A young Brazilian university student runs disorientated down a busy Sydney street, visibly distressed. He darts into a nearby convenience store, steals a packet of biscuits and rushes back out. A bystander witnesses his erratic behaviour and calls police.
Shortly after, Roberto Laudisio Curti is chased by police, thrashing his arms around as he tries to escape. The officers catch up and he is pushed to the ground and handcuffed, held down with the help of up to 11 officers, capsicum sprayed and tasered repeatedly as he lies in agony on the ground. By the time an ambulance arrives, Roberto is dead.
A 14-year-old boy, recently released from a rehab clinic, gets into a violent confrontation at a party on the New South Wales mid-north coast. police are called and the boy flees. Shortly after, he is captured by police hiding in a caravan park. After struggling with police, he was pepper sprayed and then Tasered. In the video of the incident, the boy is seen huddled over as Taser volts run through his body. He screams and cries in agony.
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The verdict was scathing. We knew it would be.
The NSW State Coroner, Mary Jerram, handed down her report this morning into the death of Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti, 21, who was Tasered by police nine times on March 18 before he died.
In her sights: The dumb behaviour of the police involved in the incident.
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Once again a crazed killer has been thrust into the spotlight, and done the only thing that crazed killers seem to be able to achieve: spark a mass debate around the world concerning the US and their gun laws, which, should be noted, is a debate that will inevitably go nowhere.
Why, we lament, are Americans such idiots and why don’t they ban something that is so incredibly dangerous to their society? Because, they are living in a society where it is perceived as their God-damn-given right to own one if they want to, that’s why.
But surely they can see the damage that it does, right? Well, yes, most of them can see it, but that doesn’t take away the right to have one if they want.
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Images and video footage of Hillary Clinton greeting Phongsavath Souliylath in a rehabilitation centre in Laos this week have been splashed across papers, shared, liked, and commented upon by Lao people, aid workers, and international campaigners.
Phongsavath lost both hands and his eyesight when his friend passed him a “funny-looking object” that he found by the roadside as the boys walked to school. The unexploded bomb, a remnant of the Vietnam War, exploded in Phongsavath’s hands. It was his 16th birthday.
Reports of Phongsavath’s meeting with the US Secretary of State are being heralded as a monumental step forward for the tiny land-locked country and its people, and have elicited quite emotional reactions from people who have lived and worked in Laos.
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In one of the world’s most impressive displays of bristling military might, the UK armed forces are creating a £600 million Olympic ‘ring of steel’ that includes installing surface-to-air missiles on apartment building rooves.
There’ll be an aircraft carrier with 800 Royal Marines, Navy ships, RAF helicopters, private security, and 13,500 service men and women – more than are deployed in Afghanistan, according to the Daily Mail.
The Thames will be filled with laser-equipped sharks. Graeme Garden will be in charge of intelligence. The Ministry of Funny Walks will train a handpicked squad of bobbies. Dad’s Army will be brought out of retirement to shepherd small children across the road.
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Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit, a regular column that looks at deceit and disingenuousness, spin and fabrication. Now, let’s talk about Tasers.
The latest news on Roberto Laudisio, who died after police tasered him in the back because the unarmed young man was running away and suspected of stealing a packet of bikkies, is that he’d been “partying” and may have been exhibiting signs of paranoia.
Police and Taser spin merchants want to blame ‘excited delirium’ for Taser-related deaths.
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There has been a lot of bad press about police use of Tasers (or electronic control devices) by police. The recent death of Roberto Laudisio has brought it back to the headlines and numerous pieces have been written about it.
As a serving police officer I feel it is necessary to clear up a lot of what has been written as they are factually incorrect. I won’t go into this incident in any depth as it is under investigation, but the purpose of this article is to help clear up a lot of misconceptions about the use of the X-26.
Firstly: The Taser was introduced as a replacement for police using their firearms: This is incorrect.
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The latest death from a police Taser in Sydney shows the need for the whole community to start asking some tough questions about the ever-expanding use of these weapons by police forces across Australia.
Tasers have been presented by law enforcement agencies and their Police Ministers as “non-lethal” alternatives to firearms. However the figures on Taser use in NSW and across the world show that they are often lethal, and do not displace firearms use.
Back in 2008 when the NSW government made the decision to trial Tasers, the public was told they would reduce the use of firearms.
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If there’s one thing complete strangers on the Internet have taught me, it’s that it’s cool to hate on hipsters. At least that’s what some hipster on Twitter told me.
The problem is, they’re becoming increasingly hard to pick out. Your mother, best friend, or favourite pet could be a hipster and you wouldn’t even know it.
Through clever use of poor fashion choices and general laziness, they’ve reached such an advanced level of irony that they are, in fact, indistinguishable from the rest of us. The best course of action, in these dark and uncertain times, is to simply treat everyone with suspicion.
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It’s hard to wipe your bum if you have no hands. It’s hard to win at marbles when you only have one eye. And it’s pretty hard to work as a farmer when you have no legs.
Seems pretty wacky, but this is the reality of living in a country beset with bombs dropped by our coalition partners over thirty years ago.
I’ve just returned from working in Laos with UNICEF and was shocked to learn of the ongoing problems Australia has played a part in creating. I was even more shocked to think that Australia wants to continue to be involved in such a brutal manner of war.
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It’s advisable to never get in the way of a woman’s love for fashion and accessories. But now it seems, in the US, you could pay the price by getting your head blown off.
With an 83 per cent increase in women buying firearms in the States, a need to add sparkle, glamour and a supposed feminine touch to a deadly weapon has also arisen. Handguns donning a pink mother-of-pearl grip, Swarovski crystals or Hello Kitty designs are providing colourful options for the gun-toting fashionista.
While a Mail article is quick to blame celebrities such as Rihanna for glamorising guns with her neck tattoo, and heck - while we’re at it - let’s blame Paris Hilton for originally jazzing up a perfectly fine mobile phone to resemble a disco ball. But this latest trend actually exemplifies the core at the gun problem in the States – weapons intended to kill have become accessories.
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