Conduct hearing into Taser shooting of Chorley innocent blind man

Chorley Citizen: Colin Farmer Colin Farmer

A POLICE officer who fired a Taser at a blind man after mistaking his white stick for a samurai sword is to face a hearing in front of an assistant chief constable.

Colin Farmer, 64, said that after being hit by the taser he was violently manhandled on the floor and handcuffed by the officer.

At the time of the incident police were responding to reports of a man with a sword being seen in Chorley town centre.

Mr Farmer was Tasered at point blank range, making him fall to the ground, as he walked to his local pub.

In August last year, the Crown Prosecution Service announced no criminal charges were to be brought against the male officer involved.

Now following a recommendation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Lancashire police have confirmed there will be a two-day performance hearing to investigate the officer’s conduct in March. Mr Farmer, who had previously suffered two strokes, said he welcomed the hearing and would be attending on the advice of his solicitor.

He said: “I just want there to be an acknowledgement that what he did wasn’t right.

“To put it simply I was assaulted quite brutally and the full facts of why this happened have never been fully explained to me.”

Sophie Khan, Mr Farmer's solicitor, said: “It is hoped that the hearing will shed light on why the officer Tasered my client and what action Lancashire police will take against their officer.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “A performance hearing will be held for the officer on March 24 and 25.

“Mr Farmer will be invited to the hearing which will be chaired by an assistant chief constable.

“We continue to work closely with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, as we have from the outset.”

Comments (16)

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1:35pm Fri 17 Jan 14

AnthonyUK says...

The taser could have killed him having induced another stroke afterwards! I think the guidelines behind the use of tasers should be heavily tightened up;you can't just have miserrors of judgement ending in these incidents.
The taser could have killed him having induced another stroke afterwards! I think the guidelines behind the use of tasers should be heavily tightened up;you can't just have miserrors of judgement ending in these incidents. AnthonyUK

2:45pm Fri 17 Jan 14

leyton says...

In August last year, the Crown Prosecution Service announced no criminal charges were to be brought against the male officer involved.and they wonder why people have no trust in the filth.lol
In August last year, the Crown Prosecution Service announced no criminal charges were to be brought against the male officer involved.and they wonder why people have no trust in the filth.lol leyton

3:15pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Just an observer says...

Quoted from storyline. Mr Farmer was Tasered at point blank range, making him fall to the ground, as he walked to his local pub. So at what 2ft away a police officer CANNOT see a white stick? perhaps the police should start to use specsavers, then to wrestle the poor guy to the floor. rather strong arm tactics used there.
Quoted from storyline. Mr Farmer was Tasered at point blank range, making him fall to the ground, as he walked to his local pub. So at what 2ft away a police officer CANNOT see a white stick? perhaps the police should start to use specsavers, then to wrestle the poor guy to the floor. rather strong arm tactics used there. Just an observer

3:48pm Fri 17 Jan 14

andy1 says...

Watching Sky News about Policing no wonder many a member of the public have lost confidence in them. I did years ago they are a law unto themselves and are to quick in many a case to bother searching for the truth in the cases reported to them Unbelievable how the CPS refused to prosecute this particular Officer with so much evidence against him for Assault on this blind person. A performance investigation to be conducted by a senior officer surely it should be a Judge listening to Assault procedures in a court of law. The system stinks.
Watching Sky News about Policing no wonder many a member of the public have lost confidence in them. I did years ago they are a law unto themselves and are to quick in many a case to bother searching for the truth in the cases reported to them Unbelievable how the CPS refused to prosecute this particular Officer with so much evidence against him for Assault on this blind person. A performance investigation to be conducted by a senior officer surely it should be a Judge listening to Assault procedures in a court of law. The system stinks. andy1

4:20pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Barb-Dwyer says...

im sure there is a lot more to this story than what we are being told.

despite all the hype in the press, im certain the police would not just taser an innocent member of the public. he would have been given numrous warnings and must have failed to comply with the requests of the officers
im sure there is a lot more to this story than what we are being told. despite all the hype in the press, im certain the police would not just taser an innocent member of the public. he would have been given numrous warnings and must have failed to comply with the requests of the officers Barb-Dwyer

4:46pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

Barb-Dwyer wrote:
im sure there is a lot more to this story than what we are being told. despite all the hype in the press, im certain the police would not just taser an innocent member of the public. he would have been given numrous warnings and must have failed to comply with the requests of the officers
Eveb if there is "more to it", the police officer must either have extremely poor eyesight himself, or be a compolete moron, not to be able to differentiate between, a sword and a blind person's white stick.
[quote][p][bold]Barb-Dwyer[/bold] wrote: im sure there is a lot more to this story than what we are being told. despite all the hype in the press, im certain the police would not just taser an innocent member of the public. he would have been given numrous warnings and must have failed to comply with the requests of the officers[/p][/quote]Eveb if there is "more to it", the police officer must either have extremely poor eyesight himself, or be a compolete moron, not to be able to differentiate between, a sword and a blind person's white stick. Darren1951

5:11pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Chuck-Norris says...

