Taser use

Rob Kidd at SST reports:

A disproportionate number of people with mental health issues are being stung by , figures show.

Since the nationwide rollout of Tasers in March 2010, they have been drawn by police officers 1320 times and discharged 212 times.

The battery-powered stun guns fire electric barbs, which penetrate a person’s skin and deliver a shock of up to 50,000 volts.

Numbers released under the Official Information Act show nearly a third of those hit were considered by police to have mental health issues.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements said they had always feared those with mental health problems would be a target for officers using Tasers and the figures confirmed that.

They are not a *target*. Police do not go around the streets looking for people with mental health problems to taser.

You generally get tasered if you have a weapon of some kind, and are refusing to put it down. It is not surprising that a reasonable proportion of those tasered have mental health problems, as most people will drop a weapon if a police officer points a taser at you and tells you to drop your weapon.

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