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Ombudsman's investigation into the use of Taser must be exhaustive and transparent - Anderson

21 August, 2008 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA and Policing Board member Martina Anderson has said that the investigation by the Police Ombudsman into the use of a Taser by the PSNI in Derry at the weekend needs to be exhaustive and transparent.

Ms Anderson said,

"While mindful of the fraught situation surrounding a domestic incident in the city at the weekend I am nevertheless concerned at the use of a Taser on the man involved. This man was subsequently detained under the mental health act. Sinn Féin has consistently opposed the introduction of the Taser as it has not been properly tested and has too often resulted in death, most recently a young man in Canada. Its use has been opposed by human rights organisations including Amnesty International.

"I am also concerned that Derry appears to be the testing ground for new police weaponry. As with many previous additions to the police armoury in the North the first instance of use of the Taser has occurred in Derry.

"I am calling on the Police Ombudsman to ensure that his investigation into this incident is both exhaustive and transparent so that the people of Derry can make judgement on the rationale for the deployment of this lethal weapon in what has been described as a domestic situation."

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