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Thursday, November 15, 2007

British police tasered man in diabetic coma

November 15, 2007
BBC News

A man who had gone into a diabetic coma on a bus in Leeds was shot twice with a Taser gun by police who feared he may have been a security threat. Nicholas Gaubert has described how the incident happened in July 2005, just a week before the fatal shooting of Brazilian man Jean Charles de Menezes. Mr Gaubert, 34, said he was suffering severe post-traumatic stress as a result of the shooting. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating. Mr Gaubert, who lives in Leeds, said he had now decided to speak out after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled no officers involved should be charged with any criminal offences. The IPCC is still considering whether any disciplinary matters will be brought against the officers.

Mr Gaubert said he was on his way to meet friends when he suffered a hypoglycaemic fit on the bus which left him slumped on his seat clutching his rucksack. Armed police were called to the bus depot in Headingley and when he failed to respond to their challenges he was shot with the Taser. He said as this was happening, another officer was pointing a real gun at his head.

He was restrained and eventually came round in the police van. He said it was only then that the officers realised it was a medical emergency, despite him wearing a medical tag round his neck to warn of his condition, and took him to hospital.

Mr Gaubert said he was told the police believed he looked "Egyptian".

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