UK Police Taser Their Own Black Race Relations Adviser

by
Amna Shoaib
"I thought that was it. I thought they were taking my life," Judah Adunbi later told a news channel.

In a horrifying incident, police in Bristol, England, tasered their own race relations officer, who was working to improve relations between the police department and the Caribbean-African community.

 

Judah Adunbi, 63, was reportedly coming back home after walking his dog Hazel when he encountered the officer. According to a video shot by a neighbor, who was present at the scene, the officers had a brief struggle with Adunbi as the latter tried to break free and enter his house. He fell to the ground after being tasered.

The police maintain they had mistaken Adunbi for a wanted man. An investigation has since been launched.

Instead of questioning him, Adunbi claims, the police officers accused him. He was not given a chance to defend himself, and was tasered. Even in the video, after the police officer pulled out his taser, he says, "He was trying to fight us." The neighbor can be heard replying that they started it.

The police initially pressed charges against Adunbi for assaulting a constable in the execution of their duty and using threatening or abusing behavior or disorderly behavior likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. The charges were dropped.

Adunbi was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary with the taser still "dangling from his mouth," the Guardian reports. The doctors had to pry it out. After he was discharged from the hospital later the same morning, he spent 10 hours at the Patchway police station. He made his way back home alone.

"It's a grace of God that I'm still alive," he later told reporters. "The way I fell on the back of my head. I was paralyzed. I thought they were taking my life."

This is not the first time Adunbi has been mistaken for a wanted man. A similar incident, Adunbi claims and the police confirm, took place in 2007.

Sara Ogilvie, a policy officer at independent human rights organization, Liberty, sees a pattern in police brutality against people of color. Black people, she explained to the Guardian, are three times more likely to be tasered than white men.

Adunbi is reportedly cooperating with the police department on the case but claims that he is still distressed and suffers sleepless nights.

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