Police in the English city of Bristol have been caught on video firing a Taser at a man who helped establish an outreach group to try and ease relations with the black community, mistaking him for a criminal suspect, according to Sky News.
Judah Adunbi, 63, is seen being approached by officers near his home in the video shot by a neighbor on Saturday. They are heard asking him to identify himself, which he declines to do, stating: “I’m not telling you my name. I’ve done no wrong.”
He continues to walk to the front gate of his property with the officers trying to stop him, when one of the officers is heard shouting “Taser” as they fire the weapon at him.
A neighbor in Abundi’s Easton neighborhood of Bristol, in western England, can be heard shouting at the police as he records the encounter on his cell phone: “He’s one of our neighbours. He’s a lovely guy, leave him alone.”
After the Taser is fired and Adunbi is on the ground, the neighbor continues arguing with the police, who say Adunbi was resisting.
“He was not resisting, he was just trying to get to his house, and you stopped him,” the man says.
Chief Superintendent Jon Reilly, of Avon and Somerset Police, said the department had, “voluntarily referred a complaint about this incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
“Although we don’t have to refer an incident in which a Taser has been discharged to the IPCC, we want to be as open and transparent as possible,2 Reilly said, according to CBS News partner network Sky News.
Adunbi, one of the founding members of a so called Independent Advisory Group set up by the police to improve community relations, said he was “humiliated” by the encounter and feared for his life after the Taser made him fall to the ground.
“I felt that was it. Because of the way I fell back. The way I fell backward on the back of my head. I was just paralysed. I thought that was it,” Mr Adunbi said.
“I thought they were taking my life.”
Reilly said he had met with Adunbi after the incident and had a “constructive conversation.”
“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,” he told Sky News. “However, I would like to reassure them that the incident was captured on the officers’ body worn video cameras.”