A man armed with a screwdriver who confronted police on Chelsea Bridge has died after falling into the River Thames.
Footage of the incident – shared widely on social media and seen by ESN – shows two Metropolitan Police officers trying to detain the male.
After appearing to wave a weapon around in the air and refusing to comply with the officer’s instructions, the male was tased.
The footage then appears to show the male trying to remove the prongs from the taser before managing to get up onto his feet.
One of the officers then tries to grab the male. The male appears to swing at the officer’s head, missing him by inches.
Shortly after, the male appears to launch himself over Chelsea Bridge. He landed in the River Thames, where the RNLI rescued him shortly afterwards.
The male later died in hospital.
The incident happened shortly after 09:00 hours on Saturday 4th June.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said:
“Officers were called at 09:03hrs on Saturday, 4 June, to a report of a disturbance in Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1.
“It was reported that a man was armed with a screwdriver and shouting at the location.
“Officers attended the location a short time later, and they challenged a man on Chelsea Bridge.
“A Taser was discharged but this did not enable the officers to safely detain him.
“The man, who is believed to be aged in his early 40s, subsequently entered the river.
“A rescue operation was immediately organised. The man was rescued from the water by the RNLI and taken to hospital, where he died that evening.”
Commander Alexis Boon, Frontline Policing, said:
“My thoughts are with the family of the man at this very difficult time. I offer my sincere condolences to them for their tragic loss.
“Officers go to work every day to keep the public safe, and so any incident in which a person comes to harm following contact with police is understandably concerning.
“Our officers face some of the most challenging and difficult situations daily, in doing so they are fully aware that their actions should rightly be subject to public scrutiny.
“The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards made an immediate referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct following this sad incident, and we will co-operate fully with them as they work to understand the full circumstances.”
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