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Man dies after being Tasered by police and falling into Thames
5 June 2022, 08:49 | Updated: 10 June 2022, 09:53
A man has died in hospital after being tasered by police and falling into the River Thames.
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Police were called to the scene in Chelsea Bridge Road, west London, after receiving reports that a man was armed with a screwdriver and shouting.
The Metropolitan Police said officers arrived at the scene and challenged a man on Chelsea Bridge before a Taser was discharged.
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The force said this "did not enable the officers to safely detain him" and the man, thought to be in his 40s, "subsequently entered the river".
A rescue operation was launched and the man was pulled to safety by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
The man was taken to hospital but the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said he later died.
IOPC director Steve Noonan said: "We have spoken to the man's family to express our sincere condolences and explain our involvement. Our sympathies remain with them at this terrible time. Our independent investigation is under way into the police actions at the bridge and we have begun gathering and reviewing evidence."
The watchdog said: "We are investigating contact Metropolitan Police officers had with a man on Chelsea Bridge yesterday morning (Saturday) prior to him entering the River Thames.
"He was subsequently rescued from the water and was taken to hospital in a critical condition. The man, in his early 40s, sadly died in hospital on Saturday evening.
"We were notified by the Metropolitan Police on Saturday and sent investigators to the scene and to the police post-incident procedure to begin our investigation. Initial information indicates that officers were responding to reports of a disturbance when they encountered the man on the bridge. During the incident Taser was deployed.
"Investigators have secured police body-worn video footage and initial accounts have been obtained from the officers involved. The Taser used has also been gathered and will be analysed. Investigators have overseen forensic examination of the scene."
The man's family will be supported by specialist officers and the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards will investigate, the force said.
Detective Chief Inspector Rory Wilkinson of the Met's Central West BCU said on Saturday: "I understand that there are always concerns about incidents in which people come to harm having been in contact with police.
"All Met officers know that they are accountable for their actions, and a full investigation is under way to establish exactly what happened."