Tasers only used when lives under threat

Tasers only used when lives under threat

SINGAPORE - Being Tasered is extremely painful and can immobilise a person instantly.

Indeed, it feels like thousands of nails being hammered into the body, said Senior Staff Sergeant (Sgt) Chang Kam Sing. Because of this, the 42-year-old police officer will use his Taser only when lives are threatened.

The Taser is an electroshock weapon that discharges a 50,000-volt charge though the body when fired.

Earlier this month, Senior Staff Sgt Chang almost had to use it for the first time in his 23-year career when responding to a domestic dispute.

Speaking to The New Paper last week, he said: "People who have been Tasered cannot move at all. They cannot stand straight and cannot even sit straight. They will definitely fall back."

On July 3, the officer with Bukit Panjang Neighbourhood Police Centre was on his rounds in a patrol car with his colleague, Sgt Niaz Mohamed Ghazali, 24, around 3.30am, when they were asked to attend to a family dispute.

A woman had called the police saying that her husband was behaving violently and was threatening to hurt her and their three children.

The eldest is in secondary school, while the youngest is only a few years old.

The officers arrived at the five-room HDB flat in Bukit Panjang about five minutes later.

As he did not hear any shouting or quarrelling, Senior Staff Sgt Chang initially thought that the dispute between the couple in their 40s was over.

The wife, who appeared moody and was silent, let the officers into the living room. Her husband was also there.

One of their children, a boy, who appeared to be about 10 years old, quickly walked away to join his siblings in the bedroom.

Senior Staff Sgt Chang recounted: "I could tell from the husband's face that he was drunk. And I could smell the alcohol from him even though I was standing about 3m away.

"He was standing quite steadily and like his wife, did not say anything to us."

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