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Investigation Launched After Police Use Taser On Man During Epileptic Seizure

April 13, 2010

A police watchdog has launched an investigation after a Taser was used on a man who was suffering an epileptic fit.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is to independently investigate how Greater Manchester Police officers dealt with the man.

The 40-year-old man collapsed at the Powerleague gym in Whalley Range in November. Paramedics attended to deal with the man who was reportedly having a seizure.

They then asked for police back up after he started biting and punching the ambulance crew.

During the incident one officer discharged a Taser at least once into the man. The man was also restrained. The whole incident from the man’s collapse to his transfer to hospital lasted approximately one hour.

The man, who subsequently spent more than two weeks in hospital, made a complaint via his solicitors on March 12, 2010, alleging the officers were negligent and had used excessive and unnecessary force. The matter was then referred by Greater Manchester Police to the IPCC on 6 April 2010.

A decision has been taken to conduct an independent investigation using the IPCC’s own investigators into the man’s allegations.

IPCC Commissioner Ms Naseem Malik said: “This man suffered an epileptic seizure and it is clear paramedics were struggling to treat him due to the violence of that seizure. Our investigation will be thorough and examine the appropriateness of the actions taken by the police officers who attended to assist the paramedics.

Superintendent Mike Freeman, of Greater Manchester Police’s Professional Standards Branch, said: “This matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission by GMP in line with the IPCC’s policy that complaints arising from the discharge of tasers are referred to them.

“The role of the IPCC is to determine the method of investigation and in this case it will be independently managed.

“Officers were called to this incident because the 40-year-old man in question was suffering a seizure and posing an immediate threat to the safety of himself and others and had assaulted a number of paramedics.

“As an IPPC investigation is underway it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

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