July 21st, 2009

Lessons in Australia

Posted in The Job - General by 200

There are probably one or two lessons to be taken from the following incident & what lesson you take will depend on how you view police use of Tasers against potentially violent (or completely innocent, depending on your viewpoint) people.

Western Australia police  were called to an incident where a male with a history of violence was sniffing petrol. He was trying to avoid arrest & ran at the police officer with a container of petrol in one hand & a lighter in the other.

Fearing for their safety, the officer Tasered 36-year-old Ronald Mitchell, who promptly burst into flames. He suffered third degree burns to his face arms and chest. It was interesting to note that the police officer threw him to the ground & beat out the flames with his hands.

Interestingly, and something which happens in various countries around the world but rarely in the UK, the police commissioner for Western Australia has come straight out to say his officer was justified in the use of such force, reminding everyone that two years ago – prior to the issue of Taser – the officer would have had the choice of doing nothing or shooting the man.

Over here the chief would say fuck-all in defence of his officers & issue a press statement saying he had voluntarily  given details of the case to the IPCC.

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