July 4, 2022

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Family of Oladeji Omashore, targeted with stun gun by police before death, ‘deeply distressed’ at Met actions

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The family of a man who was targeted with a stun gun by the Metropolitan Police and fell from Chelsea Bridge have said they are “deeply distressed” by the events leading up to his death.

The initial Met Police media report claimed Oladeji “Deji” Omishore, 41, was in possession of a screwdriver, but on June 21 the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed Mr Omishore was instead holding a cigarette lighter.

In a joint statement, the family said: “Deji was a beloved son, brother, friend who was creative, musically gifted and talented.

“Not only was he caring and funny, he also had a great appreciation for arts, nature and his local neighbourhood.

“We are deeply distressed by the events leading up to Oladeji’s death and are engaging fully in the IOPC investigation to seek answers.

“We welcome the long overdue correction that all Oladeji had in his possession at the time was a lighter.”

The family said the IOPC failed to inform them that the object was a lighter, rather than a screwdriver, for more than a week after Deji’s death, and are concerned about the time it has taken the IOPC to correct the record.

There is further concern that the Met released a press statement that said Mr Omishore was in possession of a screwdriver after the IOPC had declared an independent investigation, and reports that the officers involved have not been suspended and remain on active duty.

The family added: “We have seen the 2021 IOPC report on the use of stun guns, which shows clear racial disparity in the use of (stun gins) within black and minority communities.

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“We sincerely hope that the IOPC investigation, and ultimately the inquest, will hold the Metropolitan Police accountable for their actions and also shed further light on the very necessary policy and social justice changes that we need to see to rebuild public confidence and trust in the police.”

“Deji was clearly suffering from a mental health crisis and he was vulnerable and frightened.”

A spokesman for the Met said: “We are aware of the statement issued on behalf of the family of Oladeji Omishore.

“This was a tragic incident and our sympathies are with Mr Omishore’s family as they continue to come to terms with the loss of their loved one.

“This matter is subject to an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

“We are co-operating fully with the IOPC’s investigation and their findings will be released in due course.”

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