Bristol race relations adviser Tasered by police is targeted again

Kevin Rawlinson
Judah Adunbi attending court for the trial of a police officer who shot him in the face with a stun gun last year. PC Claire Boddie was found not guilty of assault. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

A police force that shot its own race relations adviser with a stun gun in 2017 after mistaking him for a wanted man has once again confused him for the very same person.

Officers from Avon and Somerset police approached Judah Adunbi on Wednesday and asked him if he was Royston McCalla, before driving off laughing, Adunbi has said.

The incident came only six weeks after the force’s chief constable expressed regret about the incident in 2017 in which Adunbi, who has worked to improve relations between the police and Bristol’s black community, was shot in the face with a stun gun after being mistaken for McCalla.

Adunbi, a Rastafarian who is known as Ras Judah, said two officers pulled up alongside him in a police car as he left a shop near his home in Bristol.

“They were shouting ‘Hey Royston, Royston’ but I just kept my head down. They pulled in by the shop and kept calling me ‘Royston’,” he told the Bristol Post. “I decided to ignore them. They were saying: ‘Are you Royston or are you Ras?’”

Adunbi, 64, said the officers were “giggling” about the incident as they drove past him.

“I felt terrible. I walked home and locked my door and didn’t want to go back out. To think this has happened again, and they were joking about it, winding me up,” Adunbi told the Bristol Post.

“They had enough time to look at me and know it was me. Millions of people have seen the video of me, the police ought to know me by now, the police ought to know where I live now, that this is my street.

“Surely it is impossible for them to even try to suggest this. I knew they were having a joke because if they did think I was Royston, they would’ve come in the shop, but they waited until I came out so they could drive past me.”

On Thursday evening, Avon and Somerset police acknowledged that the incident had taken place.

“Officers on patrol in a marked car drove alongside a man in Chelsea Road yesterday evening to ask for his name, as they thought he might be a man wanted for a grievous bodily harm offence committed in Filton Avenue, Bristol, in the early hours of 11 October 2018.

“The man was asked to confirm his name but he didn’t reply. On closer look, officers were able to establish the man wasn’t the wanted suspect and they drove off. We fully accept the man the officers spoke to wasn’t the man we’re trying to trace.”

An Avon and Somerset officer was cleared on criminal charges relating to the 2017 incident, before also being cleared on professional charges.