Police fired a 50,000-volt Taser into the head of a 45-year-old company director who later proved to be unarmed and innocent. Daniel Sylvester, the owner of an east London security firm employing 65 staff to guard council offices, pubs and nightclubs, was driving home on October 20 when he was stopped by armed police because of “firearms related intelligence”.
According to Sylvester, he got out of his car and was surrounded by officers, at least two of whom were carrying automatic weapons. Without warning, one officer fired a Taser into the back of his head which made him drop to his knees, he said. A second shock caused him to fall on his face, breaking a front tooth. A further six shocks made him wet himself and left him lying in the road in pain while the officers and sniffer dogs searched the car and found nothing.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has started an investigation and David Lammy, Sylvester’s MP in Tottenham, north London, has written to Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, to say he is “deeply concerned”.
“Armed police jumped out and opened my car door,” he said. “I said OK, I’m coming. I asked what was going on and as soon as I stepped out of the car I felt something touch me on the back of the head and then I was on my knees. Then it happened again and I was on my face and I felt somebody pressing my head down with their foot. By the fifth time I realised officers were pinning my arms together. It was like they were trying to break my arms and I was in pain, screaming out.
“I was shocked eight times altogether and I had urinated on the floor. It was like being tortured. It went on and on and I felt they were going to kill me.”
Wait–I left out the best part:
Sylvester said the incident had left him traumatised and he now suffered from short-term memory loss. He doubts the police would have stopped him had he not been black.
Tasers have been used 47 times in London this year, with black people accounting for almost two-thirds of those stunned.
Sheesh–even in the mother country “driving while black” still applies.
Personally I hope that British law allows Sylvester to sue the living crap out of the cop who fired the weapon, the cops who assaulted him, the police force that obviously doesn’t police the use of their weapon, and the government that licensed their use.
h/t pale via IM.
Update: I wonder if this latest incident will be added to the pre-Christmas press blitz? (The purple model would totally match my mother’s curtains.)