Transgender councillor tasered by police after suffering mental health emergency

A local councillor in regional Victoria was tasered by police during a chaotic council meeting.

Transgender councillor tasered by police after suffering mental health emergency
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A local councillor, Tosh-Jake Finnigan, Victoria’s first openly trans councillor, was rushed to hospital after a worrying incident during a council meeting in Colac Otway Shire on Wednesday night.

Emergency services were summoned to the scene at 9pm after Finnigan, openly addressing mental health struggles, wielded a sharp implement, threatening self-harm.

Finnigan, known for their involvement as a whistleblower in Labor’s red shirts probe during the 2018 state election campaign, suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, managed through medication.

In a statement following the incident, Finnigan revealed the ordeal stemmed from a mental health emergency during the meeting, where he claims to have limited recollection beyond an early agenda item.

The situation escalated when Finnigan's behaviour notably changed, prompting concerns for his safety. Despite attempts to de-escalate, emergency services intervened, leading to the deployment of a taser by police to prevent further harm. Finnigan was subsequently transported to Geelong Hospital for emergency treatment.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed officers' attendance at the meeting for a welfare check, highlighting the deployment of a taser due to safety concerns.

Finnigan, discharged from hospital, is now undergoing mental health treatment and will reduce some council duties.

If you know someone who needs help, contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14 (call), 0477 131 114 (text) or
Domestic violence support: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 or
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 or
Mensline Australia: 1300 789 978

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  • By Avi Yemini

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