Taser Gun Use Criticized in Australia

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Australian police defend the use of Tasers, following the death of a man in Sydney. However the release of security video from 2008 showing a man being tasered 13 times in quick succession has highlighted the dangers of its use.

A human rights report and graphic security camera video released on Monday show an Aboriginal male being Tasered at close range in 2008 after refusing a strip search.

On Tuesday, Western Australia's premier expressed regret over the excessive Taser use.

[Colin Barnett, Premier, West Australia]:
"It was excessive use of Taser which could not be justified."

Earlier on Tuesday, a man armed with two knives in Sydney died after being Tasered by police.

New South Wales police commissioner Andrew Scipione defended his officers.

[Andrew Scipione, Police Commissioner, NSW]:
"One officer armed with a Taser was able to discharge the weapon at a close range to disable the offender. Had he not been successful, the consequences could have been tragic for one or the both of the officers involved."

The man died despite efforts by police and ambulance officers to resuscitate him.

Civil liberties groups are now demanding further investigation into the safety of the guns.

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