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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

 
And they say tasers make us safer

by digby

Well, maybe not:

An innocent blind man with a white stick has been shot in the back by police with a 50,000-volt Taser after officers mistook it for a samurai sword.

Colin Farmer, 61, was hit following reports of a man walking through Chorley, Lancashire, early on Friday evening, with a sword. He said that he initially thought he was being attacked by hooligans when he was struck by the Taser.

The matter is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after Farmer, who has said he intends to take legal action, made a complaint to the force.

Farmer, who used to run an architects' practice and is a fellow of the Institute of Directors, was on his way to meet friends at 5.45pm and was walking along Peter Street near a restaurant. "I didn't even know the police were there," he said. "I heard this man shouting. I thought they were shouting at some people."

Farmer, who has suffered two strokes, the most recent requiring two months in hospital in March, was fearful he would suffer another stroke.

He said the whole thing was like being "trapped in a nightmare": "I thought I was going to be attacked by hooligans. The next thing they fired a Taser at me, although I didn't know it was a Taser at the time. I just felt a thump in my back. As soon as the Taser hit me, I hit the ground."

He repeatedly attempted to explain to the officer that he was blind, but he knelt on him and dragged his hands behind his back and handcuffed him. Farmer, who has bruises on his hand, said he was "absolutely terrified."

"I walk at a snail's pace, they could have walked past me, driven past me in a van or said: 'Drop your weapon.'"

This truly is the death of common sense, isn't it? The police have become lazy with these weapons and don't try to use their heads anymore. And people are getting hurt. (If you think it's actually worse in the UK, think again. Our cops are using these things at the drop of a hat on anyone who looks at them sideways.)

Just remember to tell any blind relatives to be careful. Whenever some moron reports that his white stick is a samurai sword they can't be counted on to be reasonable, they just shoot people full of electricity and ask questions later.

Remember citizens, if you haven't done anything wrong you don't have anything to worry about.


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