Shock tactics threaten police authority: The use and misuse of tasers in Australia
The use of Taser stun guns by general duties police officers in Australia is not legitimate as they are often used in ways that can be classified as `excessive force' under existing police guidelines. Tasers have been distributed to police officers despite a lack of public discussion and debate about introducing the weapon into the armoury of general duties officers. There is empirical evidence that Tasers are proximate to many deaths and injuries and that the normalisation of Taser use will have the effect of lowering the threshold at which police resort to violence to resolve a confrontation. The use of Tasers is not legitimate because the use of the weapons will not conform to established limits on the use of force by police and will lead to a de facto lowering of the threshold for use of violent force. This may, in turn, have a detrimental effect on public consent to policing.