Taser death sparks widespread outrages in Australia

13:42, October 09, 2010      

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Pressure has been mounting on the Australian Department of Corrective Services throughout the week, when an Australian man on Monday died after being shot in the chest by officers responding to a domestic dispute in Sydney.

Local media on Saturday responded to the incident saying that: "more will die unless Taser use is restricted".

Sydney Morning Herald reported that this week's death in Sydney was at least the third recorded Taser death in Australia. Two men also died last year, one after being tasered up to 28 times by police in Townsville.

"Police use of Tasers is not only a problem when it results in death. These stun guns deliver approximately 50,000 volts of electricity into a person, inflicting excruciating pain," the paper wrote.

"Their misuse can amount to torture, as well as lead to serious injury."

However, New South Wales (NSW) police defended their actions saying the man was affected by alcohol and armed with two knives.

"In a split second the officers made a decision, which I believe may have saved their lives," NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told The Australian newspaper.

Furthermore, the death came less than 24 hours after a video emerged of a mentally disturbed man being tasered 13 times by officers in Western Australia (WA).

The WA Corruption and Crime Commission has released video footage of a 2008 incident at the East Perth Watch House where a man was surrounded by nine police officers and tasered 13 times.

It has also been revealed that a week later he was subjected to similar treatment by corrective service officers who tasered him 11 times as they tried to get him out of his cell at the East Perth Lockup.

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