Colin Farmer

Colin Farmer

A police officer who tasered a blind man after mistaking his white walking stick for a samurai sword will not face criminal charges, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has revealed.

Colin Farmer was hit by a 50,000-volt taser in the street after police mistook his walking stick for a sword.

Victim Colin Farmer, 63, said he was “stunned” that there would be no prosecution against the officer, but said he was relieved that his “ordeal was over”.

The CPS said there was “insufficient evidence” for action.

Mr Farmer, who is registered blind and has suffered two strokes, said he had thought he was being attacked by thugs when it happened.
He was walking to a pub to meet friends at the time and said the tasering forced him to drop his stick and fall to the ground.

He said the experience had left him scared to go outside.

However, Colin’s solicitor Sophie Khan said that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) had recommended gross misconduct proceedings should be brought against the officer.

“My client is disappointed with the decision and disputes the reasons given by the CPS and we will seek to challenge the evidence through the civil claim against Lancashire Constabulary,” she explained.
She said that she had written to the force about gross misconduct proceedings but was awaiting a response.
Ms Khan said a civil case for damages against Lancashire Police launched in January would remain on hold until the force decided whether to act on the IPCC’s recommendation.

Malcolm McHaffie, from the CPS said: “The officer had been informed a man was walking around Chorley carrying a sword.
“It appears the reflective nature of the victim’s stick led the public to mistake it for a weapon. The officer made the same mistake.”
However, police are trained observers, and it opens the question as to whether officers who cannot tell the difference between a white stick and a samurai sword should be allowed into the force.

It is also yet another good argument against police in the UK being allowed to carry guns, especially as it seems as though, Colin Farmer is not the only blind man in this incident.

The incident follows a similar incident in the US where a 95 year old man died after being tasered by the police for rejecting his medication in a care home.

John Warna, who was living in a retirement home in Park Forest, Illinois died after police shot him with a stun gun after being called out to intervene in a dispute between the man and staff at the facility.

In July, a New York man had his application to join the police force rejected after they claimed he was “too intelligent” and would get bored easily.

Jordan, a 49 year old college graduate scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125, but the police force he applied to only accept candidates who scored 20 to 27.

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