police officers and is perceived by the public to be indiscriminate," the MPA said. "There is no doubt that in some circumstances Tasers are a very effective alternative to firearms or asps [metal batons] but their use must be tightly controlled and we have seen no case made out to extend their availability."

The home secretary defended her decision to make the weapons available to officers, saying she wanted to give them the tools they need to confront dangerous people. "I'm proud that we have one of the few police services ... that does not regularly carry firearms. But every day the police put themselves in danger to protect us, the public," she said.

The decision follows a 12-month trial in the use of the 50,000-volt weapons involving specially trained officers in 10 forces. The stun guns were deployed on 600 occasions during the trial but were discharged only 93 times as officers found their threatened use was sufficient to resolve difficult situations.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said 35 complaints had been made against the use of Tasers since they were introduced in 2004 for use by firearms officers in the UK. The IPCC added that it backed the extension of the use of Tasers.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/nov/25/met-london-police-taser-guns




Met 'will not extend' Taser use

The Met Police already own 350 stun guns

Stun guns will not be given to all frontline officers as they could "cause fear and damage public confidence", the Metropolitan Police Authority has said.

Comments from the Metropolitan Police's (Met) watchdog came after Home Secretary Jacqui Smith called for the use of Tasers to be extended.

The Met's specialist firearms officers and specially trained officers from the territorial support group use the guns.

Extending their use may be perceived as "indiscriminate" the watchdog said.

'Tightly controlled'

Taser stun guns release a 50,000-volt charge which can temporarily disable suspects.

The Met said it owned 350 stun guns and not all of them were deployed to officers.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) said it had "no intention of immediately sanctioning any increase in the availability of Tasers to officers in the Met".

"The MPA recognises the potential to cause fear and damage public confidence if the use of Tasers is extended to non-specialist trained police officers and is perceived by the public to be indiscriminate.


How tasers work graphic

"Both the MPA and the MPS will pause to take stock before deciding whether to take advantage of the extra funding."

Although in many cases Taser guns have proved "very effective", "their use must be tightly controlled and we have seen no case made out to extend their availability", it added.

The MPA said the decision to extend their use to the Met's territorial support group was taken after "extensive consultation".

On Monday Ms Smith said the government planned to spend £8m to buy 10,000 more Taser guns for frontline officers.

Commander Bob Broadhurst said the guns would be used in incidents "involving violence or threats of violence with such severity that officers would need to use force to protect the public, the subject themselves and their colleagues".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/7747729.stm


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 10:59:03 PM »


Andrew Scipione oblivious to Tasered man's death

AAP

November 19, 2008 02:31pm

NEW South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says he was only made aware of the death of a person after use of a Taser when a report by the NSW Ombudsman was released.
NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour released a review today raising concerns about the training of police and their use of Tasers, referring to the death of a person 12 days after being shocked with the weapon.

Mr Scipione said police were not told until yesterday that the report would be released.

"That incident has been identified to us only through the course of this particular review," he said.

"That's why we've said we need more information."

Mr Scipione said the person involved had a history of severe medical issues and the incident happened before Tasers were distributed to general duties officers on October 1.

"I'm assuming that it happened well before we rolled out to general duties. It must have been a number of years ago," he said.

"If the police use the Taser and that person was released and dealt with and subsequently died, how or why would the police know?"

Mr Scipione said there was a training manual for Tasers and officers had to get an 80 per cent pass in a written exam before they were accredited to use the weapon.

"There are clear rules in there," he said.

In response to concerns that Tasers had been rolled out to general duties officers while the Ombudsman's report was in preparation, Mr Scipione said he had seen no good reason to delay.

"I had no idea of the timing of the report," he said.

The Ombudsman has called for a moratorium on the roll-out of Tasers to general duties officers until another independent review over the next two years has been completed.

Mr Scipione said no decision had been made on a further roll-out.

"I have always said that I would review the process after we assess and evaluate their use by mobile supervisors," he said.

General duties police had used Tasers on 70 occasions since they were issued them on October 1, Mr Scipione said.

Every Taser use was recorded by an inbuilt camera and was then downloaded and reviewed by Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Owens, he said.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,,24675300-1702,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2008, 11:00:50 PM »

Tasers mostly used on 'drunks, mentally ill'

AAP
November 19, 2008 11:13am

THE New South Wales Ombudsman has called for tighter regulation of Taser use by police after $1 million worth of the stun guns were delivered to senior officers at 80 Local Area Commands last month.
 NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the Tasers had been deployed to defuse potentially life-threatening situations.

But in a report tabled in Parliament today, Ombudsman Bruce Barbour expressed concerns they might be used in more commonplace situations.

He found people subjected to Taser use were typically male, Caucasian, under 40, and with mental health problems.

The vast majority were armed or thought to be armed with one or more weapons.

Over half were intoxicated at the time Tasers were used on them.

One person had died of a heart attack 12 days after police used a Taser to subdue him, the Ombudsman said in his report.

He acknowledged the man had had a number of health problems, including heart disease, so it was not clear if the Taser had caused his death.


"Police need to be extremely careful using Tasers," he said.
Related Coverage

    * Stun gun review push gathers paceNEWS.com.au, 16 Nov 2008
    * British police to get TasersNEWS.com.au, 25 Nov 2008
    * Police use Taser on teenagerNEWS.com.au, 22 Nov 2008
    * Top cop oblivious to Tasered man's deathNEWS.com.au, 19 Nov 2008
    * Taser gun used in harbourside brawlNEWS.com.au, 5 Oct 2008


"They are not a non-lethal weapon - they are just a less lethal weapon."

Mr Barbour called for a two-year stoppage on any further rollout of Tasers to police, pending a further independent review.

"Current police standard operating procedures relating to Taser use are inadequate," he said in a statement.

"There are known risks with using Tasers, and police must receive clear, comprehensive and consistent guidance to ensure safe and effective use of this weapon."

The Ombudsman's report maintained there was conflicting medical and scientific opinions as to whether Tasers could cause irregular heart rhythm, including ventricular fibrillation, a life-threatening condition.

"While it may be relatively safe to use a Taser on a healthy adult, the jury is still out on their use on a range of other people who police typically encounter in serious situations," Mr Barbour said.

The Ombudsman made 29 recommendations to improve safety, effectiveness and accountability of Taser use.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,,24674688-1702,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2008, 11:16:22 PM »

'I've been Tasered 200 times'

Peter Boatman

"You wouldn't call it pleasant", says Peter Boatman

Government plans to issue more police officers with Tasers have been criticised by human rights campaigners as dangerous. But what does it actually feel like to be shot by a 50,000-volt weapon?

Like any good businessman, Peter Boatman believes he needs to personally sample his own product. Unfortunately for the 54-year-old, this means being regularly paralysed with a high-tech stun gun.

Former police inspector Mr Boatman is operations director for Pro-tect Systems, which is licensed to sell Tasers to police forces and the military in the UK.

How does a Taser work?

