Police misuse of tasers

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November 24, 2016

ABC television's 7:30 screened mobile phone footage of the incident in 2015.

PIAC has successfully settled civil proceedings against NSW police and Juvenile Justice NSW on behalf of a young man who was tasered by NSW Police while handcuffed and lying face-down on the ground after falling on the stairs at Blacktown railway station.

The case, which began in 2013, has raised serious questions about how the police are using tasers.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and mobile phone footage, which was broadcast on ABC television’s 7:30 program, showed PIAC’s client lying motionless after his fall and being dragged down a flight of stairs by the police. He was then restrained by six officers and tasered several times.

The Police failed to seek medical attention and did not contact his mother to inform her that he was in custody.

The young man was charged with four offences following his arrest and found not guilty on all charges, except for the offence of failure to comply with a lawful direction, to which he pleaded guilty. The Magistrate found that the initial arrest was unlawful and therefore his continued detention by police also had no legal justification.

The incident was the subject of an investigation by the Police Integrity Commission and the Police’s North West Metropolitan Taser Review Committee. It follows a report by the NSW Ombudsman into the death of Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti, who died after being repeatedly tasered by the police. The report found that NSW Police must improve their training, policies and accountability in the use of tasers.

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