Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cops a-Zappin' the whole world round.

"[It was] the most horrendous experience [of my life]. At one point I just pretended like I was dead because I thought ... then they would stop." - Patricia Skelly, who has a mental illness, was tasered between nine and 15 times while in custody in jail and later in hospital.

The fact that police have been using tasers with little scrutiny in the USofA may come as little suprise to many of us, though the normal Australian reaction of "Heh; America is so fucked.", doesn't seem quite as comforting now that Aussie plod are carrying the electric weapons.

Between September 1999 and October 2008 at least 378 people have died after being stunned by police, and that's in North American alone, according to a list compiled by Truth Not Tasers. Despite the alarming statistics, Top Dog Scipione pushed hard to grow the ever expanding police powers to include the devices, that the United Nations has deemed a form of torture, into the Arsenal of NSW Cops.

Scipione is quoted as saying "There are people out there who are generally not very pleasant when it comes to having to intervene as a police officer - they're in the business of committing crimes, or they've lost control of their senses, be they heavily under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and police have to subdue them, we have to take them into custody,"

So perhaps Australia's mentally ill will face a similar experience that Patricia Skelly did. If not the mentally ill, scipione certainly seems interested in the use of electroshock weapons on drug effected people - a group that many say are most at risk when it comes to the use of tasers.

However; in the unlikely event that these tasers are withdrawn, police needn't worry about waste. Welsh police have shown recently that you don't even need a person to target when using a taser! "POLICE zapped a runaway sheep that was blocking traffic with a Taser stun gun, a weapon issued for use in violent situations." reports LimitedNews.