Family of man who died after being shot with taser criticise ‘cruel’ wait to see bodycam footage

·3-min read
Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore (Facebook)
Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore (Facebook)

Relatives of a man who died after plunging from a London bridge after being Tasered have said it was “cruel” to make them wait over three months to see police bodycam video of the incident.

The family of Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore, who died at Chelsea Bridge in June, said they were were shown body-cam footage on Wednesday.

Footage of the incident posted on social media showed officers challenging Mr Omishore and then discharging a Taser as he shouted in an agitated manner.

After initially being incapacitated, the 41-year-old recovered and ran to the side of the bridge before appearing to jump into the river below.

Details released by the Metropolitan Police in the aftermath of the incident said that officers had been called to reports that a man was “armed with a screwdriver”.

In June, watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), confirmed that in fact Mr Omishore, who was known by his family as Deji, had been carrying a plastic and metal firelighter, which relatives said he used to light cigarettes.

Investigators from the Independent Office for Police Conduct are continuing to examine events around the incident.

In a statement released on Twitter on Thursday, Mr Omishore’s family said: “Yesterday, our family was finally given access to view the body-worn video footage of the officers that encountered our brother Deji on Chelsea Bridge.

“This comes more than 3 months after his death.

“There is no justification for the wait that families systematically endure to have access to this footage. It’s cruel and deprives families of clarity and closure.

“We’ve heard reports of cases where access has taken over 18 months! Why?!

“From the bystander footage, we can see that Deji was vulnerable and subject to an excessive use of force.”

The family said using a taser was “reckless, coercive, and opportunities to de-escalate the situation were gravely missed.”

They added: “The Met Police still has a lot of answering to do.

“Despite their actions resulting in death, the officers are still on active duty, with no investigation into their conduct. Neither has been interviewed under caution.

“We are urgently calling for this to change.”

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “This was a tragic incident and our sympathies are with Mr Omishore’s family as they continue to come to terms with the loss of their loved one.

“This matter is subject to an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

“We are co-operating fully with the IOPC’s investigation and their findings will be released in due course.

“The officers involved in this incident remain on full duties. Decisions about the status of any officer involved in an incident under investigation are kept under review.”

A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with the family and friends of Oladeji Omishore. Our investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death is progressing well and our investigators are continuing to gather and analyse key evidence.

“At this stage we have no indication that any of the officers involved may have breached police professional standards or committed a criminal offence, although we keep conduct matters constantly under review.

“We will work to complete the investigation as quickly as possible and we are committed to carrying out a thorough and robust examination of all the evidence. We continue to liaise with Mr Omishore’s family to update them on our progress.”