Adam Bennett in the NZ Herald reports:
Fears police would use Tasers disportionately on Maori and Pacific Islanders have been realised, say the Mana Party and the Greens as police numbers show almost 60 per cent of people tasered in the past year were of those ethnicities.
But police and their minister, Judith Collins, say the figures merely reflect the “sad fact” that Maori are over-represented in crime statistics.
Yet Keith Locke says:
“Certainly they’re being fired disproportionately at Maori. The reasons for that are something we should look into.”
What Keith should be asking, is how many Maori lives were saved by the Police being able to use a taser to disarm an armed offender, without shooting them?
Both Ms Sykes and Mr Locke pointed to the fact that Tasers had been drawn and pointed at people 499 times during the past year and fired 88 times. That, they said, suggested police were using them as “instruments of control” rather than as a last resort to be used to protect the lives of police and the public.
So now they are complaining the tasers are not being fired enough. You can’t win. Surely it is a win-win when the threat of a taser works.