Tasers are best option in police kit
ABOUT 66% of respondents to our online poll believe that police were right to Taser a 19-year-old woman who was self-harming in Lismore.
Although we maintain that our polls are not scientific, that number surprised me in light of recent concerns over the use of Tasers by police.
I'm talking in particular about the "pack" tasering of Brazilian man Roberto Laudisio Curti in Sydney.
Mr Curti died after being chased down and tasered by police multiple times after stealing two packets of biscuits from a convenience store.
He had been suffering a "psychotic episode" after taking LSD.
In Lismore, six officers responded to a call to a home, where a young woman was reportedly cutting herself with a scalpel.
A NSW Police spokesperson said one of the officers used the Taser once on the woman in an effort to stop her from hurting herself or one of the police officers on the scene.
It seems like such a drastic step to taser a teenager in such an obviously distressed state.
Tasers are such a brutal weapon, but not as lethal as some others strapped to the police officers' belts.
Let's not forget the shocking shooting of French photographer Roni Levi on Bondi beach in 1997.
In light of the Coroner's findings in the Curti case, Tasers have, quite rightly, been put under the spotlight.
But I've yet to hear a coherent argument for an alternative non-lethal weapon other than the powers of persuasion, batons or capsicum spray.