Investigation after race relations champion hit with Taser by police


An investigation has been launched after a community race relations champion was hit with a stun gun by police.

Judah Adunbi was hit in the face when officers mistook him for a wanted man in Easton, Bristol on Saturday.

A video of the incident appears to show Mr Adunbi refusing to give police his name, before a brief tussle with a male and female officer, and the discharge of the Taser.

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."

Mr Adunbi is a former member of the Independent Advisory Group to Avon and Somerset Police.

The groups advise on policing issues that may cause concern to local people and communities.

Members from various backgrounds volunteer with the purpose of building trust, confidence and better relationships with diverse communities.

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 were late discontinued.

An IPCC spokesman said: "We are independently investigating a complaint about an incident in Easton on 14 January 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.

"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," she said.

"It is important that anyone who witnessed the incident, or may have any footage of it, make contact with our investigators to help us establish the full facts.

"We are also seeking to speak to the man and the officers involved at the earliest opportunity."