Whats the difference between a NSW cop and a gangster? Nothing.............
'Help me': witness tells of last words of Taser victim
The last words of a man who died after being Tasered by police were
"help me", as he was shot with the stun gun up to four times, tackled to
the ground and kicked by an officer in central Sydney, a witness says.
CCTV footage shows six police officers chasing the man in
Pitt Street, and one of the officers can be seen pointing the Taser at
the man.The witness, who asked not to be named, was getting out of a taxi
with a friend about 5.30am on Sunday when the incident happened.
The witness described seeing police chasing the man
across the road towards a coffee shop about halfway along the block
between Bathurst Street and Liverpool Street.
"The man was topless and he was running as well as he could.
"His pants were falling down. I thought he was just drunk ... and the police were trying to catch him."
The witness said police tackled the man against a wall outside Coffee Pitt cafe.
"He was struggling and everything. There was was a lot of physical involvement from the police.
"He was on the ground already and they were holding him down.
"He was screaming and there was a lot of sound from the Taser.
"At one point I heard him scream out 'help me' and he kept screaming and was trying to fight back
"That's the point when the screaming stopped.
"When I left, there was a point that he stopped screaming and I thought he fainted.
"I didn't think the man would die."
The witness said there were about three or four Taser "zaps" heard during the struggle.
"I think I saw a female police [officer] kick him, all the male police were on the ground.
"She was in the last of the chase and she came in and gave him a kick and police were holding him down."
The man was empty-handed and clearly unarmed, the witness said.
The witness has spoken to police.
Police said they were responding to reports of a robbery
at City Convenience Store on King Street, when they tried to arrest the
When he resisted arrest, officers used capsicum spray and the Taser, police said.
But acting Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton yesterday
told a news conference police could not be sure if the man was involved
in the robbery or not.
"It's unclear as to the involvement of this man or the extent of that actual incident," he said.
"Whether it is a robbery or not is unclear at this time.
The report of a robbery is ongoing and I cannot … even confirm that it
was an actual robbery."
A staff member at the convenience store on King Street
said today that a colleague told him a man had tried to enter the shop
twice yesterday about 5am.
The staff member, who asked not to be named, said the man
walked into the enclosed cashier area and was chased away, but returned
10 minutes later.
He leapt over the half-door of the enclosed area and was pushed out and back on to the street.
The staff member added that his colleague told him the man had been frothing at the mouth and appeared to be on drugs.
Today Acting Commissioner Alan Clarke could not say how
many times Tasers were fired or how many officers deployed their weapons
during the incident.
All those details will be dealt with in due course, he told ABC Radio today.
"It's a complex investigation.
"There are a number of avenues we need to look at."
The death has sparked renewed criticism about the use of the electroshock weapon.
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has called for an immediate moratorium.
But Mr Clarke said people should not jump to conclusions.
"I think it is very presumptuous for anyone to determine
the cause of death is a Taser simply because it's occurred in an
incident where a Taser has been utilised," he said.
He said there were "very strict" guidelines surrounding the use of Tasers and that they were not used often.
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