Taser police kept on normal duties

THE five police officers whose ”thuggish” actions caused the death of a young Brazilian student will not have any of their duties taken away but the family of Roberto Laudisio Curti will push to have them tried in an international criminal court.

Despite being slammed by a coroner for ”reckless, careless, dangerous and excessively forceful” behaviour in the botched pursuit and arrest of the 21-year-old student, all ”will remain in the workplace and on normal duties at this stage,” a police spokesman said on Thursday.

The officers have had their Tasers taken away after the State Coroner, Mary Jerram, handed down 35 pages of scathing findings on Wednesday, but all are still allowed to carry a gun. Three are still patrolling inner-city streets.

Mr Curti’s family said they were bitterly disappointed Ms Jerram did not recommend criminal charges be laid. They would pursue other avenues.

Fairfax Media understands Mr Curti’s sister, Maria Fernanda Laudisio de Lucca, and uncle, Domingos Laudisio, who live in Sao Paulo, will meet with officers of Brazil’s ministry of external affairs next week.

It is understood they will push the Brazilian government to take the matter to an international criminal court and pursue charges such as torture.

”Torture is an international crime. Torture was clear during the inquest,” Mr Laudisio said.

Another sister, Ana Luisa Laudisio de Lucca, and her husband, Mike Reynolds, who live in Balmain, are considering civil action as well.

”We continue to push for those responsible to face the consequences for their appalling behaviour on that night,” Mr Reynolds said. ”By doing this, we hope to prevent other young people and their families from suffering the way we have.”

Ms Jerram said that a cause of death could not be identified, however ”it’s impossible to believe that he would have died but for the actions of police”.

She stopped short of recommending criminal charges but said five of the 11 officers who chased Mr Curti down Pitt Street in the early hours of March 18 had fired their Tasers 14 times, sprayed him with three cans of capsicum spray and restrained him using a baton, handcuffs and ”half a tonne” of body weight should be disciplined.

However, ”interim management action” by the police has determined that the officers will remain on the streets.

A spokesman said further disciplinary action would be dependent on the outcome of any Police Integrity Commission or Professional Standards Command investigations, neither of which have been confirmed. The outcomes of both could be years away.

One officer, Constable Daniel Barling, who Tasered Mr Curti five times while he was handcuffed on the ground, showed ”appalling judgment” and used his Taser in a manner that was ”quite unreasonably violent”, Ms Jerram found.

He was promoted from Probationary Constable after the incident and is still working on the streets in the City Central local area command.

Another two of the five officers singled out by Ms Jerram were also promoted after the incident.

The head of the Police Association, Scott Weber, said he stood by the five officers but welcomed more training. ”Police officers should not be criticised or punished for doing what they honestly believe is necessary to calm a situation when arresting a criminal,” he said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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