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Independent Police Complaints Commission probed Lancashire Police
Twice in 2012 men were Tasered in their cells after refusing a strip search
IPCC agreed suspects had threatened officers so Taser 'was proportionate'
But senior officer did not have 'sufficient detail' to authorise final shooting
Inspector Graeme Smith told he does have a misconduct case to answer
Published: 15:43 GMT, 15 April 2014 | Updated: 17:25 GMT, 15 April 2014>
A police officer who Tasered a suspect minutes after a colleague said it would 'make him glow in the dark' will not face a misconduct hearing, it was revealed today.
But a police inspector who failed to write a report after giving permission to shoot the unnamed prisoner should be disciplined, the Independent Police Complaint Commission has said.
The watchdog was called in to probe two incidents in 2012 where Lancashire Police Tasered men in their cells because they refused to strip.
On both occasions the IPCC found the use of Taser was ‘justifiable and proportionate’ because the men presented a risk of violence to officers.
Investigation: The IPCC said today the Tasering of this man in a Burnley cell was 'proportionate' but found the inspector who authorised it should be disciplined for not writing a report
But they believe Inspector Graeme Smith failed to properly record ‘post-incident procedure’ in September 2012, and say there is a misconduct case for him to answer because he 'abdicated responsibility'.
The report also found evidence of police staff making ‘inappropriate’ comments after watching CCTV, including one officer who said Tasering would send 'Blue flames coming out of his eye sockets’.
But they decided this did not constitute misconduct.
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The Tasering happened in September 2012 after a man had persistently refused to strip in his cell, after being arrested for driving offences and carrying a homemade knife.
TASERS: CONTROVERSIAL WEAPON
Tasers were introduced to give officers an option between firearms and other weapons such as batons and CS gas.
They have been discharged in more than 6,200 confrontations across England and Wales since they were introduced in 2004.
Police use a U.S. manufactured £500 X26 model which fires a 50,000-volt charge into the victim via two barbs attached to thin metal wires.
It has a range of 21ft and causes muscles to twitch uncontrollably.
When officers tried to search him he told them: 'f*** off - anyone who comes in here is going to get it’.
Inspector Smith was called by PC Scott Fairclough asking for authorisation to use the Taser, which was agreed with the comment: 'Yeah, that sounds, er, reasonable.'
In an interview, PC Fairclough said he asked the man to remove his clothing and was met with the reply: 'Don’t come in here, you’ll regret it'.
He then said that he heard a deep inhalation of breath from the man and took that as a sign he was about to attack him and activated his Taser, and shot him.
When questioned by the IPCC, Inspector Smith insisted he had been given sufficient detail to be able to authorise use of the Taser.
However, in their report they said the CCTV footage they had seen showed the man arrested was not showing signs of being volatile towards officers before the Taser was used.
‘He did not probe the information given to him by PC Fairclough and, therefore, could not make a fully informed decision around the risk the complainant actually posed,' the report said
The IPCC added Inspector Smith ‘made no attempt to actively check that the post-incident procedure was completed’.
Report: The IPCC said that because the prisoner had refused to strip and threatened officers it was right that he was shot
Colin Farmer was Tasered by a police office who mistook his while stick for a samurai sword. The officer was not sacked
The report said that a PC Darren Lee was heard speaking to an unknown man five minutes before the incident and said: ‘Make him glow in the dark' and then made a buzzing noise.
He then asked 'You ever seen someone get tasered?’, his friend replied: ‘It’s in the Green Mile’ and PC Lee then said: ‘Blue flames coming out of his eye sockets’.
Other anonymous comments picked up on CCTV included 'Went down though didn’t he?', 'No he was Tasered, silly boy,' and 'Ahh did you make him cry? Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.'
The IPCC has said these did not constitute gross misconduct, but flagged them up to Lancashire Police.
The force has declined to comment when asked if Inspector Smith had been suspended.
A spokesman said: 'The IPCC found that the use of Taser in both of these incidents could be justified in the circumstances.
'We note the recommendations in the report and have already addressed the issues raised.'
It came just weeks after an officer who Tasered a blind man when he mistook his white stick for a Samurai sword was let off so long as he made a personal apology.
The victim of the attack reacted with outrage when he learned PC Stuart White had walked away from a disciplinary hearing with a slap on the wrist.
Grandfather Colin Farmer, 64, said he could have been killed when he was shot in the back with the 50,000-volt device and the officer had been treated like ‘a naughty schoolboy’.
He said: ‘If he can shoot a blind man and get away with it, what signal is that giving out to people? It wasn’t a mistake, he pulled that trigger on purpose.
‘These trigger-happy police officers are killing people. If I had a pacemaker I would be dead by now.’
PC Wright could have been sacked for shooting Mr Farmer. But after a two-day disciplinary hearing into charges of gross incompetency it was decided the officer could keep his job but had to make a personal apology.
The incident happened in October 2012 after police received reports there was a skinhead man wielding a Samurai sword in Chorley, Lancashire. Officers were dispatched to the town centre and PC Wright jumped out of a police van after spotting Mr Farmer in the street using his white stick.
Wrongly assuming he was the swordsman, witnesses claimed the officer shouted: ‘Stop, police, or I’ll use Taser. I’ve warned you.’
Mr Farmer, a father-of-five who was left blind and partially paralysed following a stroke in 2008, said he did not realise the officer was addressing him and carried on walking before being struck in the back by the barbs which deliver the electric shock. He collapsed to the ground in agony and the officer swooped and handcuffed him.
PC Wright only realised his mistake when he checked on the man and confessed to a colleague: ‘I think I’ve got the wrong person.’
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Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605030/Officer-Tasered-suspect-custody-colleague-joked-make-glow-dark-NOT-face-misconduct-hearing-Inspector-did-not-write-report-WILL.html