Friday, November 16, 2007

Your daily dose of outrage: British police "taser" man in coma ("He looked Egyptian ...")

From today's BBC comes another disturbing story of police abuse of Taser guns.
A man who had gone into a diabetic coma on a bus in Leeds was shot twice with a Taser gun by police who feared he may have been a security threat.

Mr Gaubert said he was on his way to meet friends when he suffered a fit on the bus and slipped into a coma which left him slumped on his seat clutching his rucksack.

Armed police were called to the bus depot in Headingley and when he failed to respond to their challenges he was shot with the Taser.

He said as this was happening, another officer was pointing a real gun at his head.

He was restrained and eventually came round in the police van.

He said it was only then that the officers realised it was a medical emergency, despite him wearing a medical tag round his neck to warn of his condition, and took him to hospital.

Mr Gaubert said he was told the police believed he looked "Egyptian".
I've written previously about what I think about Taser guns. I understand they have a purpose: as an alternative to deadly force. As in, if someone is waving a knife or a gun and is an immediate threat to themselves or to others. An unresponsive man slumped down in his bus seat does not fit this situation.


Wordsmith said...

That's the picture of a man who 'looked Egyptian' - whoo....he looks pretty typically British to me.

And ya know, I feel so much better knowing we're not the only jackasses that over-react.

Sue J said...

It's true. jackassed-ness abounds.