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Minister Refuses to meet Campaign Against Taser

Campaign Against the Taser
P.O. Box 10230
Dominion Road
Auckland
www.campaignagainstthetaser.com

5 July 2006

Media Release:

Minister of Police Refuses to meet Campaign Against The Taser.com delegation

Police Minister accused of “head in the sand” attitude

Campaign Against The Taser.com is deeply concerned at the refusal of Police Minister Annette King to meet with a delegation to discuss widespread community alarm at police plans to introduce the taser stun gun into New Zealand policing from September.

“The Minister is showing a “head in the sand” attitude,” says Campaign Against The Taser.com spokesperson Marie Dyhrberg, barrister.

“The decision to arm the police with weapons now found to be lethal (more than 180 people have died from tasering in the US and Canada over recent years) has been made with no community debate or discussion. The Minister is reinforcing this appalling practice by herself refusing to discuss the issue. This is unacceptable.”

Campaign Against The Taser.com received a blunt message from the Minister’s office yesterday to say that the Minister “is not able to meet with you on this issue”.

Meanwhile concern about the lethal effects of tasers is mounting around the world with reports from Amnesty International and civil rights groups pointing to the lethal danger of tasers as well as the blatant misinformation and “doctored spin” from the Taser Corporation which has been used to sell the devices to police in New Zealand.

Even in the US home of the taser, the United States Federal Justice Department is beginning a review of taser deaths after widespread community criticism at their use. But while the US is reviewing taser killings, our Minister of Police is in denial mode, ignoring the alarm and hoping the issue will go away. It won’t.

Campaign Against The Taser.com is writing to the Minister urging her to reconsider her decision.

ENDS

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