Belgium’s public prosecutors have expressed their “grave concern” about the use of tasers by police officers in a letter addressed to Interior Minister Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance, N-VA). The tasers “require a specific legal framework that does not exist today,” they said in the letter, published on Monday in Het Nieuwsblad, De Standaard and the Gazet van Antwerpen.
The ACV police union said it wished the project to test the use of tasers in 14 police precincts is suspended immediately, and even hinted at a strike threat. “If a police officer touches someone with a taser, and that person dies, the police officer will face big problems,” the union noted. “The officer is, in fact, using an illegal weapon. It’s not only we who feel that way, but the public prosecutors, too, and it’s they who decide in the final analysis on any charges.”
The prosecutors are demanding new legislation, but the Office of Minister Jambon does not share their view. “We thank the college for its opinion, but we feel the current law is enough,” said Olivier Van Raemdonck, Minister Jambon’s spokesman. “We are therefore not going to accede to their request.”