Having been shot over 200 times with the device - which disables suspects by sending an electric charge into them through needle-tipped darts - he is nonchalant about the experience.

   
The first thing you notice is the muscles... spasming
"It's a bit like lying in bed and feeling a cramp in your leg, but it covers your whole body. "Certainly, it's uncomfortable, but no more painful than a cramp. "You don't feel the probes going in. The first thing you notice is the muscles in between them spasming, and then the rest of your body seizes up.
 "As soon as the electricity is switched off, you don't feel anything anymore. "You wouldn't call it pleasant, but I'd rather be Tasered than hit with a truncheon or bitten by a police dog."

'Intolerable pain'

Britain's police forces are increasingly turning to Tasers to disable suspects. Around 3,000 have been issued to specially-trained officers since they were introduced to the UK four years ago, and Home Secretary John Reid has said he wants to see them issued to more officers. Each Taser is shaped like a pistol and uses compressed air to fire two darts that trail electric cable back to the handset.

When the darts hit their target, a five-second 50,000-volt charge flows down the cable, and the suspect's muscles contract uncontrollably. Pro-tect insists Tasers are safe, and a sub-committee of Britain's Defence Scientific Advisory Council concluded in 2004 that the risk of them causing serious or fatal injuries was "very low". But this view is fiercely disputed by Amnesty International, which says that 220 people have died in Canada and the US since 2001 after being Tasered. It warns the devices cause "intolerable pain" and may worsen the risk of heart failure in people under the influence of drugs or with some health problems. Kate Allen, Amnesty's UK director said: "Our message is simple - Tasers are potentially lethal and should be treated as such. "We want comprehensive and independent testing to establish that they are safe before the government considers handing them out to every police officer."

In October last year, Brian Loan, 47, of County Durham, died after being shot by a Taser, but a post mortem examination found that he died of natural causes.

And in the meantime, it appears Peter Boatman's trade will continue to flourish.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6661617.stm


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2008, 11:39:29 PM »
Police silence on man's death after they shot him with a Taser

Dylan Welch Police Reporter
November 20, 2008

A MAN died of a heart attack after being repeatedly shot with a Taser in one of the first uses of the weapon in NSW, but police omitted it from official records, including on the man's death certificate.

Gary Pearce, a violent, mentally-ill 56-year-old, died about two weeks after being shot with a stun gun when he threatened police with a frying pan in May 2002.

The link between his death and his being shot by a Taser could have been used as evidence of the risks of the controversial weapon, but was only made public by the NSW Ombudsman on Tuesday.

The Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, yesterday admitted he only learned of the Taser link on Tuesday night, when he was given a copy of a scathing report by the Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, into the use of stun guns.

The revelation comes on the back of a growing body of international research that draws links between the weapon and a series of deaths.

In North America the debate has been particularly fierce, with two recent reports stating there had been 18 deaths in Canada and 150 in the US in recent years involving stun guns.

The NSW Ombudsman's report, released yesterday, studied the use of the weapon by two specialist police units between 2002 and last year. It found there were potential risks in giving the weapon to general duties police, which happened last month.

The report was also critical of police procedures and called for a two-year moratorium on any further roll-out of the weapons pending an independent review of their safety.

In a bid to assuage community concern, police fitted the guns with a camera on the stock, which automatically records when the gun is drawn.

In May, the then police minister, David Campbell, did not wait for the release of the Ombudsman's report before widening the weapon's use.

"The Government is about making decisions, not necessarily about sitting around waiting for reports," Mr Campbell said.

But it is the report that police and Mr Campbell ignored that has brought to light the most worrying incident involving a Taser since it was introduced to specialist police in 2002.

Mr Pearce, a schizophrenic with a violent history, had barricaded himself inside his inner-west Sydney home.

The tactical response group, issued with Tasers only months before, broke in and fired a stun gun at him when he threatened them with a frying pan.

"It failed to have the proper effect and the man continued to aggressively resist police," the Ombudsman's report stated.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/police-silence-on-mans-death-after-they-shot-him-with-a-taser/2008/11/19/1226770542452.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2008, 11:41:30 PM »

Racegoer guilty of assault

BY NOEL TOWELL
LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER
26/11/2008 1:00:00 AM

A man shot by police with a stun gun while he was at Canberra's Thoroughbred Park has escaped conviction after being found guilty of assault and resisting arrest.

Miroslav Radic pleaded not guilty to common assault and resisting a Commonwealth official after fighting with a fellow patron on Melbourne Cup Day last year. The 27-year-old construction engineer had claimed the police who arrested him were heavy-handed, their use of a taser was excessive, and the officers involved had colluded to justify using the taser. But Magistrate Karen Fryar said Madic's recollection of the event was through a ''prism of alcohol''.

She said Madic initially said he drank between five and 10 drinks ''too rough an estimate'' then later admitted he had been drinking steadily from 11am until the incident about 5pm. During the altercation, a woman in the crowd threw a bottle or glass at the Amaroo man, hitting him on the shoulder. Ms Fryar said Radic chose to escalate the incident by confronting her. She dismissed the not-guilty plea and said Radic's lashing out with his feet at the police officers proved the resisting arrest charge.

She rejected the defence's argument the use of the stun gun indicated police were overzealous. ''The tasering happened after the event,'' Ms Fryar said. She found Radic guilty of both charges but did not record a conviction and imposed a good-behaviour bond.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/racegoer-guilty-of-assault/1370112.aspx


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2008, 11:47:10 PM »

Taser used to end Hunter siege

Posted Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:03am AEDT
Updated Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:02am AEDT

Hunter Valley police in New South Wales have deployed a Taser stun gun for the first time, on the same day the state's Ombudsman warned about the safety of the weapons. Police used the gun to end a siege at a house in Kurri Kurri last night, where a 33-year-old man had allegedly armed himself with a sword and threatened to burn his house down.

The siege ended when the Taser was deployed, and the man was taken to Maitland hospital for a psychiatric assessment. He has been charged over the siege, as well as an earlier assault in Kurri Kurri.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/11/20/2424781.htm


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2008, 11:56:29 PM »
Kelly rejects media allegations
BY EMMA MASTRONARDI
24/11/2008 8:32:00 AM

NSW police minister Tony Kelly yesterday deflected questions about the Taser scandal that has made him national news this week. On Wednesday, The Australian newspaper reported that Mr Kelly, from Wellington, had allegedly threatened to use a taser against a representative of the Insurance Council of Australia during a conference.

“I wish I had a Taser here right now. I would Taser you,” The Australian quoted him as saying to the representative. In Dubbo yesterday Mr Kelly chose to stay quiet on the issue when questioned by the Daily Liberal, simply saying “the story would be unfolded in State media eventually”. Mr Kelly did say he remained confident about his future in the beleagured State Government.

The Premier, Nathan Rees, knew “exactly what happened”, he said, and when asked whether the allegations would be detrimental to his career, Mr Kelly replied: “No they won’t, not at all.” Mr Kelly declined to reveal the sequence of events or explain the context in which the statement was used. “I’ve already done that,” he said.

