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Killing shows dangers of adopting Tasers

16 November 2007
Taser killing shows dangers of adopting this weapon in NZ

Green Party MP Keith Locke says the killing with a Taser of a Polish
immigrant at Vancouver airport shows the risks of equipping Police with
a weapon that has such lethal capacity.

"The chilling reality is that New Zealand citizens will also be killed
if this weapon is made readily available to the Police, once the
evaluation of the recent test is released. Robert Dziekanski, the 40
year old Polish migrant construction worker in Vancouver was unable to
speak English and became agitated - he was then semi-surrounded by four
Mounties, was Tasered fell to the floor in convulsions, and died at the
scene," Mr Locke says.

"The danger is that Tasering could easily become a common response here
by Police faced with pacifying members of the public who become agitated
and disoriented. It has even be used by police in the US as a way of
punishing political activists, as we saw with the Tasering of a heckler
at a John Kerry speech earlier this year.

"`Arouind 300 people have now died overseas following this weapon being
used. We should not have to wait for a similar death in New Zealand
before it is recognized that this weapon is an unnecessary and dangerous
addition to the Police armoury," Mr Locke says.


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