Prosecutors are to consider charges against a Metropolitan police officer who fired a Taser at a young black man as he jumped over a wall in north London, leaving him paralysed from the waist down.
Jordan Walker-Brown, 24, said he had his back to police and was running away because he was carrying a small amount of cannabis when he was shot with the stun gun on 4 May last year. He is now paraplegic.
The police complaints watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), has referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service after determining there was an indication that the officer may have committed grievous bodily harm. The CPS is responsible for deciding whether the officer should be charged.
The IOPC investigated the incident in Burgoyne Road in Finsbury Park after a mandatory referral from the Met.
The IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Following thorough and careful analysis of the evidence we have decided there is an indication an officer may have committed grievous bodily harm (GBH) in relation to their use of Taser, and a file has been sent to the CPS.
“It is important to note that a referral to the CPS does not necessarily mean that criminal charges will follow. The CPS will decide whether charges should be brought and if so what charges those should be. We have provided the man and the Met with updates throughout our investigation and we continue to engage with the local community affected by this incident.”
Walker-Brown said last year that he believed he would not have been stopped had he not been black.
He was stopped by Met police officers from the Territorial Support Group (TSG) on two consecutive days, 3 and 4 May. Both times he was carrying a small amount of cannabis for personal use.
On 4 May he was in Burgoyne Road when the TSG police spotted and followed him. He said two officers got out of their van and he started to run away.
He was jumping over a wall, which was approximately 1.2 metres (4ft) high on one side but had a 1.8-metre (6ft) drop on the other, when he was struck by the Taser. He fell over the wall.
Taking use of Taser-like weapons alone, black people are seven times more likely to have this tactic used against them than white people, although this includes “non-discharge” incidents when the devices are drawn but not fired.
A Met spokesperson said: “We are aware of the decision by the IOPC today to refer this case to the Crown Prosecution Service as part of their independent investigation process. The referral enables the CPS, as the body responsible for deciding whether any criminal offences should be prosecuted, to conduct a thorough review of all the information gathered to date and determine whether or not criminal charges will follow.
“One officer, who has been advised of the IOPC’s decision, remains on restricted duties and is being supported through the investigation process. When we receive the IOPC investigation report we will consider its findings and respond accordingly.”