4 Corners : Lethal Force

Lethal Force
Reporter: Quentin McDermott
Broadcast: 26/10/2009

Reporter Quentin McDermott takes a detailed look at four incidents, in different parts of Australia, where people suffering mental illness or psychological distress died after being shot or tasered by police. Using exclusive interviews he details how in certain cases the victims had sought help at a hospital and then, having left of their own free will, were later shot dead…

The episode will include an examination of the circumstances surrounding the police shooting of Tyler Cassidy, the 15-year-old Southern Cross Soldier, in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote in December, 2008. His death is still being investigated by the State Coroner.

The subject of tasers — and more general issues to do with the use of force (both lethal and non-lethal) by police — is also being canvassed by Melbourne Cop Watch:

Melbourne Copwatch resists all forms of unwarranted police intrusion into the lives and activities of everyday people. We call on the Government to fund community services, not police. We need housing, not jails.

Melbourne Copwatch works, in a practical way, to bring the eyes, cameras and compassion of ordinary people to the streets to defend the rights of people to be free from unwarranted police harassment and violence.

We do this by the simple act of witnessing.

The simple act of witnessing and recording is profound.

Firstly, it has a deterrent effect.

Secondly, [it] provides support and lets people on the streets know they are not alone.

Thirdly, it provides evidence of the violence we know is happening to assist in any legal proceedings for the person on the street.

Fourthly, it lets the broader public know the everyday injustice that is the reality of street policing.

We need all of us to be involved in the project. Please join us.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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