Dramatic bodycam footage of the moment a man with two knives is Tasered by officers has been released by West Midlands Police. The footage shows the man marching toward officers with a weapon in each hand before he is brought to the ground.
As the footage begins, armed police can be seen racing towards a residential block in Birmingham city center following reports that a man had stabbed two knives into a wooden reception desk. Staff locked themselves in an office and called police, who were confronted by Aron Tesfalem, 20, as he left the block at 7pm on October 3.
Police can be heard telling Tesfalem to drop the knives about 10 times before the officers, who have their guns drawn, decide to use their Tasers instead. West Midlands Police said the force released the images to show the kind of threats firearms officers routinely face, as well as the power of body-worn cameras in capturing vital evidence for court.
Tesfalem later told police he was drunk and angry after a laptop he paid £400 (US$520) for failed to materialize. He said he did not know what his intentions with the knives were, and that he did not understand the officers’ commands when they were calling on him to drop his weapons.
Tesfalem pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing a bladed article following the confrontation. More than 1,400 West Midlands Police officers have been issued with body-worn cameras. They are used whenever officers are called to domestic incidents.