atticus wrote:What possible reason was there to use a taser on this man?
Have you ever had to physically restrain a violent man? How often have you had to do so? I bet you don't answer.
A police officer sees a man he believes to be a suspect wanted for a serious crime, IIRC, involving violence. He correctly asks the man for identification on the basis that if it's produced and it's not that wanted man it will help avoid an arrest. That seems fair to me. The man refuses to identify himself and walks off. When restrained he resists in a manner that indicates he is prepared to use violence in order to continue on his way, perhaps into a secure area preventing any further arrest or pursuit. The police have a number of options:
Leave him alone and go prosecute some motorists
Leave him alone and go for a nice cup of tea.
Escalate the force used to a degree sufficient to achieve the desired result.
In days gone by this confrontation may have ended up with the application of a truncheon to various parts of the man's person until such time as he was rendered incapacitated. For better of for worse, the TASER is regarded as lower n the use of force scale than impact weapons and that is how police training goes. Given liability issues and the fear of being sued, police officers are more likely to try and remain within that use of force scale. Accordingly, application of a TASER in the arrest of a resistive person believed to be a violent criminal wanted for arrest is at the very least a reasonable pre-emptive strike that would more than likely save the man more serious injury if the violence is allowed to escalate.
"I do not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death my right to be offended by it."