Britain’s police watchdog is to hold an investigation after officers were filmed firing a stun-gun at their own local black race relations adviser who they apparently mistook for a wanted suspect, the force involved said on Friday.
Judah Adunbi, 63, who is a founder member of an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) which works with Avon and Somerset Police in western England to improve relations with the local black community, was shot with the high-voltage Taser gun last Saturday outside his home in Bristol.
A neighbour’s video of the incident posted on newspaper websites showed two officers speaking to Adunbi, saying they believed he was someone who is wanted. He refused to give his name saying “I’ve done no wrong” and later, after a brief scuffle, one officer shot him with a stun gun.
“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,” he told ITV News.
Avon and Somerset Police said they had referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
“I’ve met with Mr Adunbi and we had a constructive conversation,” said Chief Superintendent Jon Reilly.
“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.”
On its website, Avon and Somerset Police say “IAGs have a vital role in helping us build trust, confidence and better relationships, especially with our diverse communities”.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)