Good to see Ms Khan jumping on the bandwagon - nice unbiased representation there for the lovely Mr Farmer ?!? Good luck to the bobby looks like they're after a scapegoat
Good to see Ms Khan jumping on the bandwagon - nice unbiased representation there for the lovely Mr Farmer ?!? Good luck to the bobby looks like they're after a scapegoat Chuck-Norris

5:30pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Bill Carson says...

Chuck-Norris wrote:
Good to see Ms Khan jumping on the bandwagon - nice unbiased representation there for the lovely Mr Farmer ?!? Good luck to the bobby looks like they're after a scapegoat
...two words spring to mind..

1. Compensation

2. Commission

No doubt all the costs will eventually be passed on to the taxpayer!
[quote][p][bold]Chuck-Norris[/bold] wrote: Good to see Ms Khan jumping on the bandwagon - nice unbiased representation there for the lovely Mr Farmer ?!? Good luck to the bobby looks like they're after a scapegoat[/p][/quote]...two words spring to mind.. 1. Compensation 2. Commission No doubt all the costs will eventually be passed on to the taxpayer! Bill Carson

9:34pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Malthus says...

Barb-Dwyer wrote:
im sure there is a lot more to this story than what we are being told.

despite all the hype in the press, im certain the police would not just taser an innocent member of the public. he would have been given numrous warnings and must have failed to comply with the requests of the officers
"im certain the police would not just taser an innocent member of the public. he would have been given numrous warnings and must have failed to comply with the requests of the officers". It is opinions such as this, which make the Police unaccountable for their action's. Of course a blind man will question anyone who confronts him with requests that he deems to be random, unsubstantiated and bizarre. However, as other posters have stated, the man had a white stick; an item that is internationally recognised as identifying the holder as someone who at best has limited sight. If an officer of the law can not determine this fact from observing the "potential threat" then surely a career in law enforcement and crime detection is not the best path to choose.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", who watches the watchmen? Translated it means, who polices the Police? Until we have a truly independent means of monitoring our Police and their performance then we will all continue to become increasingly suspicious of the Police and their procedures. Sadly, the days of Jack Warner and PC George Dixon are a fiction that is now in the past, those innocent days (if they ever existed) and will never return.
[quote][p][bold]Barb-Dwyer[/bold] wrote: im sure there is a lot more to this story than what we are being told. despite all the hype in the press, im certain the police would not just taser an innocent member of the public. he would have been given numrous warnings and must have failed to comply with the requests of the officers[/p][/quote]"im [sic] certain the police would not just taser an innocent member of the public. he would have been given numrous [sic] warnings and must have failed to comply with the requests of the officers". It is opinions such as this, which make the Police unaccountable for their action's. Of course a blind man will question anyone who confronts him with requests that he deems to be random, unsubstantiated and bizarre. However, as other posters have stated, the man had a white stick; an item that is internationally recognised as identifying the holder as someone who at best has limited sight. If an officer of the law can not determine this fact from observing the "potential threat" then surely a career in law enforcement and crime detection is not the best path to choose. "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", who watches the watchmen? Translated it means, who polices the Police? Until we have a truly independent means of monitoring our Police and their performance then we will all continue to become increasingly suspicious of the Police and their procedures. Sadly, the days of Jack Warner and PC George Dixon are a fiction that is now in the past, those innocent days (if they ever existed) and will never return. Malthus

10:31pm Fri 17 Jan 14

psch says...

Not good enough get the thug in court
Not good enough get the thug in court psch

11:10pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Graham Hartley says...

This man is fortunate to be yet alive after such a hostile encounter with a police officer. It is also fortunate that such events are rare, though the names of the innocent dead are legion. Jean Charles de Menezes. Ian Tomlinson. Hayley Adamson. Read their stories carefully.

There are in the UK some 7 000 authorised firearms officers, among rather more than 100 000. If we are confident that the many can be authorised to the same standard as the few, can we also be confident that there would be no increase in the numbers of the innocent dead?

Is it easier to lie with statistics or without? Without, I'd wager.
This man is fortunate to be yet alive after such a hostile encounter with a police officer. It is also fortunate that such events are rare, though the names of the innocent dead are legion. Jean Charles de Menezes. Ian Tomlinson. Hayley Adamson. Read their stories carefully. There are in the UK some 7 000 authorised firearms officers, among rather more than 100 000. If we are confident that the many can be authorised to the same standard as the few, can we also be confident that there would be no increase in the numbers of the innocent dead? Is it easier to lie with statistics or without? Without, I'd wager. Graham Hartley

12:13am Sat 18 Jan 14

Chuck-Norris says...

