Friday 16 November 2007

Another taser death

Just two months after a US student was violently tasered, this time a Polish immigrant collapsed and died, following the Canadian police zapping a million volts to supress him.

A review has been ordered into the use of tasers after graphic video footage emerged showing the police using the stun guns to shoot an unarmed confused and non-English speaker...

The video was broadcast on Canadian and US tv and on YouTube. It showed Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant shrieking in agony after he was hit by 50,000-volts at Vancouver Airport.

Again the internet rules, and openly uncovers what private or government investigation will often hide. The video was captured by a bystander. By the time a team of four police officers arrives, he has calmed down and is standing still, but then the Police fired two taser shots.

New Zealand has also undertaken trials and both major parties are in favour of their use. The National opposition leader John Key said tasers have been shown to be an effective tool for deterring offenders who would have gone on to harm the public, and for allowing police officers to do their jobs safely. "Those are goals that we enthusiastically sign up to. I'm pleased to announce that National will introduce tasers, subject to a positive evaluation of the trial," he said.

NSW Police have trialled taser stun-guns that deliver a 55,000-volt electric shock and lasts for up to five seconds. They have a range of 6.5 metres.

Peter Gillam, Chief Superintendent, said the tasers will be used only when there was the “highest level of disobedience”. “It may be an opportunity in these sorts of events to isolate ringleaders [who] need to be removed from the situation”.

A CBS News report counted more than 40 deaths related to the use of tasers in the US.

Cardiologist Arch Broughton, at the Alfred Hospital in Victoria, found that tasers could cause injury by the electrical barbs disrupting heart pacemakers. Risks also include fractures or head injuries caused by victims suddenly collapsing.

Let's make no mistake. these are a violent and dramatic way that avoids any form of verbal negotiation, that could have facilitated a non-fatal outcome in Canada recently. These are tools of a power-mad, military-style police force out of control and a frightening way governments are starting to cease any public disorder or question to it's power.

Here's the Amnesty International Report on tasers, and also the Campaign Against The Taser.


Anonymous said...

I agree. It's dictatorial.

Anonymous said...

Those who promote this exotic technology should demonstrate its safety on themselves - and their own families.

I suggest an annual festival – held on the Cairns Esplanade - where tourists and members of the public can zap the optimists for amusement.

A 'Festival of Tasers', attracting visitors from afar, would help restore public confidence in this entertaining new sport and the politicians who advocate it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I don't understand all the lefty aplomb at this technology.

"Shocking" crims who won't comply with the police doesn't bother me in the least. Sure, a few will die but more will die if the cops pull their Glocks.

Sure, 40 have died but really, who cares? Here we have a crazed lunatic in an airport throwing chairs, computers, and other equipment at anyone and everyone, putting innocent lives in danger. He shouldn't be traveling anyway if he had a bad ticker, who knows a bad airline meal could have got him.

Anonymous said...

Be a bit of a bugger 'Clear out the Crims with technology' if the cops got you by mistake and zapped 10 000 volts into you. They have already stuffed up on a number of cases using capsicum spray.

"OOPS Sorry about the heart attack man.... wrong dude.." Collateral damage?