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Friday, November 21, 2008

Ombudsman's Taser report 'inaccurate'

November 21, 2008

The company that supplies Tasers to New South Wales Police has rejected a report that suggests the weapon may have caused a man's death.

NSW ombudsman Bruce Barbour released his report on Wednesday into the use of Tasers by officers between 2002 and 2007. The report made 29 recommendations about how police could improve the safety of the weapons. It also referred to a man who died 12 days after a Taser was repeatedly used on him, saying it was unclear what role the weapon played in his heart attack.

Taser Inc USA is the only supplier of Tasers in Australasia.

The company's local director, George Hateley, has hit back at the ombudsman's report, calling it "inaccurate" and "selective". He says while he supports most of the recommendations, he thinks Mr Barbour made unsubstantiated allegations about the risks of Tasers. "The report refers to a man who died 12 days after a Taser was used on him," he said.

Mr Hateley says to suggest the Taser played any role in the man's heart attack is to defy the logic of physics. He says it is impossible for the electrical impulses generated by a Taser to linger in the body.

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