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Black man who died after Chelsea Bridge Taser incident was not holding screwdriver

Black man who died after Chelsea Bridge Taser incident was not holding screwdriver
Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore, 41, was not armed and dangerous contrary to initial reports

A Black man who died after being tasered multiple times by the police and falling into the River Thames was not armed and dangerous contrary to initial reports, the police watchdog has confirmed.

Two Metropolitan Police officers were trying to detain Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore, 41, following reports that he was brandishing a screwdriver on Chelsea Bridge Road on 4 June.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into his death uncovered that the Londoner was holding a plastic and metal firelighter when he was approached by two officers on Chelsea Bridge. Initial reports stated he had a screwdriver.

A video widely shared on social media showed the man being tasered three times and fleeing from officers towards the river where his body was later recovered.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Our thoughts remain with Mr Omishore’s family and all of those affected by his death. We continue to liaise with his family and to keep them updated on the progress of our independent investigation.

“Our investigators continue to gather and analyse key evidence, including footage recorded at the scene and initial accounts from officers and members of the public.

“We would urge anyone else who may have witnessed or recorded any part of the incident, either on the bridge or after Mr Omishore entered the river, to get in touch with us without delay. It is important we understand all of the circumstances surrounding his death.”

Black people are more likely to be subjected to prolonged Taser use compared to white people, according to an IOPC report published in August.

Statistics show that Black people are over three times more likely to die following contact with the police than their white counterparts.

A post-mortem took place on 13 June and we now await the pathologist’s report to confirm Mr Omishore’s cause of death. An inquest into his death was also opened and adjourned on 15 June.

The watchdog is appealing to those with information to make contact on 0300 3035579 or email chelseabridge@policeconduct.gov.uk(link sends e-mail) as soon as possible.

The Met Police has been approached for comment.