Police inquiry find officers who shot man with stun gun acted lawfully

An investigation into Greater Manchester police’s use of a Taser on a man in a petrol station last year found no evidence that the officers acted out of line with force or national policies, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has said.

However, the body said it plans to publish a report “so that there is greater clarity about when Tasers should be used”.

Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara was shot with a stun gun by police in front of his five-year-old son in Stretford, Manchester, on 6 May 2020. A video of the incident, which was widely circulated on social media, showed the NHS worker being shot with the electric weapon and slumping on the ground as his child cried and shouted, “Daddy”.

In a statement issued on Friday, the IOPC said it had concluded its investigation following a referral from Greater Manchester police which found that officers tasered Mombeyarara seven times.

The IOPC said officers suspected the driver was intoxicated and that he did not comply when they tried to breathalyse him. When police tried to arrest him, the statement said, the incident “escalated” and “resulted in a Taser being discharged seven times”.

The investigation analysed statements from the officers involved and eyewitnesses, officers’ body-worn video, CCTV and social media. The IOPC said it also consulted an expert in the use of Taser.

The IOPC said the evidence “did not suggest that an officer may have acted in a way that justified disciplinary proceedings or committed a criminal offence, however, our investigation highlighted several areas of learning for force and the officers involved in the incident”. These areas, it said, include improvements to Taser policies and training.

The body said it also considered whether “the complainant’s ethnicity influenced the way the incident was handled”.

But, it said, it found “no evidence to suggest the complainant’s ethnicity was a factor in the decision to use force against him”.

Amanda Rowe, the IOPC regional director, said: “Police use of Taser is an area of serious concern for our communities and we recognise the potential for incidents like this to damage public confidence in the police. This was a very distressing situation that was filmed and shared widely online.

“The officers told us they honestly believed they faced the threat of violence and acted accordingly. While we found no evidence their actions were not in line with force and national policies, we believe work is needed to update and improve those policies so that there is greater clarity about when Tasers should be used.”

Rowe added: “We have contacted the complainant to explain our findings and will be speaking to members of the local community in light of the significant impact this incident had. We will be publishing our report and learning recommendations in due course.”

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