While Mr Kelly was reticent to discuss his Taser comment, he was more forthcoming on the use of devices by the NSW police force. He said a new training program for the use of tasers had been developed. “We’re going to train 1500 police officers across the State in the use of Tasers,” he said. “They won’t be able to use a taser unless they have completed the training.”

Two Dubbo officers had already received the training, he said. Mr Kelly said Tasers had only been drawn 68 times and actually implemented 16 times. According to Mr Kelly, NSW Tasers also have a camera device which stores voice and video data for legal purposes.  “The big advantage is people often see them drawn and they back off,” he said.

“A lot of people know if they are drunk and mucking around that the police won’t shoot them, but they’re not so sure they won’t Taser them.”

http://www.dailyliberal.com.au/news/local/news/general/kelly-rejects-media-allegations/1367971.aspx


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2008, 12:02:29 AM »

Police draw Taser to prevent attack - Newcastle
Sunday, 02 Nov 2008 05:50am

Police have been forced to use capsicum spray and produce a Taser during a confrontation with a large group of men at Wickham Park in Newcastle. Just before 10pm (1 November), police were called to a club in Albert Street to investigate a Triple Zero (000) call about an assault.

When they arrived, officers witnessed an altercation between two men on a bowling green and moved to intervene. At that moment, a group of about 15 to 20 men emerged from the club yelling and moved towards police. A member of the crowd rushed one policeman while a second ran at another officer with his fist raised. Police called for urgent back-up and sprayed a burst of capsicum spray at one of the attackers.

When extra officers arrived, one man surrendered peacefully but the other became very aggressive, forcing police to unholster a Taser. The man gave up without further incident. Both men, aged 35, were taken back to Newcastle Police Station. They were released pending future court attendance notices for affray, assault police and offensive behaviour.

http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/latest_releases?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGd3d3LmViaXoucG9saWNlLm5zdy5nb3YuYXUlMkZtZWRpYSUyRjM3MDkuaHRtbCZhbGw9MQ%3D%3D


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2008, 12:33:14 AM »

If you feel the desire perhaps an email or call to this woman to express you appreciation that she is against Tasers and aware of the danger.

Hon Margaret Quirk MLA
PO Box 6585,
GIRRAWHEEN 6064

Phone: 9247 2477
Fax: 9247 2474
mquirk@mp.wa.gov.au



Commissioner defends police Taser use

    * Tim Clarke and Chris Thomson
    * November 20, 2008

The use of Tasers by police on violent offenders is safer than hitting them with a baton or disabling them with pepper spray, WA police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has said. WA shadow police minister Margaret Quirk, whose former Labor government introduced Taser stun guns into the police force, claimed this morning it was only a matter of time before somebody was killed by the stun guns.

But Dr O'Callaghan said he was mystified as to why the issue was being raised in WA, on the back of the New South Wales ombudsman calling on the NSW government to halt a further rollout of Tasers to police. "In 2008 we have had 852 withdrawals, that is not necessarily about the usage of them but the withdrawals of them. Of that 852 we have had only had 14 complaints," Dr O'Callaghan said. "We consider them safe … and I can say since Tasers have been introduced in WA and rolled out to all police officers no one has been shot with a firearm by a police officer, that is a good thing. "If someone deploys a baton it is likely kneecaps and elbows are going to be broken and obviously the recovery time for that is long. "If someone deploys AC (pepper) spray the recovery time is up to an hour. The recovery is for the use of a Taser is instant as soon as the Taser is withdrawn."

Ms Quirk today told the Radio 6PR Morning Program that the use of Tasers had jumped from 178 times in 2006 to 804 times in 2007. "So we're using them a lot more and ultimately I think someone will die," Ms Quirk said. "I don't want a situation where the police accused of killing that person don't get a better idea of why they're used, how they're used and what procedures are as to when police can use them. "Ultimately someone will be killed and I don't want a situation where police are exposed because procedures are lax or a coroner makes a report that we should withdraw their use."

Ms Quirk called on the Barnett Government to clamp down on the inappropriate use of stun guns. But Dr O'Callaghan said the alternative was a lot more dangerous for officers. "In the past police officers had to engage in hand-to-hand combat to resolve situations. I don’t want police officers to do that, they don’t need to place themselves in danger," he said. "If someone attacks the police officer, it is likely the police officer will withdraw a Taser and I am not offering any apologies for that. "The officers like them for resolving violent and dangerous situations, and they are very effective at doing that."

A NSW Ombudsman's report released this week said there was conflicting medical opinion on whether Tasers could cause irregular heart rhythm, which could be life-threatening. "The report concluded that while it was safe to use a Taser on a healthy adult, doubts existed on its use on a range of other vulnerable people who police typically encounter in serious situations," Ms Quirk said.

In Queensland, an inquiry is underway after one of the devices was used on a 16-year-old girl. In WA, each time a Taser is used, a record is made and officers are required to lodge a report. The Corruption and Crime Commission also has an oversight role.

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/commissioner-defends-police-taser-use-20081120-6c4s.html?page=-1


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2008, 10:36:28 PM »
Fatal shooting at Northcote shows cops need Tasers - union

AAP
December 12, 2008 09:12am

THE fatal shooting by police of a 15-year-old boy has prompted Victoria's police union to renew its call for all officers to be armed with Taser guns.

Officers shot the boy in the chest on last night, fatally wounding him, as he approached and threatened them with two knives in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote.

Police Association secretary Senior Sergeant Greg Davies said while the full circumstances of the tragedy were not clear yet, a Taser gun may have prevented the fatality.

"Certainly, it seems this may have been a situation where a Taser gun could have been deployed," Snr Sgt Davies said.

"You can almost guarantee if the circumstances were conducive to the use of a Taser, then using a Taser would have meant he wouldn't have had to have been shot. He would have been temporarily disabled and handcuffed."

Police said they fired warning shots and used two hits of capsicum spray to subdue the boy, with no apparent effect.

They were called to the All Nations Park at Northcote shortly after 9.30pm (AEDT) following calls from a number of people reporting a young man behaving irrationally and violently.

Snr Sgt Davies said the police association's members were doing a tough job without the best technology available.

"Our people are being sent out there on behalf of the public to do a pretty difficult job and they're clearly not being provided with the range of technology that they should have," he said.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24789143-29277,00.html



Police shoot teenager Tyler Cassidy dead in Northcote, Melbourne

By staff writers
NEWS.com.au
December 12, 2008 03:32pm

    * Boy "threatened police with knives"
    * Cops shoot boy dead outside mall
    * Family vows to fight for the truth

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THE family of a 15-year-old shot dead by police at a Melbourne skate park has vowed to fight to find out what happened.

Police said Tyler Cassidy yelled: "Kill me, I'm going to kill you," as officers warned him to put down his weapons and capsicum spray twice failed to subdue him.

"I promise you my darling, I will fight for you as you were taken from me under the most horrific circumstances," the victim's mother Shani said.

"Why was he slayed to death when it was so unnecessary? Four officers were not capable of managing the situation.

