A black man repeatedly shot by police with a stun gun in London and then rescued from the River Thames died on Sunday. He was later named as Oladeji Omishore. A widely shared video shows Omishore in a state of distress with two police officers on Chelsea Bridge while, said police, he was holding a small screwdriver.
Moments later he is lying on the road in agony, his body contorted by electric shocks, after a cop fired his Taser. Every time Omishore tries to get up, the officer hits him again with up to 50,000 volts. Then, in what most would see as an effort to escape more pain, Omishore jumps up and runs towards the edge of the bridge. An officer wielding handcuffs gives chase while the other appears to attempt a further Tasering.
But Omishore throws himself off the bridge. Then, according to the Met police, he “subsequently entered the river”. RNLI lifeboats rescued him and took him to hospital, but he later died. Omishore’s family said, “We are deeply shocked and pained by his death and the heart breaking videos played out in the media”.
The IOPC is notorious for giving officers the “benefit of the doubt” in situations where cops injure or kill members of the public. But in the current climate, where contempt for the police as an institution is at a high, the watchdog has been forced to acknowledge some of the cops’ crimes.
It found in February that a Met officer who shot a ten year old girl with a Taser in south London should face gross misconduct proceedings. The following month, an officer was charged with grievous bodily harm after a man was shot with a Taser and left paralysed from the chest down.
A social worker who was shot with a Taser and knocked unconscious during a roadside stop last month said police had treated him like a “wild animal”. News of this weekend’s death comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel announced recently that special constables will now also be given tasers.
It’s sending shockwaves through the British establishment
Escalating the action can win
Emma was murdered in 2005
Iain Packer murdered Emma in 2005