Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Met Police officers probed for manslaughter after tasered man fell to his death

Two Metropolitan Police officers are the subjects of a criminal investigation after the death of a man who fell from the balcony of a flat after being tasered. Both officers are reportedly being investigated for gross negligence manslaughter by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The man, who is yet to be formally identified despite numerous inquiries, fell from the fifth floor of a building in Peckham, London.

The IOPC has said that a group of Met officers were sent to the flat just prior to midnight on April 11 after receiving a report of a man shouting on the balcony.

The officers left after receiving no response, but made their return at 2am following a further report that the man was threatening to jump.

The watchdog said that they forced their way into the flat, attempted to convince him to come inside and requested a police negotiator at the scene.

Read more: Woman in her 20s dies ‘unexpectedly’ as police try to find next of kin

The Times reports that two officers remained on the scene when others departed, with evidence indicating “that an officer discharged their Taser shortly before the man fell from the balcony railing at around 3.20am”.

The IOPC said: “The man fell five floors to the ground and was transported to hospital with critical injuries.

“He sadly died later that day.

“The police negotiator arrived at the location just before the man fell and had not entered the flat.”

The coroner is making attempts to work out who the man is, and is attempting to find his next of kin with the Met.

There are two types of manslaughter; gross negligence and unlawful act.

The first involves a failure in the duty of care, and the second is a dangerous action that lacks the intent of murder.

The two officers have also been served with gross misconduct notices in the past for possibly breaching police standards of professional behaviour, the IOPC has said.

The watchdog added: “This does not necessarily mean that criminal charges or disciplinary proceedings will follow.”

IOPC questioned in the past why it took a Met officer five or six hours to mention that a Taser had been used, saying it was “unhelpful” to do this after the post-incident procedure in which initial accounts were provided.

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Body-worn footage has been reviewed by IOPC, who said it would analyse Taser downloads.

Operations director at the watchdog Amanda Rowe said: “Our thoughts are with the man who died and we sincerely hope that he is formally identified and that his family are able to be notified.

“This was a tragic incident and we recognise that the circumstances surrounding the man’s death have understandably caused concern within the community.

“Our inquiries are still in their early stages and it’s important that we carry out a thorough, independent investigation that will be looking at the full circumstances, including the actions and decision-making of the officers who were present.

“Police officers are able to use force in the course of their duties and we will examine whether any force that was used was reasonable, appropriate and proportionate in these circumstances.

“Following the conclusion of our investigation, we will decide whether to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision and we will determine whether any officers should face disciplinary proceedings.”

The date of the inquest opening is yet to be determined.

The Met has been contacted for comment.

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