Amnesty concerned over Tasers after death in Cumbria

By agency reporter
August 18, 2011

Amnesty International has reiterated its concern at the wider deployment of Tasers after a man living in Barrow, Cumbria died after being struck by the weapon.

The respected human rights NGO's spokesperson Eulette Ewart said: “While we’re not able to comment on the details of this specific tragic incident, Amnesty International has long been concerned at the wider deployment of the Taser across UK police forces.

“Tasers are potentially lethal and therefore should only be used in a limited set of instances where there is a very real threat of loss of life.

“Only officers who receive the highest standard of training on how and when to use Tasers should be armed with these weapons and there must be a high level of accountability whenever Tasers are used.”

Last month an 82-year-old man was hospitalised after being Tasered in west London by a Metropolitan Police officer. The man was reported to have been arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage to a motor vehicle.

Police in the United States have carried Tasers for several years. Since 2001, Amnesty International has recorded the deaths of more than 450 people in the United States after they were struck by a Taser.

In many instances, most of the deceased were unarmed and did not appear to present a serious threat when they were shocked, in some cases several times.


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