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Man who was kicked while being tasered set to sue Sussex Police
A man who was kicked by police after being tasered is contacting a solicitor about Sussex Police’s conduct.
Paul McClelland, speaking for the first time since the incident, told The Argus being hit with the taser was like having his “breath taken away”.
He wants the incident to be “fully investigated” by the force as their conduct was “not acceptable”.
The 37-year-old, of Sillwood Road, Brighton, was blasted with the taser as he stood on Brighton seafront after allegedly shoplifting from Sainsbury’s on July 5.
Footage taken on a mobile phone shows him being kicked forcefully in the shin by a police officer after being hit by the taser.
He said: “I remember running away and taking my shirt off.
“I was stood there and had my hands out. I think there were about five officers around me.
“I walked backwards with my hands out. They could have grabbed me and put handcuffs on – instead they tasered me.
“Apparently after I was tasered I said, ‘what a rush man’.
“I felt like my body was not there.”
Mr McClelland has visited the Citizens’ Advice Bureau for guidance.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Betts said the incident is being investigated by the force’s Professional Standards Department.
He added: “I recognise how this incident may look to members of the public and we will be looking at evidence from all available sources.”
He said statements have been taken from Mr McClelland and members of the public who witnessed the incident.
He could not comment on officers’ actions until the internal investigation is complete.
He added: “All officers are taught a number of techniques to assist in the control and restraint of suspects.
“Specific training also covers ensuring the welfare of someone who has been tasered.
“One of the approved and taught techniques is a sweeping strike to a suspect’s leg to assist in achieving control.
“As part of the investigation into this incident, consideration will be given as to whether the use of force was proportionate and if it was appropriate to be used in this situation.
“All suggestions of police misconduct are taken very seriously, with action taken whenever appropriate.
“We will be able to provide further information when this investigation has concluded.”
Mr McClelland has been charged with two counts of shoplifting, one count of common assault, one count of assault by beating and one count of resisting arrest.
He is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court on August 15.
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