Tasers: 'Serious concern' at use of Taser in Nottingham incident

Responding to the video footage which shows a man being shot twice with a Taser gun, Amnesty International UK’s Arms Programme Director, Oliver Sprague said:

“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 footage shows the man surrounded by four police officers, on the ground and apparently under effective control when he was Tasered for a second time. From what we can see, this appears to be a clear breach of the way in which Tasers should be used.

“Tasers should only be used where the situation presents an immediate threat to life or serious injury.

“Amnesty International urges the IPCC to carry out a full and thorough investigation into this incident and to raise the questions as to whether the officers were justified to shock this man with a Taser when he was already on the ground.”

Footage from a person’s mobile phone camera shows the man struggling during the incident on Sunday night [14 June] in Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham, as four officers attempted to arrest him.

Amnesty International has always insisted that Tasers are potentially lethal and inherently open to abuse. The organisation has recorded that since 2001 more than 346 people have died after being shocked with a Taser in the United States.

Many were subjected to repeated or prolonged shocks – far more than the five-second standard cycle – or by more than one officer at a time. Some people were even shocked for failing to comply with police commands after they had been incapacitated by a first shock.

Amnesty International believes that Tasers can only be used if:

· Officers carrying Tasers are trained to firearms officer standards on an ongoing basis

· Tasers are used as a weapon of last resort – in situations which fall only just below the point when lethal force should be used.

· Roll-out is highly restricted and then only to specially trained officers

· The Home Office has demonstrated how the use of Taser will be consistent with its obligations under international human rights guidelines and what policies and procedures are in place to prevent misuse of electro-shock weapons.

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