Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Amnesty fails to cut ice with Taser supporter

Letters to the editor should be sent to: 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB. E-mail: writeback@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

The response given by Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International (Write Back, October 6) to my earlier letter simply does not cut any ice with me and failed to address the issues that I, quite reasonably, raised.

Misquoting parts of my letter, twisting the terminology I used and failing to answer the questions I asked, is, as far as I'm concerned, a distortion of the reality of the situation.

The issues are quite straightforward and require a straightforward response from the likes of Amnesty.

Mr Corrigan states that there are human rights and equality issues surrounding the use of Tasers by the PSNI.

What possible human rights issues are there when every police service in the UK and Ireland has deployed Tasers?

Surely all those police services have already done the homework in terms of human rights?

Further, I fail to see what equality issues there are.

A criminal is a criminal is a criminal.

Religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin and the rest of the equality categories have nothing to do with it.

Is Mr Corrigan suggesting that the PSNI's operational policy covering the use of the Taser should state 'Think twice before use against those in our community who are gay or married with children'?

It is, quite frankly, the biggest load of bleeding heart, liberal tosh I have read in recent times.

When Mr Corrigan goes on to state "if the Taser is a such non-lethal alternative to lead bullets, why have 150 died in America after being Tasered?" he misses the point entirely.

I asked Amnesty International out of how many uses of the Taser did those deaths occur? If it is out of 150,000 uses, then those odds are ok with me.

Suspected criminals have died after being hit by a police baton or after being subdued in a cell.

People will die from time to time when any type of physical force is used and Tasers will be no exception to this.

If the use of force is proportional, then that, too, is ok with me.

So, maybe Mr Corrigan can gave us the total number of times that Tasers have been used from which the 150 have died to allow the public to make its own mind up about the level of risk.

I fully support the Chief Constable's stand on this issue.

The sooner Tasers are deployed the better.

I would also suggest that instead of interfering in what should really be a settled issue in Northern Ireland that Amnesty International directs its attention at countries such as Zimbabwe, Iran and Burma where real human rights abuses are daily taking place.



Tangled Web, Ballyclare

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