The police lied about the death of a black man who fell into the River Thames from Chelsea Bridge earlier this month.
Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore died after two cops tasered him on 4 June. A widely shared video showed Omishore lying on the road in agony, his body contorted by electric shocks, after a cop fired his taser. Every time Omishore tried to get up, the officer hit him again with up to 50,000 volts.
Omishore jumped up and ran towards the edge of the bridge. An officer wielding handcuffs gave chase, while the other appeared to attempt a further tasering. But Omishore threw himself off the bridge and he later drowned.
The reason for all this, the Met told the media, was that Omishore was armed with a screwdriver. In fact he was carrying a plastic and metal firelighter. His family said that Omishore used the lighter for his cigarettes.
The family’s lawyer, Kate Maynard, said they want to know why the initial Met statement referred to a screwdriver when they had already seized the lighter.
They also want to know why it took the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) several days to reveal the truth about this crucial matter. The IOPC says it did not receive the correction from the Met until 9 June, five days after Omishore’s death. It then did not tell the family until 13 June.
The delay supposedly was to make sure “appropriate support” was in place. Would it have taken that long for a white chief executive’s family to be told?
In a statement issued through the charity Inquest on Wednesday, Omishore’s family said, “Deji was a beloved son, brother, friend who was creative, musically gifted and talented. Not only was he caring and funny, he also had a great appreciation for arts, nature and his local neighbourhood.
“We are deeply distressed by the events leading up to Oladeji’s death and are engaging fully in the IOPC investigation to seek answers. We welcome the long overdue correction that all Oladeji had in his possession at the time was a lighter.
“Deji was clearly suffering from a mental health crisis and he was vulnerable and frightened. We have set out our concerns to the IOPC about how the officers communicated with him, their repeated use of force on him, and its impact.”
They also expressed concern that the officers involved remain on duty while the investigation is carried out.
The family said, “We sincerely hope that the IOPC investigation, and ultimately the inquest, will hold the Metropolitan Police accountable for their actions. And also shed further light on the very necessary policy and social justice changes that we need to see.
“In the meantime, while the investigations are still underway, we are concerned that the officers who had contact with Deji remain on active duty.”
The battle continues for justice for Omishore and all of those who’ve died after contact with police
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