"We look forward to a serious and thorough investigation and inquest into why Tyler was killed and to the serious nature of the attending officers' actions."

The youth died after being shot in the chest by three police officers in a skatepark at the All Nations park near the Northcote Plaza Shopping Centre.

Police today rejected family claims they were "trigger happy" after the teenager's death.

It has emerged that Tyler joined the "white pride" anti-immigration group Southern Cross Soldiers four months ago.

Members of the Southern Cross Soldiers, who admit having criminals and neo-Nazis in their ranks, are among those who have left tributes on his MySpace page.

One of those who knew Tyler, and attests to his violent temper, told the Herald Sun that unless the police shot Tyler, he would have made good on his threat to kill the officer.

"Since he joined the SCS and started hanging out some mates he called 'skinhead mates' he started drinking excessively and getting much more violent,"  Tyler's former friend said.

"The officers that shot him most definitely had good reason with the way he was and if they didn't do what they did he wouldn't have stopped."

A witness to the shooting, Hariet Stewart, said she heard seven shots fired, the Herald Sun reports.

Police say Tyler had threatened them with kitchen knives stolen from a Kmart store before they were forced to fire.

Ms Stewart, 29, who lives close to the All Nations Park in Northcote where the shooting happened, was walking home from the shops when she saw the teen running around carrying two knives.

“I’m not easily scared and I quickly went into hiding myself, having seen him, but he was just a kid," she said.

“From what I could tell, he looked like he was either incredibly angry or on ice or something.

“I thought perhaps he had a vendetta."

Police have strongly defended their handling of the drama and said they were left with no choice.

“I don’t believe that police are trigger-happy," Assistant Commissioner Tim Cartwright told reporters this morning.

"This is a dreadful tragedy to lose a young man, both for police and the community."

The entire incident took less than three minutes to unfold, but police had done everything possible to avoid his death, he said.

"They've ultimately had no choice," Mr Cartwright said.

He said this morning that a female constable from Preston was among three members who fired their guns. The others were a leading senior constable and a senior constable from Northcote.

Police have refused to say whether the use of Tasers might have saved Mr Cassidy's life, but their union has renewed calls for permission to use the devices.

Mr Cartwright said police followed training that taught them to aim for the "central body mass" of an attacker.

"In the movies you can shoot to disarm people, but that’s not what happens in our experience," he said.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24788737-1243,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2008, 03:53:05 PM »
Shooting reignites debate on police tactics and use of Taser stun guns

    * John Silvester
    * December 13, 2008

Police search at the Northcote skate park at All Nations Park, Northcote where a 15 year old boy was shot and killed by police.

Police search at the Northcote skate park at All Nations Park, Northcote where a 15 year old boy was shot and killed by police. Photo: Craig Abraham

A BOY is dead, a family shattered and the four police involved are devastated.

So what happened?

It is not an adequate response to say that the teenager, Tyler Cassidy, wanted to be shot in what is known as "suicide by cop". Nor is it sufficient to say police followed the rules and had no choice.

While it has always been true that police can shoot to protect themselves and others from a potentially fatal threat, the question that needs to be answered is: what could have been done before the threat reached terminal velocity?

According to police, the offender/victim was sprayed not once but twice with capsicum foam that proved to be useless.

This was an angry, twisted teenager with no known history of mental disturbance and no serious criminal history. And now he is dead.

Police weapons experts say Thursday night's tragedy was a perfect case for Taser stun guns. One went as far as to say, "If they had Tasers, the boy would be alive."

"The trouble is that OC spray (capsicum) does not work against people who are mentally disturbed or high on drugs. Tasers always disable the suspect," he said.

In 2004, police from the Special Operations Group and the critical incident response team were armed with the 50,000-volt weapons.

In 2006, the Bracks government made a pre-election deal with the Police Association to provide $10 million to arm operational police with semi-automatic handguns and Taser stun guns.

Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon formed an external weapons advisory committee and this year accepted the recommendation to rearm with semi-automatics.

But force command rejected internal calls from weapons experts to also equip each police car with a Taser.

Police say the promised $10 million would not cover both the Taser and handgun purchases.

Senior police deny they have rejected equipping police with stun guns.

A police spokeswoman said a final decision had not been made on whether operational police should be armed with Tasers.

"We are looking to see how they are used in other states. They are definitely not off the agenda," the spokeswoman said.

But not everyone is sold on the painful stopping device as an answer. When Michael Pearce, SC, president of Liberty Victoria, was asked yesterday if stun guns should be deployed by police, he replied: "These Tasers — it might be the cure is worse than the malady."

The matter will be examined by the coroner as part of his investigation into the death at Northcote.

If he decides that police should be armed with stun guns, then the Government should immediately fund their purchase and the issue should not be buried.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/shooting-reignites-debate-on-police-tactics-and-use-of-taser-stun-guns-20081212-6xkx.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
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He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2008, 02:38:28 PM »

The Police's Favorite 'Non-Lethal' Weapon Has Killed 400 People So Far

By Liliana Segura, AlterNet
Posted on December 13, 2008, Printed on December 13, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/112403/

On Sept. 24, in Brooklyn, N.Y., a 35-year-old man named Iman Morales fell to his death after a 22-minute standoff with New York Police. Morales, who was described as "emotionally disturbed," had climbed onto the fire escape of a building in Bedford-Stuyvesant, naked and waving a metal pole. Unable to talk him down, one officer, under order from his lieutenant, shot Morales with a Taser gun, at which point he fell to the sidewalk, head-first.

He was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead.

One week later, the officer who gave the order, Lt. Michael W. Pigott, drove to Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field, a former air base used by the NYPD, took a 9mm Glock from a locker room, and shot himself in the head.

It's hard to know which are more ubiquitous at this point: stories of accidental death by Tasers, or stories of police brutality involving bullets. Just this week, in New York, a Bronx man was shot and killed after he allegedly waved a baseball bat at police officers who entered his home. In theory, these sorts of confrontations are the reason such "non-lethal" weapons as Tasers exist. But news reports tell a different tale. In the United States and Canada, more than 400 people have died after being Tasered since 2001.

Apart from his suicide, what sets Pigott apart from most police officers who kill people using Tasers is that he must have realized that the order to Taser Morales could deal a fatal blow. Why he decided to do it anyway will remain unanswered. And it's impossible to know whether remorse over Morales' death was the driving factor behind his decision to take his life, or whether it was the stripping of his badge after over 20 years on the force -- or something else.

Regardless, for people who carry a Taser as an alternative to a gun, the realization that they are actually deadly weapons must deal a hard blow.

Despite the rather old news that Tasers can kill, the news media continue to be littered with reports of trigger-happy Taserers, many of whom should be relieved that their victims lived. This week in Oklahoma, police Tasered a man who had gone into diabetic shock while driving, which caused him to spin out of control on the road. (The officers felt "extremely bad" upon realizing that he was not drunk or high but rather in need of medical attention.) In another report, last month, undercover cops in North Carolina Tasered a man acting as a pallbearer at his father's funeral. (The local sheriff apologized for the deputies' behavior. "Family, friends, relatives. … That was a bad decision.")

