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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Immigrant dies following police Taser shooting in France

November 30, 2010

November 30, 2010: Mohamadau Marega, 38, Paris, France

A Malian immigrant died Tuesday after French police shot him twice with a Taser stun gun during a clash in the Paris suburb of Colombes, a police spokesperson told the AFP wire service.

"During his arrest, a Taser was used twice. Following the intervention, the person died of a cause that remains to be determined," the spokesperson said.

The incident occurred just after midnight Monday when police were called to a disturbance involving the 38-year-old Malian, who was allegedly staying in France illegally, and a friend with whom he was staying.

When officers attempted to check his identity papers the man "flipped out" and seized a hammer, injuring four of the eight police who pursued him through the apartment block, a police source said.

The director of Taser's French subsidiary, Antoine di Zazzo, told AFP: "Only this man's autopsy will be able to say whether our pistol is responsible for his death. To date, worldwide, a Taser has never killed anyone."

Although Taser has thus far been successful in defending the safety of its weapon in court cases around the world, authorities in Canada and Australia are still investigating whether it was to blame in some deaths.

Human rights groups and left-wingers have criticised its use by French police.

Local prosecutors have ordered an inquiry to determine the cause of the man’s death.

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