Bungling police officers tasered their own black Race Relations Advisor in the face – after mistaking him for a wanted man.
A stunned passerby filmed the officers confronting 63-year-old Judah Abunbi – who works to smooth relations between police and the black community – and ask for his name.
But when the indignant grandfather refuses and tries to enter his home officers shout “Taser” and shoot the electric gun at his face.
Mr Abunbi, one of the founders of the Independent Advisory Group set up by the police with the BME community in Bristol, then falls to the ground.
Embarrassed police chiefs have admitted the local community in Easton, Bristol – and the BME community as a whole – would “have concerns” about the incident.
The video shows officers approach Mr Abunbi on the street outside his own home and ask him for his name.
He replies: “I’m not telling you my name. I’ve done no wrong.”
They then follow him to his gate and taser him to the ground – despite an onlooking neighbour shouting that Mr Abunbi was simply trying to get into his home.
Mr Abunbi, a prominent member of Bristol’s black community, said: “At first you don’t accuse someone of being someone else. You ask questions.
“The first thing they should have done is come to me in a polite manner. The way they approached me – they were accusing me. That is wrong”.
Mr Abunbi thought he was going to die when he was hit by the taser.
He said: “I felt that was it because of the way I fell back.
“The way I fell backward on the back of my head. I was just paralysed. I thought that was it. I thought they were taking my life.”
He added that he found the situation hard to process after all the years he has dedicated to try and help ease the tensions between the black community and the police.
He said: “It’s a little distasteful in my mouth.
“To know that I’m one of the founder members of the Independent Advisory Group, which was created some years ago in order to improve better relationship between the AfroCaribbean community and the constabulary, and to be treated like this it’s difficult.”
Both officers involved remain at work and police said they have voluntarily referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Chief Supt Jon Reilly said: “After reviewing what happened, we voluntarily referred a complaint about this incident to the IPCC.
“Although we don’t have to refer an incident in which a taser has been discharged to the IPCC, we want to be as open and transparent as possible.
“I’ve met with Mr Abunbi and we had a constructive conversation. We’re aware of concerns within the local community and we take these concerns very seriously.
“I understand the community are going to have concerns. And we’d really like to answer those, but as there’s an ongoing investigation that’s very difficult for us to do.
“I want to reassure the community the whole incident was captured on body-worn camera. Both officers were wearing it. And we’re determined to understand what happened.
“We work really hard to work positively with all communities and I see no reason why that should change”.
Grandfather-of-three Judah Abunbi told today (fri) how he has suffered sleepless nights after being tasered just metres from his front door.
Judah claims he went through a similar ordeal involving police in 2007 in another case of mistaken identity.
And believes the incident on Saturday morning around 9am was a racist attack.
He said: “The first time round it could have been an accident – but a second time, that’s a racist attack.
“I’m happy to say that. I know it was the case.”
The 63-year-old was returning home from a routine walk with his pet pooch Hazel when he claims the police pounced without provacation.
He said: “I was just finishing my walk and coming home. Police were driving up the road and caught a glimpse of me.
“When they saw me I had my hood up so it’s impossible for them to think I am who they were after.
“One of the officers came right in my face. They insisted on trying to antagonise me.
“I started to see red and thought it was happening all over again. I felt frightened and terrified because of what happened previously.”
He added: “She had taser and said ‘are you going to taser me, because if you do so you will probably kill me’?
“I made my way towards the gate took my keys out and went to go through. They tried to force it open which made me release the grip I had on the gate.
“Then I heard this sound and felt something hit me below the lip. I collapsed on the ground.
“She started saying you’ve been tasered. I was paralysed. I couldn’t speak or move and didn’t have any strength in me. She then told me to get up.
“I knew if she fired again it would have killed me. They tried to lift me off the ground. They raised me up and leaned me up against a garage but I started to slide down.
“It’s a grace of god that I’m still alive. She has done a very terrible thing to me.”
He added: “They then removed most of the loose wires. They lift me back on my feet. They tried to pull the one from my face off and realised they couldn’t.”
But after being discharged later that morning he spent the next 10 hours at Patchway police station. He claims he left just before midnight and was forced to make his own way home.
Stunned neighbour Tom Cherry, 39, who filmed officers confronting Judah, said their actions were an “unjustified and disproportionate use of force”.
Judah was charged with assaulting a constable in the execution of their duty and using threatening or abusing behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harrassment, alarm or distress. The charges were subsequently dropped.