Footage has emerged showing the moment a PC fired a Taser gun at a naked man, after he threw his underwear at the officer in a cell at a Wiltshire police station.
The video appears to show 23-year-old Daniel Dove taking off his socks in a cell, as three staff members look on. As he begins to remove his underwear, PC Birch gestures towards Mr Dove.
The 23-year-old then flicks his underwear at the police officer, who subsequently removes his unholstered Taser gun from behind his back, and fires the weapon at Mr Dove, apparently without warning. The young man then falls onto a mat on the cell floor.
Police representatives were allegedly told by Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Patrick Geenty, to ask the Crown Prosecution Service to prevent the footage from being released, according to the Guardian who obtained the evidence.
The block was attempted despite Mr Dove, the judge, the prosecution, and the defence agreeing it would be in the public interest for it to be published, according to the newspaper.
The incident took place during a strip search at Melksham police station in the early hours of December 23 2012.
Warning: Viewers may find this footage distressing
PC Birch had arrested Mr Dove earlier that morning, outside MooMoo nightclub in Trowbridge after he was removed from the premises by door staff following an altercation with another clubber.
The footage comes after PC Birch was acquitted of assault and misconduct on Tuesday over the 2012 incident.
During the trial, Bristol Crown Court heard that Mr Dove had allegedly punched PC Birch in the head during his arrest, before kneeing another police officer in the groin three times.
He was then taken to Melksham police station and put into a cell, where PC Birch used his Taser against Mr Dove.
The 23-year-old claimed he felt “humiliated” when he was instructed to remove his wet boxer shorts and flicked them in the face of PC Birch.
The police officer, who has served since 2007, was later charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and misconduct in public office. But a jury of six men and six women took just an hour to find PC Birch not guilty of each charge, following a five-day trial which concluded on Tuesday.
Additional reporting by PAReuse content