Appalling social behavior aside, it doesn't seem hard to unearth the psychology behind excessive Taser use. It must be easy to be quick on the draw when toting a weapon that is like a pretend firearm. Like guns, Tasers are about much more than self-defense. For civilians (and cops), the sense of power that comes from carrying a weapon is a central part of the appeal. Taser International, Inc. has capitalized on this -- a trio of new C2 Taser models, which have been aggressively marketed toward women, come in leopard print and two styles of camouflage. ("Who says safety can't be stylish?" reads the marketing tag on the Taser Web site.) Tasers fulfill a powerful, violent fantasy: the ability to shoot someone without deadly consequences.

Taser's marketing coup has been to convince consumers that there is such a thing as a gun that won't kill. The number of deaths caused by Tasers cuts through this myth.

Recently, a new study discovered that the most common model of Taser used by police officers are far more hazardous than the company claims, capable of firing dangerous levels of electricity that can raise the risk of heart attack by as much as 50 percent. Shortly after the release of the findings, Canadian police departments pulled Tasers from their forces. ("Police departments in the United States, however, appear to have taken no similar action," reported the Arizona Republic.)

Pierre Savard, a biomedical engineer at the University of Montreal, led the study, which Taser International claims is composed of "false allegations based on scientifically flawed data". Last year, he also examined the high-profile death of Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant who died after being Tasered by police at Vancouver International Airport.

"At first, I thought (Taser) was a great product," Savard told the Arizona Republic. "My point of view is that police officers already carry firearms, which are definitely more dangerous. So the Taser is much less dangerous to start with. But it should be used in a cautious manner.

"As a scientist … the risk is not zero."

Liliana Segura is an AlterNet staff writer.

http://www.alternet.org/rights/112403/the_police%27s_favorite_%27non-lethal%27_weapon_has_killed_400_people_so_far/


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2008, 03:14:49 AM »
Amnesty International report says Tasers should be a last resort

December 16, 2008 05:25pm

A HUMAN rights group has warned Taser guns are unsafe amid calls for their use after the shooting death of Tyler Cassidy.

Amnesty International has warned against a proliferation of Taser stun guns, saying they should only be used in extreme cases.

In a report entitled 'Less than lethal?' The use of stun weapons in US law enforcement, the London-based human rights group urged governments to either limit their deployment to life-threatening situations or to suspend their use.

The report comes just days after the fatal police shooting of Northcote teen Tyler Cassidy prompted calls from the Victoria Police union for officers to be issued with Tasers.

Tyler will be farewelled at a funeral service on Friday.

Industry claims that so-called "Conducted Energy Devices'' are safe and non-lethal do not stand up to scrutiny, it said.

Amnesty said 334 people had died in the United States between 2001 and August 2008 after being zapped with Tasers, with medical examiners and coroners concluding that Taser shocks caused, or contributed to, at least 50 of the deaths.

"Tasers are not the 'non-lethal' weapons they are portrayed to be,'' said Angela Wright, the Amnesty researcher who wrote the report.

"They can kill and should only be used as a last resort.''

"The problem with Tasers is that they are inherently open to abuse, as they are easy to carry and easy to use and can inflict severe pain at the push of a button, without leaving substantial marks,'' she said.

"We are very concerned that electro-shock weapons such as Tasers have been rolled out for general use before rigorous, independent testing of their effects.''

Darts fired by the Taser pack a 50,000-volt punch that can paralyse targets from 10m away.

Used in many countries, including Britain, Canada, France and the United States, Tasers are seen as a less dangerous alternative to using firearms.

Amnesty said a review of death cases suggested that Taser shocks "may exacerbate cardio-respiratory problems in individuals whose health is already compromised by drug abuse, exertion, heart disease, psychosis or positional restraint.''

"Some of those who died had no underlying disease or drugs in their system, but collapsed after being subjected to repeated or prolonged shocks and/or shocks to the chest, heightening concern that these factors may increase a risk of death or injury, even in relatively healthy individuals.''

"Amnesty International considers that enough information is already available to indicate that such devices are potentially lethal,'' it said, adding that Tasers had been used against pregnant women, schoolchildren and elderly people suffering from dementia.

At the end of November, Amnesty criticised the British government's decision to equip police in England and Wales with 10,000 Tasers, following earlier trials. Regular British officers do not carry guns.

Last Friday, prosecutors in Canada opted not to press charges against four police officers seen on video jolting a Polish immigrant with a Taser in Vancouver airport in October 2007. The 40-year-old man died within minutes.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24809604-661,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2008, 03:17:09 AM »

Bus driver tells of Tyler Cassidy's erratic last hours

Article from: Herald Sun
Brendan Roberts
December 16, 2008 12:00am

TYLER Cassidy looked as though he'd been to a war zone, according to a bus driver who dropped the teenager near his home shortly before he was shot dead by police.

The bus driver yesterday told police he noticed Tyler as he tried to board the bus at Alphington train station about 7.30pm on Thursday.

"He said he had no money and he asked if he could get on without a ticket,'' the driver said. ``He looked like he'd been through a war zone ... he looked unsettled.

"His shirt was all dirty around his stomach. It looked like he'd been in some sort of fight, so I thought I'd better help him out.

"I let him on and a couple of times I looked in the mirror and he looked like something was bothering him.''

The driver said Tyler couldn't keep still during the 15-minute bus ride.

"He was very unsettled. It wasn't like he was sitting down like other people, just reading the paper or looking out the window. He was always moving,'' he said.

When the driver dropped Tyler off at his Northcote stop, the teenager's behaviour became more erratic.

"As he got off the bus I heard a bang, and he either kicked or punched the back door. And I thought to myself, `Hey, I've just given this guy a free ride. What's going on here?'

"Then he jumped on to a fence (near the bus stop) and started pulling the fence down.

"I thought he was just acting tough, but the way he reacted to the fence, I thought, `Hang on, he's not just acting tough. He's got some sort of problem _ a deep one'.''

Tyler was shot by police in a skate park in Northcote about 9.30pm, after he allegedly threatened to kill them with two stolen knives.

The bus driver said he thought of his unsettled passenger as he drove past the scene later that night.

"I heard a 15-year-old had died. And then I got the paper and sure enough, the picture on the front page was the same as the kid in the bus,'' he said.

Mum Shani Cassidy said nothing would ease the pain of losing her son.

"He was a good boy,'' she said. "He was just a 15-year-old. He went to school, he had a part-time job, spent time on the computer. He went to church; he used to read the Bible at night.''

Tyler's funeral will be held on Thursday at 2pm at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Clifton Hill.

A notice in today's Herald Sun requests one white rose per family, in lieu of floral arrangements.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24805590-2862,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2008, 03:18:38 AM »


Police shooting victim Tyler Cassidy's funeral on Thursday

Article from: Herald Sun
Kate Rose and AAP
December 16, 2008 06:57am

TYLER Cassidy, the teen who died after being shot by police, will be farewelled at a funeral service on Thursday.
His family and friends will say good-bye at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Clifton Hill at 2pm.

