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How dim-witted are our police officers? Lancashire’s ‘finest’ taser a blind man

October 17, 2012

While recognising that the police can like anybody else make mistakes, this case goes beyond the word ‘mistake’ and make me want to ask the question: ‘Just how thick are our police officers?’

Sky News reporting on a story originally from the Chorley Guardian said:

A “terrified” blind man was hit with a 50,000 volt Taser gun after police mistook his white stick for a samurai sword.

Stroke victim Colin Farmer, 61, collapsed to the ground in shock after he was hit in the back with the gun while walking down the street in Chorley, Lancashire.

Police had received reports of a man walking through the town armed with the deadly martial arts weapon and raced to the scene to hunt down the offender.

Meanwhile Mr Farmer, who has suffered two strokes and walks at a “snail’s pace”, was on his way to the pub to meet friends for a drink and was unaware of the reports.

He had no idea a police officer had mistaken his thin white stick for a weapon and ordered him to stop before pulling the trigger on the Taser gun.

Mr Farmer cried out, “I’m blind! I’m blind!” while collapsed on the floor but was still handcuffed by the officer from Lancashire Police.

“The whole thing was like being trapped in a nightmare,” he told the Chorley Guardian.

I’m sorry but a samurai sword looks like this:

Whereas a blind persons cane looks like this:

 

A close similarity?  Not to my eyes there isn’t.

 

Full story over on the Sky News website

 

http://news.sky.com/story/998967/blind-man-tasered-as-cops-mistake-stick-for-sword

7 Comments
  1. they had an in depth interview with this guy on the local news tonight.they are lucky they didnt kill him by tasering him.the poor guy has recently had 2 strokes that he hasnt fully recovered from

    • It’s an appalling case. You could imagine a member of the public mistaking a blind cane for a weapon but you expect plod to be a little bit more clued up.

      • Good point. Maybe I’m crediting the public and the police with more brains than they have in reality.

        Thanks for reminding me about the Tasered diabetic. The police seem to be getting a bit trigger happy with those things.

        Someone somewhere in the police is probably someone wondering why the public don’t co-operate with the police, it’s things like this that turn the public against the police. That and their utter uselessness, fawning over particular groups, inefficiency, lack of courtesy, treating the generally law abiding like criminals etc etc.

  2. Robert the Biker permalink

    Perhaps we should give a Taser to the blind man in question:
    Ello Ello Ello
    *ZAP*
    ARRRGH

  3. Not defending him but how many cases of tazering have there been in England? How many have turned out to be unjustified? A tiny percentage and they ALL make the news.Justified ones where they saved the PC (and the recipient) from serious harm are not mentioned.

    • I agree with you that ‘good news never sells papers’ but this was an appalling lapse of judgement.

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