Police shot man with knife: ‘Electric shock weapon had made a difference’

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“Both the officers in question and myself agree, in this case an electric shock weapon would have made the difference between life and death,” Paauw told the newspaper.

Knife in his hand

On Thursday, agents shot a 23-year-old man in Amsterdam. He was standing in a courtyard with a knife in his hands that threatened to harm himself. He was difficult to approach and in a confused state.

Then the man walked up to the officers. They tried to arrest him, but the man put one of the officers in his vest. The police fired three times, images published by AT5 show. On the spot, officers resuscitated the man, but the man died of his injuries.

Can be used from a greater distance

The advantage of an electroshock weapon is that Paauw can temporarily disable someone from a greater distance. Then you can quickly overpower the person. “Not a single officer goes to work thinking that he is going to shoot someone that day. Amsterdam police officers are not cowboys,” says Paauw. “The police officers had to do this, but at the same time they feel the sadness that a human being died here who also has a mother.”

So why didn’t the officers now have an electric shock weapon with them? Because, according to Paauw, they are not yet available. It will take until mid-2021 before the weapons can be delivered to Dutch agents.

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