Tyler's mother Sharni and older brother Blake have requested no flowers be delivered, but said each family could bring one white rose to remember their son and brother.

The funeral announcements were made as more information about the shooting emerged.

It has been reported one of the three officers involved in the incident had tried to shoot Tyler, 15, in the legs to stop him moving towards the police at the scene.

He was allegedly wielding two stolen knives when he was shot.

Tyler died in a skate park in the suburb of Northcote on Thursday night.

The report said Tyler was hit twice in the legs and twice in the chest and several other shots missed him.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24806954-2862,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2008, 03:43:23 AM »
I knew Tyler Cassidy says Chopper Read as pub denies white power link

Mark Dunn, Matthew Schulz
December 15, 2008 11:03am

NOTORIOUS former criminal Mark "Chopper" Read says he knew Tyler Cassidy from a pub where the teenage shooting victim worked.
Tyler,15, who was shot dead by police on Thursday night after a knife-wielding rampage, was employed as a kitchen hand at Collingwood's colourful Leinster Arms Hotel, which has denied having white supremacist links.

The teen died in a volley of bullets by three officers in Northcote after two failed attempts to subdue him with OC spray.

Read was a regular drinker at the pub and said he knew Tyler.

“He was just a young fellow, just a kid, I used to say hello,'' Read said.

He did not understand why police would have opened fire.

“Why would the police shoot a 15-year-old? I mean he looked 15, you couldn't mistake he was a teenager.

“(But) police usually shoot someone if their life is in danger. They don't go shooting people because they don't like them, otherwise half the people in Melbourne would get shot.''

His comments came as Premier John Brumby rejected renewed calls for Taser stun guns to be introduced in Victoria and Police Minister Bob Cameron denied Victorian police were trigger happy.

Leinster Arms Hotel licensee Glenn McGee - speaking on Radio 3AW today - suggested Tyler’s white supremacist links were “a joke” and denied his pub was a haunt for white power groups.

“We just don’t have those people here,” Mr McGee said.

“We’re an award-winning family hotel. We’re a food hotel.

“We don’t have anybody of that nature coming in here. We wouldn’t have that. And if they did I wouldn’t even know what they look like.

But drinkers have repeated claims to the Herald Sun that several white supremacists, including the alleged leader of Melbourne's neo-Nazi movement, were known to have drunk at the hotel

And he claimed Tyler had little to do with drinkers at the pub, with his mum dropping him off and picking him up.

“He never associated with anybody in this hotel, other than people in the kitchen,” he said.

He downplayed a Herald Sun report that Tyler was associated with a white power group through links on his MySpace page.

“Having him portrayed as a white supremacist doesn’t fit the profile of Tyler," Mr McGee said.

“Everyone has a MySpace section and they put all sorts of strange things on them, not necessarily meaning they’re a member of any particular group.”

“At lot of young kids put stuff on their MySpace page … just for fun,” he said.

His 19-year-old daughter also thought the links were “a joke”.

Meantime, Mr McGee said there was no indication when he last saw Tyler that would hint at what triggered Tyler’s knife-wielding rampage,

“He did a shift for us on a Tuesday night. There was no difference with Tyler, he was just his cheeky self.

“I’m not in a position to be able say what triggered him off, obviously something did."

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,24801046-2862,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
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He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2008, 03:56:41 AM »
Herald Sun Poll - Should Victoria Police be issued with Taser guns?

Vote now: Should Victoria Police be issued with Taser guns?

Poll Link
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/poll/1,,661-5037331,00.html

Poll Vote screen


Poll Tally screen


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2008, 06:18:03 PM »

Man Tasered after tomahawk (hatchet) attack

AAP
December 20, 2008 09:26am

POLICE used Taser stun guns to subdue a man who barricaded himself inside a house in Sydney's south after allegedly attacking a woman with a tomahawk.

Police were called to the house in Matson Crescent, Caringbah, just before midnight this morning following reports of a domestic assault.

The man allegedly struck the woman over the head with a tomahawk, and when officers tried to speak to him, he threatened them with it and a hammer.

The State Protection Group and negotiators were called in but the siege ended just before 3am (AEDT) when the man allegedly left the house and threatened police with a stick.

Officers used Tasers and arrested him without further incident.

The woman was taken to Sutherland Hospital and treated for a head wound. She was reported to be in a stable condition.

A 37-year-old man was being questioned at Sutherland Police Station.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24826975-29277,00.html


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2008, 06:41:45 PM »

Officer tried to shoot Tyler's legs

AAP
December 16, 2008 02:33am

ONE of the three police officers who shot and killed a teenage boy reportedly tried to shoot his legs as he advanced on them, allegedly wielding two stolen knives.

Tyler Cassidy, 15, was shot and killed by three of four officers he confronted in a skate park in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote on Thursday night. Cassidy had allegedly threatened to kill them with the knives.

Tyler lured police to the scene with two hoax calls reporting an emergency near the scene where he died, The Age said.

Un-named police sources told the newspaper one of the officers who shot at the boy tried to shoot his legs in a bid to incapacitate him.

Officers failed to subdue him with two blasts of capsicum spray and warning shots as he advanced.

When Tyler continued to advance, three of the four police involved in the shooting fired at his body until he fell.

Tyler died at the scene.

The report said Tyler was hit twice in the legs and twice in the chest and several other shots missed him.

The officer who did not shoot said she could not because another officer was in her line of fire, The Age said.

Tyler had allegedly armed himself with knives stolen from a KMart store at the nearby Northcote Plaza shopping centre, the newspaper said.

The first hoax phone call reported an aggressive man armed with a shotgun at a Northcote building site.

Police arrived at the location but declared the reports false because there was no building site in the area.

Minutes later, he told KMart patrons and staff to call the police or he would start killing.

Meanwhile, a woman who saw Tyler minutes before he was gunned down, has used a letter to The Age to deny the boy was aggressive before his death.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she and her partner were confronted by Tyler after he left the KMart.

She said they felt "nervous maybe, but not threatened".

"I did not encounter someone `violent and irrational' or `angry'," the woman wrote.

"I cannot comment on his behaviour before when he was in the shopping centre, or after when he was with the police, but I can remark on our short encounter with him minutes before he was shot.
"He patted our dog on his way to the skate park."

The woman said Tyler was "a kid who needed to sit down and talk".

Tyler's funeral will be held at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Queens Parade at 2pm (AEDT) on Thursday.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,,24806901-29277,00.html


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2008, 06:43:27 PM »

Police use taser stun gun to disable man with a knife

Article from: Herald Sun

Geoff Wilkinson
December 20, 2008 12:00am

POLICE have used a Taser stun gun to disable a mentally ill man brandishing a knife just days after troubled teen Tyler Cassidy was shot dead by officers.

