Shocket Aslam, who is dependent on a wheelchair, has said that police approached his car aggressively after he was stopped on the M6 motorway. It is understood that a number of police vehicles were deployed after Mr Aslam left a petrol station without paying for £20 of petrol.
He has alleged that immediately on reaching his vehicle, the police smashed a side window and hit him with what he describes as a cosh. He protested that he was disabled, and could not easily get out of the vehicle, but was then tasered from behind in his shoulder. Mr Aslam maintains that he did not resist the police, behave aggressively, or do anything that would give them cause to fear for their safety.
He claims that officers saw his wheelchair in the back of the car, and commented on it, but continued to drag him from the car and along the ground. He was then thrown head first into a police car.
Shocket Aslam has also complained about his subsequent treatment in custody, where he was left without medical attention, and was held overnight in an interview room. He claims he was shaking and shivering for some time after being tasered, was bleeding from his head and nose and was unable to speak properly. Medication for his existing condition was also withheld.
Concerns about the incident have been raised by the deaths in custody campaign, Justice for Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah. Saqib Desmukh, who volunteers for the campaign, told us;
“The crime of driving away with twenty quid’s worth of petrol did not warrant the level of force and aggression that was displayed.
“Shocket was a victim of a gun crime several years ago hence his disability – he said that being hit with a taser was like being shot again and he can’t believe that officers had two tasers aimed at him.”
“Why was a taser, and such excessive force used when Shocket Aslam was offering police no resistance? Why was his disability not taken account in how the police handled him? And why was medical treatment withheld, especially after the use of a taser, and when he had clearly sustained injuries?”
The law requires police to use the minimum level of force necessary, and ACPO guidance gives police the authority to use tasers only where the safety of officers or members of the public were threatened.
This is not the first instance of police have been accused of using excessive force in a police vehicle stop. Six officers from the Met faced disciplinary hearings last November after they smashed up a suspect’s car with baseball bats and a pick axe handle, and Gwent police suspended officers in August 2010 for having smashed a window to drag an OAP from his car.