The Mainly Fail strikes again.
Police in Sydney could face criminal charges after a shocking video was released that shows officers zapping an unarmed man 13 times with a Taser in a detention centre.
The video of an incident from 2008 was released to the public on Monday as part of a Western Australia Crime Commission report into the escalating use of Tasers.
Reading that the first time I initially thought the Fail believed that Sydney was in Western Australia, and the state that Sydney is actually in isn’t mentioned until quite near the end of the article where some readers will be goggling at that picture of Britain’s own Ned Kelly, Raoul Moult.* In fact it’s a merging of two stories in as many sentences: the 08 incident in East Perth that I blogged on Tuesday and one of two deaths in Sydney (thanks to adelaide girl in the comments the other day) in which tasers were involved and are now being investigated. It’s a bit of a leap to say they may face charges when both cases are so recent that we’re only getting news reports mentioning initial autopsy findings, if that.
Message to the Fail, innocent until proven guilty applies to cops and controversial items of equipment too. Capsicum spray was involved in at least one of the two Sydney incidents and in my mind there should be question marks over that as well. Not that it has much potential for abuse in the same way that the taser, with what I’m starting to think of as its cattle prod function, has but these various incapacitating sprays have been linked to a few deaths as well. Let’s just see where things go before talking about ‘could be facing charges’, a phrase more appropriate to the WA officers who have already been fined over the incident in which their prisoner was tasered 13 times. I’ll give the Fail points for at least squeezing that in.
After an internal police inquiry, two senior constables were fined $1,200 Australian dollars and AU$750 for using excessive force but prominent politicians and civil liberties groups are calling for further punishment.
Most significantly, Western Australia’s attorney-general, Christian Porter, has raised the possibility of criminal charges being brought against the officers involved.
I’d have given them more points for mentioning that the poor bastard got to ride current another 11 times a week later.
* Sarcasm intended.