Is it true he's not actually blind ?
According to locals who know him.... Just saying
Is it true he's not actually blind ? According to locals who know him.... Just saying Chuck-Norris

12:25am Sat 18 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

Chuck-Norris wrote:
Is it true he's not actually blind ? According to locals who know him.... Just saying
I don't think that his "degree of blindness" is relevant in this instance. What does matter is that the officer concerned totally failed to recognise his white stick.
[quote][p][bold]Chuck-Norris[/bold] wrote: Is it true he's not actually blind ? According to locals who know him.... Just saying[/p][/quote]I don't think that his "degree of blindness" is relevant in this instance. What does matter is that the officer concerned totally failed to recognise his white stick. Darren1951

6:13pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Graham Hartley says...

Darren1951 wrote:
Chuck-Norris wrote:
Is it true he's not actually blind ? According to locals who know him.... Just saying
I don't think that his "degree of blindness" is relevant in this instance. What does matter is that the officer concerned totally failed to recognise his white stick.
Unless this is a trick, a person whose sight is poor enough to warrant the use of a white stick will suffer extra disquiet at this assault. The confidence this man had in the white stick as an indicator to others that they should take care has been shaken, and by an authority figure.
[quote][p][bold]Darren1951[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chuck-Norris[/bold] wrote: Is it true he's not actually blind ? According to locals who know him.... Just saying[/p][/quote]I don't think that his "degree of blindness" is relevant in this instance. What does matter is that the officer concerned totally failed to recognise his white stick.[/p][/quote]Unless this is a trick, a person whose sight is poor enough to warrant the use of a white stick will suffer extra disquiet at this assault. The confidence this man had in the white stick as an indicator to others that they should take care has been shaken, and by an authority figure. Graham Hartley

12:52am Mon 20 Jan 14

woolywords says...

And for those that don't know, a red reflective band on a white stick indicates that the carrier is both sight and hearing impaired. (It gets a mention in the Highway Code and sometimes in the Driving Theory Test.)
So shouting a warning or waving any baton or taser weapon around would be utterly futile, much as defending this case. Mind you, there was a time, albeit it a long time ago, when a policeman's word was taken as being unimpeachable.
Be interesting to see if the officer whom authorised the use of the taser is brought to book as well.
And for those that don't know, a red reflective band on a white stick indicates that the carrier is both sight and hearing impaired. (It gets a mention in the Highway Code and sometimes in the Driving Theory Test.) So shouting a warning or waving any baton or taser weapon around would be utterly futile, much as defending this case. Mind you, there was a time, albeit it a long time ago, when a policeman's word was taken as being unimpeachable. Be interesting to see if the officer whom authorised the use of the taser is brought to book as well. woolywords

6:07pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Graham Hartley says...

woolywords wrote:
And for those that don't know, a red reflective band on a white stick indicates that the carrier is both sight and hearing impaired. (It gets a mention in the Highway Code and sometimes in the Driving Theory Test.)
So shouting a warning or waving any baton or taser weapon around would be utterly futile, much as defending this case. Mind you, there was a time, albeit it a long time ago, when a policeman's word was taken as being unimpeachable.
Be interesting to see if the officer whom authorised the use of the taser is brought to book as well.
Being in charge of police action which leads to harming the innocent can be a route to promotion. Cressida Dick was gold commander in the operation which led to the death of Jean Charles de Menezes. I expect this to be rather a dark stain upon prospects for promotion, but Dick has been promoted at least twice since that incident and is now the most senior female officer - so my expectation is wrong and I am thus due for re-education. She is, among much else, a holder of the Queen's Police Medal.

Considerations of this sort are favourable for the officers involved in the assault on Mr Farmer. How many will appear at the March hearing with this in view?
[quote][p][bold]woolywords[/bold] wrote: And for those that don't know, a red reflective band on a white stick indicates that the carrier is both sight and hearing impaired. (It gets a mention in the Highway Code and sometimes in the Driving Theory Test.) So shouting a warning or waving any baton or taser weapon around would be utterly futile, much as defending this case. Mind you, there was a time, albeit it a long time ago, when a policeman's word was taken as being unimpeachable. Be interesting to see if the officer whom authorised the use of the taser is brought to book as well.[/p][/quote]Being in charge of police action which leads to harming the innocent can be a route to promotion. Cressida Dick was gold commander in the operation which led to the death of Jean Charles de Menezes. I expect this to be rather a dark stain upon prospects for promotion, but Dick has been promoted at least twice since that incident and is now the most senior female officer - so my expectation is wrong and I am thus due for re-education. She is, among much else, a holder of the Queen's Police Medal. Considerations of this sort are favourable for the officers involved in the assault on Mr Farmer. How many will appear at the March hearing with this in view? Graham Hartley

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