Man dies after 'triple Taser strike' by police


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The Independent Online

An investigation has been launched into the death of a man who was shot a number of times with a Taser gun by police during his arrest in Cumbria.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking into the incident, which occurred after officers were called to an address in Barrow at 6.30pm on Tuesday following reports of a man causing a disturbance.

The 27-year-old man, named locally as Dale Burns, who is said to have been a bodybuilder and doorman, is alleged to have been shot three times with the high voltage weapon. He could become the first person in Britain to die as a result of being shot with a Taser; a post mortem was due to be held yesterday.

A police spokesman said: "Neighbourhood police officers attended the scene and arrested a male on suspicion of causing criminal damage and, during the arrest, a Taser was deployed. The man became unwell following the arrest and was taken to Furness General Hospital by officers. At around 9pm the man, who was in his 20s and lived locally, was pronounced dead."

In 2006, Brian Loan, 47, died four days after being tasered by police, but a coroner ruled the cause of his death was long-term heart disease.

Amnesty International has raised concerns about the use of "electroshock" weapons, saying since 2001 it has recorded the deaths of more than 450 people in the US after they were struck with a Taser.

IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said: "I would like to send my condolences to the family of Mr Burns at this difficult time. In these circumstances where a man has died relatively soon after being arrested by police it is right that we undertake a fully independent investigation."

Friend Stan Dewhurst, who owns the Flexappeal gym, said Mr Burns was a keen gym-goer and father-oftwo.

Mr Dewhurst, 48, said: I have known him since he was 15 when he joined the gym. He worked for me for five years. But he was more than an employee, he used to open up and lock up for me, he was like a son."

Mr Dewhurst paid tribute to Mr Burns, saying: "He was very, very popular, just a really nice guy."