Official watchdog may investigate officer pictured kicking stunned suspect in Brighton

Posted On 10 Jul 2013 at 12:41 am

Sussex Police may ask an independent watchdog to investigate after an officer was captured on video kicking a man.

The case involves an unnamed officer felling a man who had just been stunned with a taser as he was arrested for shoplifting.

The force has not referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission but may consider doing so.

The video, which shows the man being kicked from behind as he falls to the ground from the electric shock of the taser, has been uploaded to YouTube.

The force said: “At 6.18pm on Friday 5 July we received a report that a member of staff at Sainsbury’s, Western Road, Brighton, had been pushed to the ground by a man who was attempting to steal food and drink from the store.

“Local officers found the man at the seafront near by and at 6.33pm they used a taser to carry out an arrest.

“The man was arrested on suspicion of assault and theft and received health checks to ensure that he was unharmed. No serious injury was sustained.

“He was later released on police bail until (Friday) 26 July while inquiries continue into those alleged offences.

“A video of the incident has been brought to Sussex Police’s attention which appears to show an officer kicking the leg of the man who had been tasered a short time before.”


Chief Inspector Paul Betts, of Brighton and Hove Division, said: “I recognise how this incident may look to members of the public and we will be looking at evidence from all available sources. We will then make a decision on what further action is necessary.

“It is for this reason that the incident has been referred to our Professional Standards Department so that a full assessment can take place to consider all of the circumstances surrounding the incident, including those leading up to the man being tasered.

“I can’t comment specifically on the actions during this arrest until this PSD investigation is complete.

“However, I can provide some information about the restraint techniques officers are trained to use.

“All officers are taught a number of techniques to assist in the control and restraint of suspects.

“Specific training also covers ensuring the welfare of someone who has been tasered.

“One of the approved and taught techniques is a sweeping strike to a suspect’s leg to assist in achieving control.

“As part of the investigation into this incident, consideration will be given as to whether the use of force was proportionate and if it was appropriate to be used in this situation.

“All suggestions of police misconduct are taken very seriously, with action taken whenever appropriate.

“We will be able to provide further information when this investigation has concluded.”

“At this time this incident has not been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as it does not meet the requirements for a mandatory referral.

“If it is felt during the course of the investigation that it would benefit from a referral to the IPCC then this will be considered.”


  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    A tasered 23yr old has died in Manchester we hear this morning AFTER being tasered. People DO die after tasering and as far as I am concerned a taser is a lethal weapon far too casually used by thep police. It is hard to respect a body of people who seem so casually happy to injure people while arresting them.

    On the radio claims are made that tasers have never killed anyone. But would those who die after a tasering still be alive if never tasered? Far greater levels of restraint and responsibility are needed and maybe this is a lack of training, or inadequate training issue.

    A look on You Tube shows that this footage has gone worldwide. Clearly it has shocked a lot of people to see it. Hearing shrill female officers shouting at a man who appears unconscious, hearing a male officer scream at an apparently unconscious man to put his hands up just looks so profoundly unprofessional – hysteria-driven in fact. That is not what they are trained to do.

  2. Andrew Brown Reply

    THere are other features here too

    1. The suspect is not facing the police at the moment of the taser being used
    2. He drops to the ground paralized by the temporary effect of being tasered

    The involuntary drop to the concrete is the biggest danger from taser use and it almost never commented on in articles or radio phone in ‘s

    The other less obvious risks are to police public relations which are in need of improving and the psychological impact on police officers themselves of being permitted to use this device in non lethal threat situations

  3. Dave Reply

    Valerie Paynter get your facts right. The fact you have made an ASSUMPTION of unlawful force based on a short video clip NOT showing what led up to the images we see on the video clearly demostrate you are narrow minded and clearly anti-Police. For your information there have been 10 “TASER RELATED” deaths in the UK. Two of those (including the Manchester one) are still under investigation which means NO-ONE KNOWS AT THE MOMENT WHAT THE CAUSE OF DEATH IS. We just know that at sometime before the death the man was tasered. The other eight for your information have concluded and the findings by the Coroner were released to the public. They proved Taser was not even a factor in the death. Therefore at the moment there is no evidence that EVEN ONE death had anything to do with the fact the subject was Tasered. Also Police Officer’s do not use it “casually” as you say. It is deployed in incidents of violence or the threat of violence of such severity when officers have no other option but to use force. This is generally where the subject is armed with weapons or is fighting in such a manner that by officers using un-armed defence tactics would leave them open to suffering injuries. If you don’t want Police to use Tasers on persons that carry knives like this guy I’ve got a fantastic idea. Why don’t you join the force concerned and when there is a report of someone threatening persons with a knife you can run in and use “methods of restraint”. That way they won’t need to use a Taser as they’ll have someone that is stupid enough to put their life at risk so that a career criminal won’t get two tiny barb marks on their torso.

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