Community activists in the Illawarra have again condemned the use of Taser guns and renewed calls for a ban on the controversial weapon. This calls comes just days after a man in Sydney's west died after being struck by a Taser in the chest by police. A video from 2008 has also emerged of an Aboriginal man with a mental illness being Tasered 13 times by police officers in West Australia.
Jess Moore, Socialist Alliance, said: "These weapons should be banned. First they were considered 'non lethal' and then 'less lethal'. Now the police are 'comfortable' with the circumstances surrounding a death by Taser. They've argued that Tasers help avoid violent situations. But how is killing a man avoiding a violent situation?
"The NSW government has consistently under-resourced our schools, hospitals and public transport system, and yet spent millions on this dangerous weapon. Even the NSW Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, has repeatedly questioned the use of Tasers. It's time the government got its priorities right and banned Tasers', she said.
Patrick Harrison, Wollongong Resistance organiser, said: "Tasers have been disproportionately used on the already marginalised. A really worrying aspect of a recent Ombudsman’s report is that Tasers in NSW have most commonly been used against people with mental health issues. This is absolutely unacceptable given the inadequate funding for mental health in this country.
"We continue to ask the question: how many people will have to die before Tasers are banned?", Harrison concluded.
For more information or interviews contact Jess Moore 0416 232 349 or Patrick Harrison 0414 942 007