Manchester

Blind man Tasered as cane mistaken for gun in Levenshulme

Levenshulme station
Image caption The incident happened on Albert Road near Levenshulme rail station

A police force has apologised after a blind man was Tasered because his cane was mistaken for a firearm.

Armed response officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were called at about 18:40 GMT on Thursday after reports there was a man with a gun.

The 43-year-old was uninjured during the incident in Albert Road, Levenshulme, GMP assistant chief constable Garry Shewan said.

"Officers have been with him, and have now apologised for what happened."

He said: "Two witnesses, as well as our firearms officers, believed the man was acting in an agitated manner and in the dark, the folded cane appeared to be a gun.

"An officer decided that in the circumstances, and to ensure the safety of the man and public, he should deploy a Taser."

No complaint

He said an initial review indicated the officer "carried out a suitable risk assessment and, with the information he had available at the time, made what appeared to be an appropriate decision".

He said the 43-year-old man "acknowledged that his behaviour could have led to people being concerned".

"The man has accepted our apology and does not wish to make a complaint however we will continue to review the situation."

In 2012, a blind man was Tasered in Chorley, Lancashire, after his white stick was mistaken for a Samurai sword.

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