Second tasering unjustified following disorder in Picton
12 September 2019
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer was not justified in tasering a man for a second time during an arrest in Picton on 23 June 2018.
Two officers were on patrol at about midnight when they came across five men causing a disturbance at a house. The officers ordered the men to disperse, but they refused to do so and one started 'shadow boxing' and running between the two officers. One of the officers then tasered the man twice, before arresting him and charging him with 'disorderly behaviour'.
The officer said he had used the Taser because he believed the man posed a risk of assaulting Police and other people in the area. He was also concerned that if he got into a physical struggle with the man, his friends would join in, outnumbering Police.
The Authority determined that the officer's first use of the Taser was justified in the circumstances.
However, camera footage from the Taser showed that the man was lying on his back on the ground after the first use of the Taser. After the man moved his arms above his head and then down to his sides, the officer tasered the man again.
The Authority found that, although the officer continued to believe the man posed a risk to his safety, his second use of the Taser was "a disproportionate and unreasonable response".
"The officer should have taken the time to re-assess the situation after the first firing of his Taser and considered whether a less forceful tactical option was available to control the man once he was on the ground", said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.
Man tasered twice following disorder in Picton (PDF 360 KB)