What will it be Grey Lynn - the tear-gas or the taser?
Auckland raids net weapons, not fugitive
Police have arrested a man and seized firearms and a Taser following tear-gas raids on two Auckland homes this morning, but failed to find the fugitive they were seeking.
Police raided a house in Castle Street, Grey Lynn, and an address in Mt Roskill, looking for 32-year-old Daniel Vae, a patched gang member who is wanted on three arrest warrants.
A large Samoan man, they say he is unpredictable because of his P habit.
"Vae is considered dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public," police say.
A 29-year-old man was arrested during the raid on the Grey Lynn home. He has been bailed by Police and will appear in the Auckland District Court next week charged with possession of cannabis for supply.
Vae was not located at either of the properties but seven relatives, including three children and three women, were present at the Grey Lynn house.
Police ordered the seven out immediately and fired tear-gas rounds into the home.
How did it feel Grey Lynn? Watching our tear-gas first, ask questions later Police in action must be as bitter as that tear-gas backwash. It was interesting seeing the opinion piece in the Herald re Taser use and the criticisms of them and our Police force generally who are becoming more and more like the trigger happy SWAT teams of America rather than an example of Policing in a democracy in the year 2010...
Dr Bruce Cohen: It's police actions that count, not weapon choice
Dr Bruce Cohen at the Department of Sociology, University of Auckland, suggests that Tasers might work - as long as they're not used.
There may yet be evidence that Tasers work. A recent report from the Vancouver police explained that "subjects appear to comply more often when they are confronted or challenged with a Taser", rather than when the Taser is actually discharged.
Criminologists call this "the Velcro effect": police merely have to unfasten the weapon to achieve compliance.
If the Taser is actually discharged the problems begin, or - as in the case of the two recent police incidences with armed offenders in West Auckland and Christchurch - nothing happens.
Despite reassurances from New Zealand police chiefs that the Taser continues to be safe and effective, I would argue that this is a limited and naive view of a weapon that not only misfires but can cause injury and sometimes death.
The use of Tasers should be of serious concern not only to officers in the field but to all of us.