West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has described vision of an unarmed man being tasered 13 times as damaging for the reputation of the state’s police force.
Remember, these things can be fatal. The idea is for them to be used only as nonlethal alternatives for situations in which a firearm would’ve been necessary, but the reality is that police use them as easy compliance devices – you do what we say, or you suffer excruciating pain. (Unprincipled police use O/C spray the same way.)
But the question remains: what precisely is WA going to do to stop this happening in future? Will it work? Is there any jurisdiction in which police are equipped with tasers where they don’t use them in inappropriate situations? If not, why are we so determined to waste millions of taxpayers’ dollars on the things? (Particularly when we’re busy cutting funding to necessary services.)
UPDATE 5/10: Oh, and a pregnant woman was tased up to eight times in WA.
And then, hours after this post went up, police tased a man to death in Sydney this morning.
Meanwhile, police continue to trial tasers in regional Victoria…