Disturbing police bodycam footage has shown the moment a man was violently tasered and pepper sprayed in his motel room.
Luke Arthur Marsh, 39, was arrested in November last year at the motel in Watson, Canberra, after officers told him he had breached the peace.
Magistrate James Stewart on Wednesday cleared Mr Marsh of a charge of resisting a public official in the ACT Magistrates Court where the footage was played.
Mr Marsh was pinned down by multiple officers before he was tasered and sprayed.
He then repeatedly shout out ‘I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!’.
Luke Arthur Marsh, 39, was arrested in November last year at the motel in Watson, Canberra, with officers telling him he had breached the peace. He was tasered and pepper sprayed
Police were called to the motel by paramedics who said a man who appeared to be intoxicated was aggressively yelling at them while they were treating another patient.
Paramedics said they saw the man walking towards the motel’s car park, which is where Mr Marsh was spotted by police.
In the footage, the officers are outside Mr Marsh’s room, asking him to open the door.
He calls out ‘f**k off’ while one officer tells the man he has ‘serious concerns that you’re going to continue to act in a violent matter’.
The officers then warn Mr Marsh they’re going to ram the door down.
Moments later, the officers are given a key to open the door, and push past a bicycle that was put up by Mr Marsh to barricade himself inside.
‘You’re acting in a violent matter and you have been since we got here,’ the officer calls out to the man.
Mr Marsh was arrested by multiple officers. He asked why he was being arrested and was on Wednesday cleared of a charge of resisting a public official
A scuffle ensues as the officers arrest Mr Marsh, who was told to lie on the floor and put his hands behind his back.
The man calls out asking why he was being arrested to which an officer replied it was for ‘breaching the peace’.
Mr Marsh is then tasered several times and pepper sprayed in his face.
‘Come on, oh my God, what is this?’ he calls out.
‘I can’t breathe,’ he then says over and over and the officers cough as the spray fills the room.
Defence lawyer Daniel Turner said police only assumed Mr Marsh was the man yelling at the paramedics because he was in the vicinity at the time, according to court documents, the Canberra Times reported.
He said it couldn’t be proven the 39-year-old was the one breaching the peace.
The confronting footage shows Mr Marsh being tasered and pepper sprayed by police. Magistrate James Stewart described the footage as ‘disturbing’
Magistrate Stewart agreed and said there was no evidence in the footage to suggest Mr Marsh had been violent.
He acquitted Mr Marsh of the resisting charge, and said he was concerned one officer was seen holding his taser before entering the room.
He also found that police were not acting in their functions to enter his room, as they couldn’t establish he was the one who breached the peace.
Mr Stewart said police should review the footage for training purposes.
‘That footage needs to be watched and rewatched, and I don’t particularly want to do that,’ he said.
‘I found it disturbing.’
ACT Policing said it noted Mr Stewart’s comments about the footage.
‘The circumstances of this arrest have been referred to AFP Professional Standards for consideration,’ it said.
‘ACT Policing has robust training and review systems in place and if operational issues are identified, then a range of options are in place to ensure those issues are addressed.
‘Anyone who has concerns with the conduct of an officer can make a complaint via the AFP website.’