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Police mistakenly tasered race relations adviser
September 06, 2018
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LONDON: A police officer who tasered her force’s race relations advisor in the face after mistaking him for a wanted man used “unreasonable” force, a misconduct hearing has heard.

Acting sergeant Claire Boddie claims she believed 65-year-old Judah Adunbi was a threat when she discharged the weapon in Bristol in January last year.

A misconduct hearing at Avon and Somerset Police’s headquarters in Portishead was told that she and a colleague mistook Mr Adunbi for wanted man Royston McCalla when they spotted him walking with his dog.

“This case starts off with an incident of mistaken identity,” said George Thomas, presenting the case against Ms Boddie.

“It escalated from that to the point at which PC Boddie used a Taser on Adunbi. One of the barbs of the Taser struck Adunbi in the face, causing a minor injury to his chin.” Boddie, 47, was cleared of unlawfully discharging a taser and assault by beating at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court in May.

During the trial, Ms Boddie – regarded as a well-trained officer with more than 20 years’ experience of frontline policing – said she felt the use of force was reasonable in self-defence, to defend her fellow officer PC Darren Weston, and in order to make an arrest.

She said she was acting in accordance with her training and the force she used on Mr Adunbi was lawful, claiming he posed a threat as he had keys in his hand and was “using violence to escape”. Footage taken from bodycams worn by Boddie and PC Weston showed the officers repeatedly asking Adunbi to identify himself, with the community elder replying: “I’m not telling you my name. I have done nothing wrong.” He is heard shouting: “Why you coming to torment me? Go f*** off about your business and don’t follow me. Stop, stop, if you put your hand on me I’m gonna f*** you up.

“I’m not threatening you. I’m telling you if you put arms on me I’m going to defend myself. This is not the first time you have done this.” In separate mobile phone footage, a neighbour is heard telling the officers: “He is just trying to get into his house. Leave him alone.” Mr Thomas said Mr Adunbi, who had previously been stopped by police officers in the belief he was Mr McCalla, was under ”no obligation“ to provide officers with his identity.

“It is apparent from the footage that angry though he is, Mr Adunbi is indignant that he has been stopped,” he added.

The Independent

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