The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has today published a Review of IOPC cases involving the use of Taser 2015-2020.

Lisa Renee Cole, whose brother Marc Cole died following use of Taser, said: “This report has identified key findings relating to the Police misuse of Tasers that led to the deaths of Marc Cole, Adrian McDonald and Darren Cumberbatch. The IOPC have gravely failed our families by not applying these findings to the investigations into our loved ones’ deaths. Our families urge the IOPC to now look at the key finding patterns in all the cases listed in the deaths and injuries section of the report and to urgently review and robustly reinvestigate all these cases.”

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST, said: “This review is welcome but the recommendations do not go far enough to create the systemic change needed. Tasers are highly dangerous weapons which have resulted in serious injuries, harm, and deaths. They are increasingly used as a first not last resort.

The disproportionate and inappropriate use of Taser against Black people, people with mental ill health, learning disabilities and Autism, and children underscores longstanding concerns about racism and discrimination in policing.

We don’t just need more scrutiny, community oversight, or training or guidance. We need the IOPC, police chiefs and oversight bodies to hold police officers to account when they abuse their powers and to confront the reality presented by this evidence. We need strong action: stop the further rollout of Tasers to more officers now.

Ultimately to prevent further deaths and harm, we must look beyond policing and redirect resources into community, health, welfare and specialist services.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information, interview requests and to note your interest, please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]

The families of the following individuals were among those who were consulted in the review: