Oladeji Omishore: Met Police officers who tasered man ‘remain on full duties’

“Deji was a beloved son, brother, [and] friend who was creative, musically gifted and talented.”

The family of a man who fell to his death in the River Thames after being tasered by Met Police officers have criticised the force for keeping those responsible on “full duties”.

Oladeji Omishore died on June 4, after falling into the river from Chelsea Bridge following an incident with the police, involving two officers, while reportedly suffering a mental health crisis in sight of his home on the embankment.

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He was tasered several times before falling into the river, and later died in hospital.

A video of him being tasered and his subsequent fall went viral on social media.

Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore, who lived near Chelsea Bridge, died on June 4 after falling into the River Thames following being tasered by a Met Police Officer. Photo: Instagram

His family first saw the footage - and became aware of the police incident and use of the taser - while he lay dying in the hospital.

Now, they have told of their “unimaginable distress” at the circumstances that led to Mr Omishore’s death, and paid tribute to the 41-year-old, who was known as Deji.

In a statement published by charity Inquest, the family said: "Deji was a beloved son, brother, [and] 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.”

Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore lived near Chelsea Bridge - he died on June 4 after falling into the River Thames.

The family, who are represented by Kate Maynard of Hickman and Rose solicitors, are calling for answers from the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), who are investigating the Met over the events surrounding Mr Omishore’s death.

They are concerned the officers involved have not been suspended and remain on active duty.

A Met Police spokesperson confirmed: “The officers involved in this incident remain on full duties.”

The family has also raised concerns about “misinformation” following Mr Omishore’s fall.

Media reports initially said Mr Omishore was carrying a screwdriver when police apprehended him - and on June 4, the Met stated that he was “armed with a screwdriver”, after the IOPC had declared an independent investigation, the family said.

On Tuesday, June 21, the IOPC confirmed Mr Omishore was in fact carrying a plastic and metal firelighter - which his family say was used to light his cigarettes - not a screwdriver.

In a statement, the family said: “The IOPC failed to inform the family that the object was a lighter (rather than a screwdriver) for more than a week after Deji’s death (on 13 June).

“[We are] concerned about the time it has taken the IOPC to correct the record.”

They said: “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.

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

“We have set out our concerns to the IOPC about how the officers communicated with him, their repeated use of force on him, and its impact.”

Mr Omishore’s family are urging the IOPC to include the police “misinformation” regarding the object he was carrying in their investigation into the Met.

They said: “This context matters. Early reports of any incident stick in the public mind and the police know that full well.”

IOPC officials are also being urged by the family to investigate police involvement in Mr Omishore’s death as a conduct matter - and have said this will be kept under review.

“We have seen the 2021 IOPC report on the use of taser, which shows clear racial disparity in the use of tasers within black and minority communities,” the family said.

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

“In the meantime, while the investigations are still underway, we are concerned that the officers who had contact with Deji remain on active duty.”

Ms Maynard said: “Early experiences of a bereaved family and any intentional mis-shaping of the narrative in demonising the deceased and a failure to very quickly put the record straight can understandably lead to a lack of trust and faith in the investigations that follow.”

Selen Cavcav, the family’s Inquest caseworker, said: “Deji’s death is part of a longstanding pattern of the disproportionate use of force against black men by police, particularly those in mental health crisis.

“Misinformation and false narratives immediately following a death are a common tactic which deflect attention from serious public concern, and protect police from necessary criticism.

“These tactics must be independently investigated along with the wider circumstances of the death.

“We must see truth, justice and accountability for this family.

“Ongoing risks to the public from dangerous police conduct must also be addressed promptly.”

The Met Police spokesperson 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 IOPC. We are cooperating fully with the IOPC’s investigation and their findings will be released in due course.

“Decisions about the status of any officer involved in an incident under investigation are kept under review.”

The IOPC has been approached for comment.

To read the family’s full statement, visit: https://www.inquest.org.uk/oladeji-omishore-statement2