16 June 2005 Edition

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PSNI fire shots at wrong man

PSNI members who opened fire during a chase near Lisburn, County Antrim, on Wednesday 8 June fired at the wrong man.

And now nationalist politicians are asking why those involved in the shooting have not been suspended from duty while the Police Ombudsman investigates the incident.

The shooting occurred as the PSNI continued with their search for convicted killer, David Taggart, who escaped from Lisburn Courthouse on Tuesday 7 June. A PSNI patrol become involved in a chase with a man and opened fire on him. It later transpired that the man they were pursuing was not Taggart and that they had shot at the wrong man.

The Police Ombudsman's investigators have since spoken to the man and are investigating where the shots were fired and why.

It is understood none of those involved has been suspended and any inquiries about the shooting directed at the PSNI are being referred to the Ombudsman's office.

CS Spray

Meanwhile, Paul O'Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry said the news that each individual use by the PSNI of the controversial CS Spray is no longer automatically investigated by the Police Ombudsman's Office is a matter of great concern.

O'Connor said O'Loan had initially declined to investigate each use of CS Spray, she then did so, but had not been investigating each case automatically since December.

"Are the District Policing Partnerships and the Policing Boards aware of this? They told us the public should be reassured that each case is investigated. Is it a case that we now shouldn't be reassured?" he asked.


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