Police have launched an investigation into the dramatic scenes of a man being tasered and kicked on Brighton seafront after The Argus passed the footage to Sussex Police.
In the video, the man, who was later arrested for shoplifting, appears to be kicked forcefully in the leg after receiving a shot from the Taser, which discharges 50,000 volts.
Incapacitated by the stun gun, he then falls flat on his face without being able to protect himself.
The officer is then heard shouting “put your hands up”, despite the man being unable to move.
After being alerted to the incident by The Argus, Sussex Police last night said it would be carrying out an internal investigation, adding it took all suggestions of misconduct seriously.
The incident took place on the seafront opposite the King’s Hotel in King’s Road, Brighton at about 6.30pm on Friday.
Police said they were called after reports a member of staff at Sainsbury’s in Western Road, Brighton, had been had been pushed to the ground by a suspected shoplifter.
Officers pursued the man they thought to be the offender and claimed it was necessary to Taser him in order to make a “safe arrest”.
A member of the public, who asked not to be named, saw the dramatic scene unfurl as he was walking to the shops after work.
He started filming just after the Taser had been fired at the suspected shoplifter.
The man, who is a respectable local businessman, said: “You could see that he clearly had some issues as he started taking his clothes off [when surrounded by officers].
“There was a lot of shouting and he was saying he had been tasered before.
“What concerned me was not the shouting but the kick that the police officer gave him.
“He was already going down but to be kicked like that while being tasered is quite concerning.”
Despite standing on a public highway, the witness said a police officer tried to stop him filming.
When he carried on, the officer then stood in his way to block the view.
Sussex Police said the tasered man was arrested on suspicion of theft and obstructing officers before receiving health and welfare checks to ensure that he was unharmed.
A force spokeswoman said he was later released on police bail until July 26 while enquiries continue.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “The video has now been referred to our professional standards department who examine it thoroughly, along with the full facts surrounding the incident, including what occurred before the actions shown in the video.
“It is important that we establish a detailed account of events from all available sources, as well as this video clip, before deciding on any further action.
“All suggestions of police misconduct are taken seriously and are carefully assessed, and action is taken whenever appropriate.”
Sussex Police also used a Taser on Friday in Whitehawk Hill Road, Brighton, at about 1.35pm after reports a man looked in an “agitated state”.
Do you know who the victim is? Contact The Argus on 01273 544527.
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