Police said the circumstances were "completely different" because he didn't pose an immediate threat to police or the public.

The 40-year-old man is believed to have challenged police to "kill me like you killed the kid in Northcote".

He slashed himself with a knife during the four-hour standoff and was also cut on broken glass after smashing windows in his home in Mooroolbark.

The drama ended just after 2.45am on Thursday, when he was disabled by an electrical charge from a Taser as he ran out the back door of the house.

The police response to the incident was handled by a Critical Incident Response Team called to the scene by local officers.

"It just shows how differently things can turn out if you've got the time and the circumstances to choose and organise your response," a senior officer told the Herald Sun yesterday.

"In this case the fellow was known to police, it was known he had a history of mental illness, he was contained in the house and he wasn't an immediate threat to the public or police."

Special Operations Group and CIRT members are the only Victorian police authorised to use Tasers. The CIRT is part of the Force Response Unit and was formed three years ago to fill a gap in expertise between general duties police and the SOG.

Its duties include negotiations, close personal protection, suicide intervention and hostage scenes and armed offender situations before they escalate to a level requiring SOG involvement.

Police Association secretary, Sen-Sgt Greg Davies, said 10,000 Tasers had recently been authorised for use by British police after a successful trial.

Sen-Sgt Davies said in 80 per cent of British cases where Taser guns had been drawn by police it had not been necessary to fire them because the target surrendered. "As soon as the laser beam and the red dot hits them on the chest they throw their hands up," he said.

Some Tasers were fitted with a camera that was activated when they were fired and recorded the circumstances of their use.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,24825685-2862,00.html


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2008, 06:59:37 PM »
Security guards at funeral of teen who was shot by police

AAP
December 18, 2008 02:17pm

SECURITY guards are being used to control the crowd at the funeral of 15-year-old Tyler Cassidy, who was shot dead by police.

The security officers are ensuring only family and friends enter St John The Baptist Catholic Church at Clifton Hill in Melbourne.

A young crowd of mourners is gathering at the church, many in tears and carrying white flowers.

An open casket funeral is expected.

Tyler was shot and killed by three of four police officers he confronted in a skate park in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote last Thursday night.

He had allegedly threatened to kill the officers with two knives he had stolen from a nearby shop, and lured police to the scene with two hoax calls reporting an emergency.

Police failed to subdue Tyler with two blasts of capsicum spray and warning shots as he advanced.

Three of the officers then opened fire on him. He died at the scene.

A coronial investigation has been launched.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,,24818737-29277,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

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Woman shot by junior police officer in western Sydney
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2008, 12:46:25 AM »
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24830261-421,00.html

    * Woman threatens man, police with knife
    * Capsicum spray fails to stop her
    * Female police officer shoots woman


A JUNIOR police officer who shot a knife-wielding woman in western Sydney was not qualified to use a Taser stun gun, despite the weapon being available at her police station.

Police said they were called to an address on Iron St in North Parramatta at about 1.30am (AEDT) today, with reports a 48-year-old woman was threatening a man with a knife.

When they arrived, officers were allegedly threatened by the woman.

Police failed to subdue the woman with capsicum spray, and when she allegedly attacked them again, a female officer fired a number of gunshots, police said.

The 48-year-old woman was seriously injured and was taken to Westmead Hospital where she remains in a serious but stable condition.

The 23-year-old man was taken to the same hospital and treated for a neck laceration, sustained in the initial confrontation.

It is not known whether the pair knew each other but both were local residents.

Acting Assistant Commissioner and Acting North-West Region Commander  Karen Webb said no officers on duty at Parramatta Local Area Command that night were trained to use tasers.

"There weren't officers on duty last night that were trained in the Taser ... and certified," Asst Comm Webb said.

"Tasers have been issued to each of the 80 local area commands across the state and it's a question of those police that have been trained and certified being available at the time to be able to use them."

Asst Comm Webb would not comment on how many times the gun was fired or where the woman was shot, except to say the situation escalated quickly.

"Police have a range of tactical options and they had already tried to use capsicum spray but that had failed to subdue the woman," Asst Comm Webb said.

"The situation escalated so quickly that the options that were taken at the time were based on the circumstances at the time."

The matter is now being investigated by a critical incident team and the policewoman is expected to return to duty soon.

"She's gone home to rest as she was on night shift and there's no indication that she won't be returning to duty in the near future," Asst Comm Webb said.
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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2008, 06:28:40 PM »

One-third of people shot by Taser need medical attention: probe

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 | 10:14 AM ET
CBC News

About one in three people shot with a Taser by the RCMP receive injuries that require medical attention, according to a joint investigation by CBC News/Radio-Canada and the Canadian Press.

    'If there is injury and illness, as a physician, I would have to say those people, even if they are accused criminals, should be taken care of.'— Dr. Paul Dorian, cardiologist

The media outlets, which analyzed the Taser-use forms RCMP officers are required to fill out if they draw a stun gun, examined reports from 2002 to 2007. According to the data, 28 per cent, or 910 of the 3,226 people who were shot, had to go to a medical facility.

But a detailed examination of the forms revealed that many more people are injured, yet never see a doctor.

In three years worth of reports obtained under Access to Information legislation, people suffered injuries including burns, puncture wounds from the probes, and head wounds from falling. In many cases, however, the person was not taken for medical treatment.

More recent forms had the sections on injuries blacked out. The investigation suggests some of those incidents resulted in injuries that are not included in the 28 per cent figure.

For example, in one incident report, a person shot with a Taser suffered "burn marks from touch stun mode" but was not examined at a medical facility.

In another example, a person suffered "multiple skin burns where Taser came into contact with subject while fighting with police" but he was not taken to be examined.

RCMP Public Complaints Commissioner Paul Kennedy noted this failure in an interim report last fall on stun gun use by the force.

Dr. Paul Dorian, a cardiologist and a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, said police officers need to assume they may hurt someone when they use a Taser and treat all injuries seriously.

He conducted a study on pigs on the effects on the heart of Taser shocks and found multiple hits with a stun gun can cause heart stress.

"If there is injury and illness, as a physician, I would have to say those people, even if they are accused criminals, should be taken care of," he said.
Police association wants all officers to have Tasers

The Canadian Police Association stands by stun gun use. President Tony Cannavino said the association would like to see every police officer in Canada armed with a Taser and that there is enough evidence to show that Tasers save lives.

"They have to get the proper training, and also not only the proper training, there should be consistency across Canada about the training and the fact that they should also be requalified every two years."

The CBC investigation into Taser use has also found that RCMP officers are likely to fire their electronic stun guns multiple times during an altercation, despite a policy that warns it may pose health risks.

Kennedy is scheduled to release a highly anticipated final report on the use of stun guns by Mounties on Wednesday. He was to release it last week, but that was delayed until this Wednesday at the request of Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day.

