Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why the police shouldn't be allowed tasers

Because of incidents like this:

The Crown alleges Parsons, who has a 25-year police service record, pepper-sprayed Mr Falwasser in the face two or three times after the latter refused to be fingerprinted or photographed.

Busby then allegedly struck Mr Falwasser from behind on the hand and wrist with separate blows as he put his hands up to protect his face.

As Mr Falwasser made movements towards the door, Busby allegedly struck him on the head, causing bleeding.

Mr Pilditch said that over the next 10 minutes Mr Falwasser remained in the cell, which was shrouded in pepper spray, making it "intolerable for police officers".

Later, Laing and Mills continued to pepper-spray Mr Falwasser's cell as he remained there, squirting the spray through vents over a 10- to 15-minute period.

And that's just with batons and pepper spray; just imagine what this pack of sadists would have done if armed with electric torture devices.

The officers involved are currently being prosecuted for assault. That's putting it mildly. Pepper spray causes unbearable pain to the eyes. Locking someone in a confined space and then filling it with pepper spray for 10-15 minutes at minimum constitutes cruel and degrading treatment, and may meet the threshold for torture (severe physical or mental pain and suffering inflicted to obtain information or as punishment or coercion) under New Zealand and international law. Yes, worse things happen in shitty third world dictatorships, but that's no excuse to refuse to call the crime by its name or turn a blind eye to it in New Zealand.