Tasers: second man in eight days to die after being shocked with Taser

Responding to reports that a second man has died after being struck by a Taser, Amnesty International’s spokesperson Eulette Ewart said:

“We don’t know the full circumstances surrounding the death of Philip Hulmes and so we are not able to comment on this specific incident.   “However the tragic death of Philip Hulmes which has occurred just days after Dale Burns died after being shocked by a Taser reaffirms Amnesty International’s concerns that these weapons are potentially lethal.   “As a result Amnesty reiterates that these weapons must only be used in extremely limited circumstances and in instances where there is a serious risk of loss of life or very serious injury.   “Only officers who receive the highest standard of training on how and when to use Tasers should be armed with these weapons and there must be a high level of accountability whenever Tasers are used.”   Notes to the editor   On 17 August, 27-year old Dale Burns from Barrow, Cumbria was reported to have died after he was struck by the weapon.  Today (24 August) 53-year-old Philip Hulmes from Bolton is reported to have died after being shocked with a Taser by police after he locked himself inside a property and stabbed himself.  Both deaths are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.   Police in the United States have carried Tasers for several years.  Since 2001, Amnesty International has recorded the deaths of more than 460 people in the United States after they were struck with a Taser.  In many instances, most of the deceased were unarmed and did not appear to present a serious threat when they were shocked, in some cases several times. 

View latest press releases