The delay reportedly resulted from a last-minute call late Wednesday from the minister's office requesting a meeting with Kennedy.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/06/17/taser-injuries.html


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~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2008, 03:21:36 AM »

Christmas argument ended by Taser

AAP
December 25, 2008 08:54am

POLICE have used a Taser stun gun to subdue a 23-year-old man in Sydney's west.
About 4am on Christmas morning, police say they were called to a domestic dispute in Janet Street, Merrylands, where they found the man arguing with relatives.

Police allege the man ignored a request to leave and became aggressive towards them.

A duty officer repeatedly warned him to calm down.

When he continued to struggle and threaten police, a Taser stun gun was used to subdue him.

The man was then taken to Merrylands Police Station where he was charged with resisting arrest and offensive language.

He is due to appear before the Parramatta Local Court on January 14.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24841809-29277,00.html


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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Teen death prompts calls for taser roll out - 7.30 Report
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2009, 12:13:03 AM »
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=DlUdiqudPEw

The fatal shooting by Victorian Police of 15-year-old Tyler Cassidy just before Christmas has prompted the Victorian Police Association to call for a total roll out of tasers as an alternative to firearms.

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2008/s2460988.htm


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Re: Taser Watch Australia - Countdown to Deaths by Less Lethal Weapons
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2009, 01:47:46 AM »
AMERICAN INCIDENT - CASE IN POINT

Teenager dies after being tased by Martinsville Police

By Candice Nelson
WSLS10 Reporter
Published: January 9, 2009

7:57 p.m.

State Police are investigating the death of a 17-year-old after Martinsville Police used a stun device on a teenager Thursday night.

It happened at 307 Rives Road. When 10 On Your side came to the apartment on Friday afternoon, the door was already open, but nobody was inside.

What appears empty now, was swarming with police and investigators Thursday night.

Justin Gregory, 15, says his friend, 17-year-old Derick, died after a Martinsville officer used a taser on him. Gregory told us Derick and Derick’s mother had only lived in the home for about a week; however, the boys were alone on Thursday night. Although friends say the victim’s name was Derick, police have not released the victim’s name; therefore, Ten On Your Side has decided not to release the victim’s full name, yet.

Police say they were called there for a disorderly conduct after callers say someone was “using the bathroom” in the road.

Gregory tells us Derick, “was out in the middle of the road acting stupid.”

When the boys went inside, Gregory said only a few minutes went by before police arrived. Police say it was Officer R.L. Wray who responded. When he arrived, he noticed the front door had been forced open and requested assistance. Police say Wray heard loud banging noises coming from the kitchen, which according to Gregory is in the back of the home.

When Gregory saw the officer coming, he claims, “I was upstairs, and the cops told me to come down.  So I came downstairs, and everything happened,” said Gregory.

Gregory says Derick had been drinking, but claims there was no confrontation with police.

“Derick walked around from the kitchen, into the living room, and got half-way into the living room, and the cop tased him.  He didn’t run at him or nothing,” said Gregory.

But at a news conference, Police went into detail, saying Derick “moved rapidly toward Officer Wray in an offensive stance.”

When Gregory’s mother, Jennifer Crigger,  found out what was going on, she told police, “I just told them ‘you better thank God in Heaven it wasn’t my son,’ because it could’ve easily been.“

When she thinks about why the cops were there in the first place, Crigger said, “It wasn’t that serious.  He’s 17, and his life is cut short over a ‘disturbing the peace’ call.”

“For now, police say they’re not sure if the taser is what killed Derick.  All that is still under investigation.

Police say there are a number of factors that could have killed Derick – anything from pre-existing medical conditions to any kind of drug or alcohol abuse.

Wray is on paid administrative leave, and has been on the force for over two years.

Police say Wray immediately called for medical assistance when he found the victim unresponsive and then tried CPR. Police say the victim was pronounced dead at the Memorial Hospital of Martinsville.

Now, Virginia State Police will handle the investigation.
_______________________________

4:53 p.m.

Martinsville Police news release below:

The Martinsville Police Department is working with the Virginia State Police on the investigation of an incident which occurred in the City of Martinsville on Thursday evening.

Martinsville Police Department Officers were dispatched at 9:25 p.m. to 307 Rives Road, a duplex apartment, in reference to a possible fight and/or disturbance.  Upon arrival, Officer R. L. Wray observed, from his police cruiser, a young male run inside apartment number two.  Officer Wray exited the vehicle and approached the front door of the residence where he observed signs of forced entry.  Officer Wray then contacted dispatch requesting assistance.

Officer Wray then came in contact with an individual near the front door of the residence.  Wray heard a series of loud repetitive noises coming from the kitchen area of the apartment.  Officer Wray asked the individual in the kitchen to come out so that he could speak with him.  The individual, also a young male, exited the kitchen and moved rapidly toward Officer Wray in an offensive stance.  Officer Wray then deployed his Taser and subdued the individual.  While he was in the process of handcuffing the individual from the kitchen, Officer Wray was confronted by the other male subject, who was now on the front porch.  Wray gave the individual a verbal warning.  The subject ceased his action and complied with the warning.  Officer Wray finished handcuffing the individual from the kitchen, then proceeded to the front porch and advised the other male subject that he was under arrest.

MPD Officer E. W. Dillard arrived to assist Officer Wray.  When Wray went back to the other individual from the kitchen and started speaking to him the subject was unresponsive.  Officer Wray immediately called for medical assistance.  The subject did not appear to have a pulse, so Officer Wray began CPR.

Medical personnel from Martinsville Fire & EMS arrived and treated the individual at the scene then transported him to Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County.  The individual, later determined to be a 17 year old male juvenile, was pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital later that evening.  The other arrestee, later determined to be a 15 year old male juvenile, was taken into custody without further incident.  There were no other injuries.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this young man and with Officer R. L. Wray and his family.  This is one of the hardest things to deal with that any one can imagine as a citizen, a parent, or a law enforcement officer.  We contacted the Virginia State Police as soon as we found out what had happened.  They will take over the investigation from here forward.  We will work with them in any way possible to bring this investigation to a fair and successful conclusion.  May God bless all those involved and their families,” said Martinsville Police Chief Mike Rogers.

The Virginia State Police will handle the investigation going forward.

———-

3:00 p.m.

From Candice Nelson, in the field
WSLS Reporter
cnelson@wsls.com

A 17-year-old boy is dead, following a taser incident with Martinsville Police.

According to a 15-year-old witness, the death happened Thursday night.

The 15-year-old claims he and the 17-year-old were having a loud argument in the middle of the street over a stolen alcoholic beverage.  Then they found out police were coming, and went inside a duplex that the 17-year-old lived at.

When police arrived, the 15-year-old claims he ran upstairs, and officers used a taser on the 17-year-old.

When police brought the 15-year-old downstairs, and then outside he claims he asked where his friend was.  The 17-year-old later died.

Martinsville Police have a news conference set for 4:00 p.m.

10 On Your Side will cover it, and bring you updates.

http://www.wsls.com/sls/news/local/southside/article/teenager_dies_following_martinsville_police_taser_incident/24494/#fragment-2


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
~Aldous Huxley

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - ~Friedrich Nietzsche