Police powers – ‘reasonable response’ – Exceeding powers? – IPCC

Male apparently tasered and punched by police in Nottingham.

The police may not be used to finding themselves in the spotlight but they have to get used to the idea. Maybe the public’s dissatisfaction with how the government and Westminster are operating has some bearing on the public’s willingness to challenge and question police behaviour.


Those of you who are looking for an example to debate the issue of 'reasonable response' may need to look no further than You Tube and the case of the 40 year old man seen, apparently in some agony, on the floor as police officers use a stun gun or ‘taser’ whilst trying to arrest him in Nottingham city centre. The taser is used more than once and another officer appears to punch the suspect several times around the head or shoulder. Some argue that the officer was trying to hit the suspects hands in order to get him to comply with putting on cuffs. The issue seems to be whether the man was resisting arrest.


The IPCC is to investigate this incident which has already generated a lot of interest.


Assistant Chief Constable Peter Davies said: "The public's trust and confidence is very important for us, which is why we have referred this matter for an objective investigation to the IPCC. We are pro-actively looking at other CCTV in the area to ensure we have a clear picture of events leading up to the arrest."


Political parties appear indignant and Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: "This shocking footage calls into question the wisdom of issuing more and more police officers with Tasers. These are dangerous weapons that have killed 334 people in the United States, yet the Home Office seems to be treating them as standard issue for routine matters. We must not slide down the slippery slope towards fully-armed, US-style policing."


Amnesty International UK have been reported as saying: "While we do not know the specifics of the case, from what we can see from the footage, Amnesty International has serious concerns about the way in which the Taser was used in this incident. "


The suspect in question was subsequently arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and has since been bailed. The incident followed complaints made by door staff at a city centre nightclub.


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