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Two Met officers under investigation after man shot with Taser fell to his death

Two Metropolitan police officers have been placed under criminal investigation after a man was shot with a Taser and then fell five floors to his death.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct made the announcement last Friday, 12 May, following the incident last month in Peckham, south London where a man fell to his death from a balcony when police fired a Taser.

Both Met officers are under criminal investigation for gross negligence manslaughter, with one of the officers also being investigated for unlawful act manslaughter, the police watchdog said.

They have also been placed under discipline investigation for gross negligence. The IOPC stressed that this did not mean criminal charges or disciplinary proceedings would follow.

The Met said both police constables had been suspended from duty and were attached to the central south basic command unit. The force confirmed that one of the officers had fired the Taser while on the balcony.

DCS Seb Adjei-Addoh said: “I know that this latest update in the IOPC’s investigation may cause some concern in the community.

“Please be assured that we are continuing to fully support the IOPC as they work to establish the facts around this tragic death. The officers concerned are cooperating with the IOPC and we are closely managing their welfare.”

Police were called to a flat in a tower block following reports a man was shouting, and later police received reports a man was threatening to jump from a balcony.

The IOPC said that at around 2am on 12 April officers forced their way into the flat and “tried to persuade the man to come inside from the balcony and requested that a police negotiator attend the scene”.

“Evidence at this stage indicates that an officer discharged their Taser, shortly before the man fell from the balcony railing at around 3.20am. The man fell five floors to the ground and was transported to hospital with critical injuries. He sadly died later that day.”

The IOPC said the police negotiator arrived just before the man fell but had not entered the flat. The man has yet to be formally identified.

The IOPC director, 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.”

She said it was important that a thorough, independent investigation was carried out: “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.”

After the investigation was completed, the IOPC would decide whether to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision, and whether any officers should face disciplinary proceedings.

(Source: The Guardian)

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