INDEPENDENT NEWS

Inquiry into excessive use of pepper spray call

Published: Wed 25 Jul 2001 09:43 PM
25 July 2001
Greens call for inquiry into excessive use of pepper spray
The Green Party Police Spokesperson Keith Locke today accused police of inappropriate use of pepper spray and asked for a government inquiry into the excessive use of this chemical agent.
Police Minister George Hawkins was challenged in the House today by Mr Locke over the deaths of two people who died after being pepper sprayed by the New Zealand Police.
In an answer to Mr Locke's question, the Minister of Police admitted that pepper spray has been used 4,420 times since its introduction in 1998.
"These figures show not only extremely high use of this controversial weapon, but also a significant increase: it was used 1,994 times in the first 23 months, and 2,476 times in the next 19 months.
"It seems that the police do not even respect their own guidelines for the use of pepper spray. The guidelines say that police members may only use pepper spray to 'arrest an offender if they believe on reasonable grounds that the offender poses a threat of physical injury, and arrest cannot be affected less forcefully'.
"The Hamilton case illustrates the problem whereby three police officers, used pepper spray to arrest a single, unarmed, mentally and physically disabled man," said Mr Locke.
The disabled man died after falling into a coma shortly after being pepper-sprayed by police. There is considerable dispute about the safety of pepper spray. It is reported that 70 people mainly in the US have died after been pepper-sprayed.
"The Green Party is calling on the Government to initiate an inquiry into the detrimental health effects of pepper spray and its use by the police," he said.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on the school climate strike
By: Gordon Campbell
Latest OIA statistics released
By: State Services Commission
New legal action taken against 'Hit and Run' inquiry
By: RNZ
Mokihinui River catchment land to be added to Kahurangi
By: New Zealand Government
An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa
By: SchoolStrike
We're striking and we're doing it right!
By: School strike 4 climate
Wairarapa college students will join international protest
By: Carys Gibbs
Christchurch students to join global Climate Strike
By: SchoolStrike
Climate change protest on school day divides MPs
By: RNZ
Principals seek guidance over students climate strike
By: RNZ
The Nation: National Party leader Simon Bridges
By: The Nation
Student climate change strike gets backing from Gov Minister
By: TVNZ
Gradual transition to sustainable agriculture key - O'Connor
By: BusinessDesk
Renewable power climbs in 2018 despite increased coal burn
By: BusinessDesk
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media