Police have come under fire for tasering a blind man after they confused his walking cane for a gun.
On Thursday night armed officers in Manchester were dispatched to Levenshulme railway station, responding to reports of a man carrying a gun on the platform.
When they arrived officers confronted the man, believed to be in his forties, but he failed to respond and he was shot with a 50,000 volt charge. On closer inspection however it was discovered his ‘gun’ was just his cane.
Eye witnesses have described the way the man, who is completely blind, fell to the floor after being shot as he prepared to board the train.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News Tasawar Dar, who runs a shop across the road described the moment the police arrived.
I heard the police here and they shouted ‘lie down on the ground’ and there was the bark of a dog as well.
I saw a guy sitting on the stairs of the station and a police officer came into the shop asking for a can of coke. I thought it was for him they went out and gave it to the guy.
They made him sit on the stairs. He looked to be a reasonable person. The police were all armed. They had pistols rather than the big guns.
A GMP spokesman has confirmed that officers were called shortly after 6.40pm on Thursday February 23, 2017 to reports of a man with a gun on Albert Road, Levenshulme.
They added that a 43-year-old man was detained however he was released when he was discovered to be in possession of a folding cane.
Superintendent Steve Howard, GMP’s City of Manchester Team, explained that officers reacted quickly to ‘ensure the safety of the community of Levenshulme’ but said that police enquiries are ongoing to fully understand the circumstances of the incident.
A referral has also been made to GMP’s Professional Standards Branch and police conduct officials are now investigating the incident.