Asia-Pacific

Australian police taser video sparks anger

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Media captionThe unarmed man was tasered 13 times by police after he refused a strip search

There has been anger in Australia over a newly released video which shows an unarmed Aboriginal man being tasered 13 times by police officers.

The incident occurred in Perth in 2008, and has been released as part of a report on the use of taser guns by the Western Australian police.

The state's premier said the video had damaged the reputation of the force.

The state attorney general said the government would consider new guidelines on the use of the devices.

'Unjustified'

Closed circuit cameras recorded the moment two years ago when the Aboriginal man was surrounded by nine police officers in a Perth detention facility and then targeted by a taser gun for refusing to agree to a strip search.

The man, thought to be mentally ill, was hit by the stun gun 13 times.

The premier of the state, Colin Barnett, condemned the incident as an "unjustified use of excessive force", while the state's attorney general expressed surprise that no charges had been brought against the police officers shown in the film.

He also promised to look at toughening the guidelines for the use of taser stun guns and to make sure they are only used in dangerous and life-threatening situations.

Tasers were introduced to provide police officers with an alternative to handguns, but the report found that there is a growing tendency to use them for compliance and for those resisting arrest.

They have been described as the new weapon of choice for police.

In Sydney, a man alleged to have threatened police with two knives died after being stunned with a taser gun.

Police say they are "very comfortable" with the circumstances surrounding his death.

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