Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dutch police shoot a taser for the very first time

As the use of tasers by Burlington police has increased, the first 'target' for police in The Netherlands was a 'suicidal' man:

The man, aged 30, stood on a balcony, pressing a number of knives against his throat. Despite talking to the man for hours, the police was unable to resolve the situation, which led them to resort to the taser gun. Subsequently, the man was brought into safety.

The use of the taser gun is subject to criticism in other countries. In the US a number of detainees died after receiving a shock from the weapon. An American study found in 1999 that shocks even weaker than those administered by the taser can induce cardiac arrests in people with a heart condition.

Police in Woerden, however, say the 30-year-old has not suffered any lasting damage from the arrest. The use of taser guns in the Netherlands is experimental, and limited to seven special arrest teams and the military police. The one-year test period is expected to end in May 2010.

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