Sussex Police clears officer of misconduct over Brighton taser arrest

Posted On 24 Aug 2013 at 9:40 am

Sussex Police has found no evidence of misconduct after an investigation into the tasering of a suspected shoplifter in Brighton last month.

The man’s arrest, on Friday 5 July, was filmed by a member of the public and posted on YouTube. The footage is below.

It prompted criticism from a number of people and the Independent Police Complaints Commission viewed the initial circumstances of the incident.

The IPCC did not feel that it met the requirement for a referral and passed it back to the Sussex Police Professional Standards Department to conduct its own investigation.

The force said: “Evidence was considered which included testimony from a member of the public who witnessed the incident, footage supplied by the media, an interview with the man who was tasered, footage from the body worn video worn by the attending officers and a statement from a safety trainer.”

Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “The officers in this case were making an arrest of a man who had allegedly committed a violent offence and was showing signs of aggression.

“The sweeping strike to the leg, a technique taught to all officers as a tactic to achieve control, was used in this case because the suspect had not fallen to the ground after the taser had been deployed.

“The officer thought that the taser had not been effective and that the suspect posed an immediate risk both to the officers and the wider public.

“I appreciate that the circumstances of this arrest, carried out in a very public place, may have looked extremely dramatic and very physical, especially when viewed on video.

“However, officers are carefully trained to use the minimum force necessary to resolve a situation as quickly as possible reducing the risk to the public, the person being arrested and the officers themselves.”


  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    I’m saddened by this entirely predictable outcome. It is an unhealthy outcome and bodes ill for the future of policing.

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Only an incompetent-to-serve person could POSSIBLY believe that “the taser had not been effective”. 50,000 volts not effective? He should be sacked.

  3. pachallis Reply

    @Valerie Paynter- did you witness the full event of what happened up to the tasering and what was said afterwards?

    Or have you just seen this 27 second clip and developed your own opinion?

    Perhaps he had threatened police? Do you know what happened?

    Perhaps someone should sue you for defaming the character of Superintendent Steve Whitton?

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