Police watchdog appeals for witnesses and video footage after man Tasered by Met dies following river rescue

·2-min read

The police watchdog is appealing for witnesses in its investigation into the death of a man who entered the River Thames after being Tasered by officers.

Police were called to Chelsea Bridge Road, in west London, on Saturday morning after receiving reports that a man was armed with a screwdriver and shouting.

The man was challenged by officers on the bridge and Tasered, but the Met Police said this "did not enable the officers to safely detain him".

He then entered the river before being rescued by the RNLI and taken to hospital.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the police watchdog, said the 41-year-old man, who lived locally, was initially given first aid on Lambeth pier by ambulance staff.

He died in hospital on Saturday evening.

On Monday, the watchdog said it was "appealing for witnesses to come forward as it investigates the interaction between Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers and a man who died after entering the River Thames from Chelsea Bridge".

It also urged anyone with footage of any part of the incident to come forward.

The IOPC said its investigators had carried out a CCTV trawl, and had secured some mobile footage filmed on the bridge along with police body-worn video camera footage.

The officers involved in the incident have provided their accounts and the Taser that was deployed has been gathered for analysis.

IOPC investigators have also overseen a forensic examination of the scene.

HM Coroner has been informed and a post-mortem will take place in due course.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: "Our sympathies are with the family of the man who died and everyone else affected. We have already met with the man's family to explain our role and we will keep them regularly updated as our inquiries progress.

"We have an independent investigation underway, which is looking at the interaction between officers and the man on the bridge.

"While we have footage, we would appeal to people to get in touch with us without delay if they saw or recorded any part of the incident, either on the bridge, after the man came to be in the water, or at Lambeth pier when the man was taken there.

"We would also urge anyone who was on a boat near the bridge at around that time on Saturday morning to contact us."

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the IOPC on 0300 3035579 or email chelseabridge@policeconduct.gov.uk as soon as possible.

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