Following an extensive investigation, the IOPC has found that officers from Greater Manchester Police who deployed a taser whilst dealing with a male on a petrol station forecourt were justified in their actions.
On 6th May 2020, officers suspected that 34-year-old Desmond ‘Ziggy’ Mombeyarara, who was driving a car with a five-year-old boy in the passenger seat, was intoxicated.
Police had clocked Mombeyarara speeding at 72 mph in a 30 mph zone.
Once pulled over, Mombeyarara did not comply when officers attempted to breathalyse him.
After refusing to provide a sample of breath, officers attempted to place Mombeyarara under arrest.
But Mombeyarara resisted arrest and became aggressive, leaving officers with little choice other than to deploy their tasers in an attempt to subdue Mombeyarara before placing him in cuffs.
Mombeyarara was tased seven times during the struggle.
Mombeyarara later went on to be found guilty of obstructing the police.
He was handed an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £420 court costs.
His licence was endorsed for the speeding offences and he was banned from driving for 56 days.
An Evidential Breathalyser Machine (EBM) used at the police station showed that Mombeyarara had 36 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
The legal limit is 35 micrograms.
He was found not guilty of driving whilst unfit through alcohol.
Following the widespread sharing of the partial clip – that only showed the moment of Mombeyarara’s arrest – Greater Manchester Police referred the incident to the IOPC.
During the investigation, the IOPC obtained statements from the officers involved and an eyewitness and examined footage from the officers’ body-worn video, CCTV and social media.
They also consulted an expert in the use of Taser for their opinion on the tactics used.
The IOPC found that the evidence did not suggest that the officers may have acted in a way that justified disciplinary proceedings or that they had committed a criminal offence.
As part of their investigation, the IOPC also considered whether Mombeyarara’s ethnicity influenced how the incident was handled, including analysis of the officers’ previous use of force and complaints against them.
The IOPC found no evidence to suggest the complainant’s ethnicity was a factor in the decision to use force against him.
John Apter, Chair of the Police Federation of England & Wales, told Emergency Services News:
‘In May 2020, like many others, I saw the outrage from a number of ‘armchair critics’ who were very keen to give their uninformed views about this incident.
‘Many of the comments condemned the actions of the police officers with no information other than a few seconds of video.
‘Following a prolonged IOPC investigation into the officers IOPC found that, after reviewing all of the evidence, there was no suggestion that the officers had acted in a way that would justify disciplinary proceedings or that they had committed a criminal offence.
‘This constant trial by media is damaging, not only to the officers involved but also their families and to wider policing.
‘Those who condemn officers without knowing the facts, especially those with a public platform, need to think long and hard about the damage they do. We need Politicians, Chiefs, PCC’s and other’s to speak up and speak out for my colleagues. Leaving them to the toxic attacks of the self-appointed policing experts is not good enough’.
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