Blind man Tasered by police who mistook cane for gun

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A blind man has been Tasered by police after his cane was mistaken for a gun.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were called to reports of a man with a gun on Albert Road, Levenshulme, shortly after 6.40pm on Thursday.

A force spokesman said: "Armed response officers attended and a Taser was deployed. A 43-year-old man was detained.

"Officers later discovered the man was in possession of a folding cane and he was subsequently released."

The force confirmed the man was blind.

Superintendent Steve Howard, of GMP's City of Manchester Team, said: "Officers responded quickly to the incident to ensure the safety of the community of Levenshulme.

"It has been established that there was no threat and inquiries are ongoing to fully understand the circumstances of the incident.

"In line with standard procedure on occasions such as this, a referral has been made to GMP's Professional Standards Branch."

In 2012, a blind man was Tasered in Lancashire after his white stick was mistaken for a Samurai sword.

The man was walking in Chorley town centre on the way to meet friends at a pub when he was Tasered and then handcuffed.

Shopkeeper Tasawar Dar, who runs the Discount Master convenience store on Albert Road in Levenshulme, told the Manchester Evening News he saw armed police arriving at the scene.

He said: "I heard the police here and they shouted, 'lie down on the ground', and there was the bark of a dog as well.

"I saw a guy sitting on the stairs of the station and a police officer came into the shop asking for a can of Coke. I thought it was for him, they went out and gave it to the guy.

"They made him sit on the stairs. He looked to be a reasonable person.

"The police were all armed. They had pistols rather than the big guns."