A MAN who jumped off a bridge into London’s River Thames after being Tasered by police has died.
He had been waving a screwdriver at cops before they shot him with the electronic device and he plummeted into the water below.
A man who jumped off a bridge into London’s River Thames after being Tasered by police has diedCredit: UKNIP
The man, in his early 40s, plummeted into the Thames belowCredit: Supplied
Officers were called to a “disturbance” on Chelsea Bridge Road in west London at around 9am yesterday following reports that an armed man was shouting.
On arrival, they challenged him and a Taser was discharged but they were unable to safely detain him, the Metropolitan Police said.
The man, aged in his early 40s, then made a run for it and plunged into the river.
A rescue operation was immediately launched and he was eventually rushed to hospital in a critical condition.
Today, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed he died last night and that an independent inquiry was under way.
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.”
Footage of the drama shows the Tasered man seemingly writhing in pain in the middle of the road while two officers shout orders.
He then jumps over a barrier before hurling himself over the railings and into the water below.
Kamal Elsayes, who was driving along the bridge at the time, said: “The guy had something in his hand that looked like a blue screwdriver.
“The police were telling him to put it down. He dropped it and next thing I know he jumps in the river.”
The witness, who runs photobooth business Momentous, added: “I couldn’t believe it. I thought ‘oh s***’.
“It was right in front of me. It was scary.”
The circumstances of the incident are being investigated by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.
An IOPC spokesperson said: “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.”
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.”
The man was rescued from the water by the RNLI and taken to hospital, where his later diedCredit: UKNIP