Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today's TASER Travesty

Who should we believe - the Queensland, Australia police who swear up and down that they only TASED a suspect (who died during the struggle to arrest him) three times, or the weapon itself, which self-reported that it was discharged 28 times during the altercation?

Don't bother asking the local police union, as they've already picked which story they're going with, despite the investigation being nowhere near completed:

"Further testing is being done but the police union is standing by the officer who fired the weapon."


Ditto for the police brass, who certainly aren't breaking any records in getting details about the incident out to the public:

"Deputy Commissioner Stewart would not comment on whether Mr Galeano was handcuffed when he was tasered."

Which pretty much makes us think we already know the answer to that particular question.

Acting union president Ian Leavers has seemingly come up with a neat solution to prevent such conundrums in the future:

"Mr Leavers has called on the State Government to immediately free up funds to install camera attachments on all Tasers."

Why bother? You're only going to do everything possible to get that kind of data summarily discounted or ignored as well once it inconveniently looks like the footage is going to show misconduct on the part of your officers, much like the TASER discharge report is apparently doing in this case.

Technology isn't a one-way street. The same evidence that's used in court to convict people of crimes must also be accepted as proof of police wrongdoing when warranted, and not just summarily (and conveniently) thrown out as "glitches".

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