14 Jun 2009

Australian police to continue using tasers despite death

1:33 pm on 14 June 2009

The New South Wales State government has announced plans to provide funding for tasers to be given to all frontline officers.

New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties president Cameron Murphy says experience shows that police can use the weapons inappropriately.

He said people have been seriously injured and died from the inappropriate use of tasers.

Queensland taser death

Last week a Queensland man died after being tasered by police up to three times.

It is believed to be the first death in Queensland involving a Taser arrest.

Police Minister Neil Roberts says it is important not to jump to any conclusions about the death of the 39-year-old man.

Mr Roberts said Tasers save lives and it is not necessary to stop using them.

Police and ambulance officers received emergency calls about 2.40am local time on Friday stating that a naked man was acting aggressively and destroying property at a residence in Green Street at Brandon, near Townsville, police said.

A police spokeswoman said the man had allegedly assaulted another occupant of the home and had damaged property and sustained cuts to his arm.

The incident is being treated as a death in custody and a report is being prepared for the state coroner.

Queensland Police Union acting president Ian Leavers said the man was armed and had either been released or absconded from Townsville Hospital where he had been admitted for a mental health assessment.

He said he was confident the officers involved acted appropriately given the circumstances.