Police are too 'gung-ho' says human rights lawyer

Drive 24/05/2018

A police officer who tasered a man and caused him to fall face-first on the concrete was not justified in doing so, the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has found.

The man had been seen speeding on his motorbike and tried to run away from the arresting officer.

Human rights lawyer Michael Bott told Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen on Drive there are probably deeper issues behind this.

“This is one of a series of incidents in recent years where individual officers have used tasers in way which is inappropriate and it doesn’t comply with the guidelines,” he said.

Two other officers who reviewed the incident said they didn’t find that the officer had breached policy.

Police policy requires an officer can only use a taser on someone being "assaultive... showing an intent to cause harm, expressed verbally or through body language or physical action".

"Although Officer A felt vulnerable, Mr X's behaviour was not assaultive," IPCA chair Judge Colin Doherty says.

"Mr X was not presenting an immediate threat. Officer A had other options available to him."

Police have acknowledged the IPCA's findings, and say the officer was forced to make a "split second" decision.

Listen to the full interview with Michael Bott above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.