Family of tasered man, 73, make formal complaint, want answers

Police undergo taser training. Photo:

The family of the 73-year-old man with dementia who was tasered by Rotterdam police last week have made a formal complaint about the police action.

‘I do not understand why they could not get hold of my father, who is a little old man,’ son John Dossett told the AD on Tuesday.

‘But there they were, three of them opposite my father who is 73, weighs 60 kilos and is 1.65 metres tall. You don’t taser a man like that. And if the three of them could not control him, maybe they are in the wrong jobs.’

The tasering of Carl Dossett, which was condemned by Amnesty International, caused an outcry last week, even though justice minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus said he understood the officer was in a ‘nasty emergency situation’.

But his family say that they have many questions about use of the taser and have now filed a complaint in hope of finding out what really happened. They dispute some of the police claims, such as the location of the incident and say he was not waving a sharp metal implement around.


Dutch police will decide at the end of this year if tasers are to be more widely used – they are currently being used on an experimental basis in several Dutch cities.

A report on the trials published in June said electric shock weapons do have ‘added value’ for the police.

Since the start of the trail in February 2017, tasers have been drawn 343 times and in 62% of cases, the threat of use was enough to calm the situation down, the report states.

‘The most important effect of the electric shock weapon is the threat it presents to the suspect and the extra confidence that gives to the police officer, ‘ said Willem Woelders, who is in charge of the trial, at the time.

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