French police have tasered an African immigrant to death in the Paris suburb of Colombes after he allegedly resisted police who tried to check his identification papers.
Police were apparently responding to an argument that broke out between the 38-year-old Malian man and his friend at whose house he was staying.
The African immigrant was threatened with a deportation order and had been claiming that his friend owed him money.
The unnamed victim reportedly died of heart attack after he was given an electric shock with a Taser gun twice by the police.
Police alleged that the man injured officers with a hammer as they attempted to check his identity papers.
Authorities have ordered an inquiry to determine the exact cause of death.
„Only this man’s autopsy will be able to say whether our pistol is responsible for his death. To date, worldwide, a Taser has never killed anyone,“ the director of the Taser’s French subsidiary, Antoine di Zazzo, told AFP.
Amnesty International, however, refuted the claim, documenting more than 351 individual deaths by police tasering in the US alone since June 2001. It added that most of the victims were not carrying a weapon.
Other rights groups also condemned the police use of Taser guns which they assert can be deadly if misused. Police have claimed that the use of Taser guns is justifiable as they are non-lethal.
French police have already faced accusations over committing human rights violations against ethnic minorities.