Thursday, August 28, 2008
Some posts on Tasers
oh well, then lets have the police carrying sidearms permanently then! For f*cks-sake a taser is a much better option then a bullet.
- Gunshot to the torso
- Baton to the head
- Having your groin ravaged by a police attack dog
- Being tased.
Mates, I get what you are saying, you are trying to suggest that this is the best option in a bunch of bad options right? And that sure while the Taser isn't perfect it's better than being shot, batoned, pepper sprayed or dog set upon. What I'm saying is that point misses the much large issues at stake here.
1: The process was appalling, it wasn't as Amnesty International has pointed out, "rigorous, independent or impartial", you can't implement policy that has the potential to change the very nature of Policing that we have had in NZ since our formation as a country without the process being above total scrutiny? Why are you so keen to give Police more power without the proper over sight? Why is there such a rush to erode our civil liberties? Let's hold a rigorous and independent inquest into the issue before we agree to it.
2: Tasers have the ability to dramatically change the tactics police have to apply when negotiating a conflict situation, ill trained police who only do 19 weeks training are put on the street with something they believe is 'non-lethal' and you get a culture of over use of the taser and instead of negotiating with the public, they get a mentality too readily seen in cops overseas of an arrogant tone and presence of mind that demands immediate acceptance of their authority. That potent cocktail of superiority mixed with the lowered physical requirements to be a Police Officer these days has the potential of a fleet of Napoleon complex cops with a streak bordering on the cruel. I can foresee Tasers being used is Inappropriately as pepper spray has been, I can see people being tasered while in handcuffs, and that makes me feel ill.
3: The complaints process, why would we hand over more power to the Police when we have a complaints authority that is still 70% handled by other cops, so that it is still cops investigating cops – why not wait until the complaints process is 100% independent and completely transparent, why give the Police a weapon that is open to abuse by them when we don’t yet have a 100% transparent, uncensored and independent police complaints process?
I’m not against the Police having the equipment that makes their job safer and gives them the tools necessary to do their job, but I am against self interested processes that are focused on implementation rather than examination that can lead to predictable consequences in the way the Police can treat the Public when we don’t have an independent police complaints check and balance.