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Police should zap Taser proposal

8 August 2005

Police should zap Taser proposal

The New Zealand Police shouldn't have anything to do with the Taser stun gun, Green Police Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

Police have confirmed that that are trialing the 50,000-volt gun, used to disable suspected offenders. Earlier today Amnesty joined calls for New Zealand to reject the device.

"The Taser is a lethal weapon that has killed many people in the United States," Mr Locke says.

"While the Police may view the publicity around the use of a Taser in Britain last week to capture one of the London bombing suspects as an opportunity to push for its introduction here, they should also pay heed to other media reports in the last week.

"The Houston Chronicle reported on Friday that the manufacturer has admitted that the use of Tasers on people in excited states can contribute to 'significant and potentially fatal health risks'.

"Then in today's San Jose Mercury News, it is reported that three people in Northern California have died in the last week after being stunned by a Taser.

"Amnesty International has documented many Taser-related deaths in the United States and Canada, and last week

"There is no way police using the Taser can adequately assess the risk, such as whether the person they are zapping has a dodgy heart. There is simply no good reason to have the Taser that outweighs the known risk of killing the alleged offender."

ENDS

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