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Police taser race relations adviser after mistaking him for wanted man

The Independent logo The Independent 21/01/2017 Will Worley

An investigation has been launched after police in Bristol tasered a leading race relations advocate.

Judah Adunbi, 63, was a founding member of the city's Independent Advisory Group, which works to improve ties between the police and ethnic minority communities.

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He was tasered after apparently being mistaken for a wanted suspect by two police officers.

The incident was captured on video by a neighbour. It showed two police officers attempting to stop Mr Adunbi in the street. 

Mr Adunbi refused to give the officers his name and became involved in a tussle, resulting in the use of the taser.

“I felt that was it,” Mr Adunbi later told ITV news. “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. I thought they were taking my life.”

He added that the incident made him feel “humiliated” and said the police should have been more “polite” in approaching him and asked him questions. Instead, the officers were “accusing” him, Mr Adunbi said.

He continued: "It's a little distasteful in my mouth. To know that one of the founder members of the Independent Advisory Group which was created some years ago in order to improve better relationship between the Afro-Caribbean community and the constabulary and to be treated like this, it's difficult."

Mr Adunbi has also represented the group on the Crown Prosecution Service's Community Involvement Panel.

Chief Superintendent Jon Reilly of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “After reviewing what happened, we 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.

Ch Supt added that the incident had been captured on the body cameras of the officers involved, who are still on active duties, and that he had met with Mr Adunbi and had a "constructive" conversation. 

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