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Mother criticises Kent Police for tweeting Top Gun GIF to celebrate identifying her dead daughter’s body

A mother has criticised Kent Police for tweeting a Top Gun GIF, which showed characters from the film high-fiving each other, to congratulate themselves for identifying her dead daughter’s body.

In the the post, which was shared on the day Azra Kemal, 24, died after she fell from a dual carriageway bridge, police praised themselves for identifying a deceased person “within about 90 minutes” of arriving at the scene.

Ms Kemal was later moved to Tunbridge Wells hospital’s mortuary and her body was raped by David Fuller, an electrician who was jailed in 2021 year after admitting using his job to abuse dozens of corpses.

Nevres Kemal said the tweet was ”just horrendous” and she cannot believe that ”professional police officers would high-five themselves and pat themselves on the back”’ following her ”daughter’s demise”.

She added: “It’s more than insensitive. It’s unacceptable. What is the mindset of people investigating crimes on our behalf?”

Alongside the GIF showing the film’s characters Maverick and Goose, police wrote: “A really busy morning for all of the Kent CSI’s, with the wonders of modern technology we were able to identify a deceased person within about 90 mins of being at scene by sending an image of a fingerprint to our FP bureau. Great teamwork.”

In another tweet police celebrated the force’s drone work, using hashtag #crackingbitofkit.

In another post which was shared with hours of Azra’s death, police said they were “satisfied there are no suspicious circumstances”.

But her mother insists police informed her they were still investigating her daughter’s death at that time.

Before Ms Kemal died, witnesses saw her trying to cross the Medway Viaduct dual carriageway on the A21 in the middle of the night after her car caught fire.

Ms Kemal fell 9 metres (30ft) on 16 July 2020 from a gap in the bridge, before succumbing to her injuries at the scene.

Her mother said she was told her daughter had begged paramedics attending the scene to not let her die.

Commenting on the police’s tweets, Kate Ellis from the Centre for Women’s Justice, which is supporting Ms Kemal’s family, said: “I think it’s shocking that with an investigation ongoing, and in fact within a few hours of Nevres having been informed of her daughter’s death, the police would brag about the expediency of their investigation or the impressiveness of their kit.”

The tweets have since been deleted and a complaint about them is being reviewed by a separate police force.

Ms Kemal’s family think the investigation into her death was closed too quickly by police.

It is understood a man who was linked as a suspect in Ms Kemal’s death, whom she travelling with, was released by police with no further action and the investigation closed before the end of its first day.

Kent Police conducted a standard post-mortem in a bid to establish how Azra died, which concluded her death was not suspicious.

But an independent review of the investigation by Essex Police stated it “may have been prudent” to release the suspect under investigation rather than close the case.

It also said it supported the prospect of the force conducting a forensic post-mortem examination, saying: “The reason for this would be to capture a forensic level of detail at post-mortem which could assist in proving or disproving matters that were raised at a later time.”

It added that “it would have avoided unanswered questions, by being able to negate any third-party involvement”.

Police said it had carried out a full and thorough investigation

A spokesperson for the force told Sky News: “Officers determined there were no suspicious circumstances, and a man who had initially been arrested in connection with the incident was released without charge.

“A police investigation into the circumstances then continued for several months to assist an inquest by the coroner. The subsequent inquest into the death returned a verdict of misadventure.

“A complaint about the quality of the investigation was made to Kent police in November 2020. This complaint was sent to an independent force to review, which concluded the service provided by Kent police had been acceptable.

The force said that in 2022 police regulator the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) received a request to carry out a further investigation into the complaint.

It also said the IOPC concluded the investigation into the complaint had been ”reasonable and proportionate” and a ”request to review the complaint was not upheld”.

They also said the IOPC concluded an acceptable service had been provided in respect of the criminal investigation into the woman’s death.

Kent Police has been contacted by i for further commet.

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