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Police officers 'justified in the use of Tasers'

By Nevin Farrell

Police were justified in using Tasers during three incidents last year, investigations by the Police Ombudsman's Office have found.

Two of the incidents involved the use of the controversial electric shock weapon against men with knives, the other was discharged at a man who officers said appeared to be reaching for a gun.

The first incident happened on the Ligoniel Road in north Belfast on January 21, 2013, where a man with a knife was reported to be trying to stop traffic.

In May last year, officers were sent to Loughgall, Co Armagh, to deliver a European arrest warrant relating to a man believed to be a member of a crime gang.

Officers reported that he made attempts to reach into a holdall. Fearing he might be reaching for a gun, an officer discharged a Taser.

The next month, police received a call from a woman in north Belfast who said her son had left the house with a kitchen knife. When police arrived he ran at them with the knife in his hand, at which point an officer fired his Taser.

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