Police officers involved in the killing of a Brazilian student who was tasered 14 times face possible disciplinary charges after the NSW coroner handed down a scathing finding on the incident.
Mary Jerram labelled the officers’ behaviour “thuggish” and rejected the evidence from some of the officers.
She recommended disciplinary charges for five of the officers involved and said the police action taken against Roberto Laudisio Curti, 21, should be referred to the Police Integrity Commission (PIC).
She recommended police review the use of Tasers and training procedures, including whether the “drive-stun” mode should be banned and whether Tasers should be issued to probationary officers.
Drive-stun involves applying the Taser directly to the skin, as opposed to discharging the device’s barbs from a distance.
Mr Curti, from Sao Paolo, died in the early hours of March 18 after officers discharged Tasers at him 14 times, used capsicum spray, handcuffs and a baton and knelt on him after a chase through Sydney’s CBD.
The coroner found he had an adverse reaction to a small dose of LSD the prior evening, then stole biscuits from a convenience store before police mistakenly believed he was armed.
She said officers clearly used excessive force in abuse of police powers and were “in some instances even thuggish” and “out of control”.
Ms Jerram also said Sergeant (now Inspector) Gregory Cooper’s coronial evidence was “self-contradictory, self-serving and obscure”.
“Pushing his entire weight on the back of a man prone, who was handcuffed and had just been tasered was hardly the action of an experienced, senior officer,” she said.
The officers had acted with “an ungoverned pack mentality, like schoolboys in the Lord of the Flies”.