Police officers charged over taser use

Two police officers alleged to have used a taser on a suspect following a high speed car chase across Grand Cayman are facing criminal charges. 

The two police constables – Cardiff Robinson and Austin Etienne – are accused of using excessive force during the incident in May last year. 

The pair, who appeared in summary court Wednesday charged with common assault, have been placed on desk duty by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service pending the outcome of the case. 

Neither man has yet entered a plea on the assault charges. 

The incident followed a 20-mile chase across the island, involving patrol cars and the police helicopter, after a suspect refused to stop for officers investigating reports of a disturbance in George Town. 

When the driver was eventually stopped in East End, he was allegedly tasered. 

Police spokesman Superintendent Adrian Seales confirmed the officers alleged to have fired the weapons had been transferred to administrative roles. He declined to comment further. 

Robinson, 29, and Etienne, 44, were bailed to return to court on April 15. 

Officers in the Uniform Support Group of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service have been equipped with tasers since early 2013.  

The weapons, also known as stun guns, fire probes attached to wires to deliver an electric shock to suspects. 

When the weapons were first introduced, Police Commissioner David Baines said there would be a rigorous investigation process for each taser use. 

He said the weapons were fitted with high definition cameras to ensure full accountability. 

“Taser Cam is a great tool. It automatically starts recording video and sound every time the Taser is drawn from its holster and aimed at an offender,” Mr. Baines said in a media statement. 

“Therefore, everything the officers say and [do], as well as everything the offender says and does is available for use by the investigation teams, the Legal Department and to be viewed in the courts.” 

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