Officers fire at 63-year-old founder of group improving community relations after mistaking him for wanted suspect
A BLACK race relations adviser for the police has been Tasered by officers outside his own home in a shambolic case of mistaken identity.
Judah Adunbi was electrocuted with the stun gun by officers who mistook him for a wanted man in Easton, in Bristol, last Saturday. An investigation has been launched into the incident.
A video appears to show Mr Adunbi, 63, refusing to give police his name outside his house, a policeman trying to restrain him before a policewoman quickly discharges the Taser.
Mr Adunbi is a well-known member of Bristol’s Afro-Caribbean community and former member of the Independent Advisory Group to Avon and Somerset Police. It advises on policing issues that cause concern with local people.
The footage shows him with his dog, saying to the officers: “I’m not telling you my name. I’ve done no wrong.”
The police then follow him to his gate and fire the Taser, despite an onlooking neighbour shouting at them that Mr Adunbi was simply trying to go home.
Mr Adunbi said: “At first you don’t accuse someone of being someone else. You ask questions.”
He told ITV news he was “humiliated” by the incident in which he thought he would lose his life.
He said: “I felt that was it. Because of the way I fell back. The way I fell backward on the back of my head. I was just paralysed. I thought that was it. I thought they were taking my life.”
Chief Superintendent Jon Reilly, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “After reviewing what happened, we voluntarily referred a complaint about this incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
“Although we don’t have to refer an incident in which a Taser has been discharged to the IPCC, we want to be as open and transparent as possible.
“I’ve met with Mr Adunbi and we had a constructive conversation.
“We’re aware of concerns within the local community and we take these concerns very seriously. We would like to answer their questions, but we need to be mindful that an investigation is ongoing which makes that difficult.
“However, I would like to reassure them that the incident was captured on the officers’ body-worn video cameras.”
After the incident, recorded by a neighbour, Mr Adunbi was arrested and charged with a public order offence and assaulting a police officer. The charges against him were later dropped.
An IPCC spokesman said: “We are independently investigating a complaint about an incident in Easton on January 14 where a man was Tasered.
“The IPCC investigation follows a referral from Avon and Somerset Police and is in its early stages.”
IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said investigators would be reviewing the body worn video of the officers involved, checking for any CCTV evidence and conducting house-to-house enquiries as part of the inquiry.
She added: “We would like to reassure the community that we will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this incident and whether the use of Taser by officers was appropriate in these circumstances.”
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