Taser use justified against man causing self harm with razor

Published Date: Aug 2014

The Police Ombudsman has concluded that police acted appropriately when they used Taser against a man cutting himself with a razor blade, during an incident in west Belfast in November 2012.

Police had gone to the man’s home with paramedics, and found him in a bathroom, bleeding from injuries and with the blade still in his hand.

Officers told Police Ombudsman investigators that Taser was used to prevent him causing any further harm to himself. The use of the weapon allowed officers to detain him, and he was given medical treatment before being taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

As with all discharges of police firearms in Northern Ireland, the Chief Constable referred the use fo Taser to the Police Ombudsman for independent investigation.

Police Ombudsman investigators examined police records which showed that the use of the weapon during the incident had been properly authorised, and that the officer was properly trained in its use.

Statements were taken from all available witnesses, and were consistent in their description of what had happened.

Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, concluded that the use of Taser had been “lawful, proportionate and necessary” in the circumstances.

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