Thursday, 18 October 2012

Banzai!


I know it's not really funny.

But I  nearly died laughing at the story of a blind man - Colin Farmer (61) from Chorley in Lancashire - who was shot in the back by police with a 50,000 volt Taser after they mistook his white stick for a samurai sword.

Now I'm not an expert on the rules of engagement for the police to follow before using a Taser - but I presume that a degree of common sense must be involved.

For example that someone's safety and well-being must be in imminent danger before the police can  unleash 50,000 volts of electricity into a fellow citizen.

Apparently Mr Farmer was on his way to meet friends at 5.45pm and was walking in Peter Street near a restaurant - when the police came calling.

"I was just walking along and I heard some men shouting really angrily and thought I'm going to get mugged. I didn't know any police were here.

The Taser hit me in the back and it started sending all these thousands of volts through me and I was terrified. I mean I had two strokes already caused by stress. I dropped the stick involuntarily and I collapsed on the floor face down.

I was shaking and I thought 'I'm going to have another stroke any second and this one is going to kill me. I'm being killed. I'm being killed'.

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

Mr Farmer spent two months in hospital earlier this year following a stroke and was fearful he would suffer another attack.

Lancashire Police have now apologised to Mr Farmer for the "traumatic experience" - but confirmed last night that the officer who fired the Taser has not been suspended and remains on active duty.

Which seems incredible to me because the officer involved could have badly injured or even killed this poor man - so I hope he sues them for every penny he can.

The other thing that surprised me about this story is that we haven't heard a word out of the Police Federation (police trade union) - no details of the case have been leaked to the press or media - the PF appears to have gone tight-lipped for once.

I wonder why - but in order to help the police with any future enquiries in future I have posted an image of what a man with a Samurai sword looks like.