In the UK and the US these days, it seems as though some police think that they are untouchable and can do as they please. They figure that they have the power and can corruptly use this power for their own entertainment.
When groom Stewart Roberts chose his comedy costume for his stag do in the UK, he probably thought it would raise a few laughs. Little did he know the outfit would lead to two of his friends being Tasered and arrested by police.
Brothers-in-law Darren Corbridge, 37, and John Naylor, 49, ended up in a fracas with officers after seeking help to get the husband-to-be, wearing the six-foot novelty penis costume, a cab home after the night out.
The pair were later found guilty of assaulting a police officer as a result of the melee at the end of the stag do in Weymouth, Dorset, in August 2010.
But car mechanic John and company director Darren, have now had their convictions overturned after a judge watched CCTV footage of the incident and ruled they had not provoked police.
At about 2am Darren approached two police officers after a taxi driver refused to take Stewart home because of his outfit. The police ignored his plea for help, but as he walked away he was followed by an officer, who pushed him in the chest.
The CCTV showed John trying to intervene only to be blasted with pepper spray. Darren was then seen being restrained by five officers before he was Tasered and detained.
Groom Stewart and fiance Ellie Roberts, 31, were captured on camera staggering away from the scene afterwards.
Darren said: ‘We had done a few things to Stewart that night like strip him and put him in the penis costume. We tarred and feathered him and washed him off at the beach. At the end of the night we tried to get a taxi home but were refused. I asked two police officers in a car if they were able to help me to get a taxi to take him home or to take him home themselves.
‘A male officer came up and pushed me in the chest, so I stepped back, then John was sprayed with pepper spray. More than 20 officers then turned up, two of them were armed. They bundled into John and he fell down before he was Tasered. I was then struck in the face.
‘Even though I had my arms up in the air another officer claimed I had him in a head lock. I was taken to the floor and then about four or five officers jumped on me. They shot me with the Taser at least three times in the chest, and Tasered John numerous times. I was refused medical assistance. With Tasering it’s 50,000 volts going through your chest and that’s not pleasant. I didn’t know what was happening.’
John said: ‘Darren walked away from the police officer who got out about 30 seconds later and started poking him in the chest. I went over to say ‘come away’ but I was then sprayed in the eyes for no reason at all, it was stinging and I couldn’t see.
‘Ten or 12 police cars turned up. Two officers came round the back of me and grabbed hold of me. I told them I hadn’t done anything and I broke free and then I was elbowed in the head, then they started Tasering me. The Tasering was excruciating. They told me to stay still but I couldn’t because I was having convulsions.’
Darren and John, who was also charged with resisting arrest, were found guilty at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court last year.
Darren was put on electronic tag for 12 weeks and John for four weeks. But they appealed against the conviction and sentence and won their case at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Stewart said: ‘It shocks me how something can escalate like that. The police didn’t need to go that far. They didn’t need to get out the car. It’s like they were bored.’