When tasers were introduced, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before they killed someone. And now, they have:
Police tasered, pepper-sprayed and set dogs on a 53-year-old man who died in Napier in the early hours of this morning while being arrested.
The man, from out of town, visited his parents at their Hastings home last night where he attacked his father, police say.
Acting Eastern District Commander Superintendent Mike Johnson said his father is in Hawke's Bay Hospital recovering.
The man had left the property in a car and he was located by police in the car in a carpark at Westshore Beach in Napier.
The man did not respond to several voice appeals, and police gained entry to the vehicle after smashing two windows. The man resisted attempts to get him out of the car and police deployed a number of tactical options.
Once the man was removed from the vehicle he struggled with police who were attempting to place him under arrest.
At this point the man became ill and Police staff administered first aid and tried to resuscitate him. Ambulance staff arrived and continued resuscitation attempts, but he died a short while later.
But its not just tasers. This sorry incident is also a perfect example of what is wrong with our police, and how their aggression escalates problems. Faced with a criminal suspect sitting in a car who wasn't going anywhere, they didn't disable the car or park it in and just wait it out. Instead, they smashed the windows and tried to remove him by force. From the news report - which echoes the police statement, so if its wrong the police have no-one but themselves to blame - there was absolutely no need for this. But I guess de-escalating the situation and waiting it out so they could make a safe arrest would have made them look "weak", so instead they upped the ante. And now a man is dead as a result. Heckuva job, guys! Now that's a better work story!
This man is dead because of the police's ego. They need to be held accountable for that. But more importantly, they need to change the way they're doing things, and turf the sorts of aggressive fuckwits who think escalating a situation is a good idea out of the police force, so this never happens again.