Should’ve Gone to Specsavers

It isn’t Colin Farmer who needs a white stick it seems.

A police force has apologised after an officer used a Taser on a blind man whose white stick was mistaken for a sword.

Colin Farmer, 61, was stunned by police following reports of a man walking through Chorley with a samurai sword.

This sort of story is usually Julia’s territory, but I just had to comment. Fuck me, what is the world coming to? A Samurai sword doesn’t look remotely like a white stick –  not even close. At least they should double check before tazering an innocent man. Jeebus!

The case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

I should bloody well think so, and someone should lose their job and their pension –  but probably won’t.

That whirring sound you can hear is Robert Peel spinning in his grave.

22 comments for “Should’ve Gone to Specsavers

  1. Twenty_Rothmans
    October 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Plebs. 😉

    • ivan
      October 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      That is an understatement!

  2. ReefKnot
    October 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I think the correct term is “F**king Plebs”.

  3. Temperance
    October 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    what idiots omg were ment to trust them, but they let real crimes go and just pick on people who don’t stand a chance??? Discussed is not the word for it….. what are we paying for???

  4. Single Acts of Tyranny
    October 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    What I suspect happened is that a cop got a report of a Samurai Sword and saw one, despite it not being there. It’s an odd phenomena but not an unusual one.

    Not an excuse of course but possibly an explanation.

    • Twenty_Rothmans
      October 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Confirmation bias, SAOT. Look at how many aircraft have become lawn darts as a result.

      But imagine if that Colonel Willyankov or whatever his name was had seen that US missile incusrsion in 198(3?) as a threat.

      I am investing in a fold-up umbrella.

  5. Dave_G
    October 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Thing is, when the guy was ‘down’ the cops would have SEEN the walking stick (NOT a samurai sword…) yet they STILL cuffed and frog-marched the chap away!
    Wheelchair users (Armoured Personnel Carriers) had better be on the lookout…..

  6. mactheknife
    October 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    ‘…you can hear is Robert Peel spinning in his grave.’ No, it’s more a high-pitched whine. He’s well over 12,000 rpm…

  7. Voice of Reason
    October 18, 2012 at 1:34 am

    For a small bit of history, some of the first Peelers were canned immediately for being drunk on the job.

  8. October 18, 2012 at 5:48 am

    “This sort of story is usually Julia’s territory…”

    I think it’s safe to say I’ll be mentioning it in passing… 😆

  9. October 18, 2012 at 7:27 am
  10. October 18, 2012 at 8:04 am

    This is yet another piece of evidence as to why people don’t trust the police. They will taser a diabetic or a blind man but, according to one group who observed it, will leave unmolested those bearded savages who want to fly the Hezbollah flag.

  11. The Nameless Libertarian
    October 18, 2012 at 8:11 am

    It is this sort of story that sums up perfectly why the idea of giving the police proper firearms is a terrible idea. The fact that this was a case of human error and that, as SAOT suggests, the officers concerned may have seen a samurai sword (despite it being a blind man’s white stick, FFS) merely adds to the feeling that arming them is not just a terrible idea, but a tragedy waiting to happen.

    • October 21, 2012 at 5:53 am

      Possibly, though my experience of living somewhere where police are routinely armed and only a small minority are issued tasers leads me to another conclusion.

      When the consequences of pulling the trigger are perceived to be low (it’s only an electric shock; we all get tasered once in training and are fine a minute or two later; it (almost) never does any real harm) the threshold for its use can be relatively low and so the chances of the trigger being pulled become relatively high. Conversely, when the consequences of pulling the trigger are perceived to be high police who carry firearms day in and day out may be more likely to pull the trigger only as a last resort. Aside from the obvious fact that Victorian police officers are far more likely to kill someone with their S&W .40s there are, judging by the fact I’ve seen them armed even while just wandering around the front desk of the police station, not much in the way of non-firearms duties for them to be shuffled off to pending investigation if there’s doubt about whether firing a gun was necessary.

      Victoria Police, by the way, have a reputation for being the most trigger happy of Australia’s police forces, and some of the criticism they’ve had that they’ve ended up firing guns when they should not have had to (e.g. information about a person’s mental state or intoxication etc not passed on to officers having to deal with, from their p.o.v. an armed and dangerous nutter) I think is probably deserved. However, in a recent review into VicPol shootings over the 3.5 years to December 08 not one of the ten occasions on which an officer fired a weapon was it fired at anyone who could reasonably be described as Joe Law-Abiding Citizen peacefully going about his business. Armed cops here may sometimes shoot people with various problems before they really needed to, and the seemingly ready use of tasers in other states where they’re standard equipment really worries me, but seeing a cop walk past with a .40 strapped to their leg bothers me little more than seeing a postman with a bike helmet on.

  12. The Jannie
    October 18, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I presume that coppers have aggressive-looking feet, given the number of times they shoot themselves in them . . .

  13. LJH
    October 18, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Let’s not forget the Essex lion! An imaginative lot our police force with their taste for investigating exotica!

    • October 18, 2012 at 11:45 am

      To be fair feral cats have reached 5ft in length in the UK and nearly 6ft in Australia so a scary wild cat is not entirely implausible.

  14. Greg Tingey
    October 18, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I should hope so …
    This is actually cases of:
    1] Assault causing actual bodily harm – the taser attack
    2] Unlawful arrest: they could SEE he was a blind man with a white stick, but they bundled him up anyway.
    3] Illegal Imprisonment: He had committed no offence at all, but was locked up.

    All three of those offences can carry a jail term.
    Will anyone be prosecuted?

  15. fred
    October 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Was he white?
    If so, no problem.
    Go back to sleep it is only uniformed anti-white racist thugs at work again.
    Police Commissioners, Jesus! Gauletiers a-coming folks.

  16. October 19, 2012 at 5:37 am

    It seems the police are banking on uprated Tasers. Sadly, I think they are looking at the wrong component in the setup. We need better policemen, not better tools…

    • David A. Evans
      October 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      We need better policemen, not better tools…

      Most policemen are tools.


  17. Greg Tingey
    October 19, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Mr Farmer was SHOT IN THE BACK (presumably “whilst attempting to escape”?)
    His family is seriously considering legal action.
    Watch the whitewash & cover-up VERY closely, everyone …..

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