Watchdog called to investigate Met after video of black man kneeling in face | News from the United Kingdom


Metropolitan police are under pressure to refer to the Independent Office for Police Conduct after images of a black man knelt in the face while handcuffed during an arrest and a double search agents in Hackney, east London.It comes after the Met referred to the police watchdog for a separate incident, where another black man was sprayed with pepper near Greenwich while handcuffed to the ground during the lockdown, images also published by the Guardian have shown.

A video clip of the 18-year-old Hackney man shows this by shouting “I can’t resist” and “I didn’t do anything” before receiving a strong knee to the head.

A member of the public filmed the incident while police apprehended the man, who was on a bicycle with two others, after a chase by police.

The Met said the video did not provide the full context for the entire interaction with plainclothes officers. The incident took place on April 22 at around 9 p.m. at the corner of Mulberry Road and Middleton Road in Hackney, near the place where another black man, Rashan Charles died in 2017 after being chased and detained by an officer.

Images show black man kneeling in face by police during arrest and search

Referring to images of the man kneeling in the face, the Met said the officers had conducted “proactive patrols” in response to gang tensions and recent violence, and that three men had ignored repeated requests to stop.

“An 18-year-old man was arrested for a search of weapons,” said a spokesman. “He was handcuffed and placed on the ground in an attempt to alleviate any potential problems in the presence of a weapon. After the search was completed, no weapons were found and the man was allowed to leave. He was not arrested. ”

The Met’s professional standards directorate is investigating the incident after a formal complaint from a member of the public.

The witness said: “Almost nobody was on the street because of the lock and all of a sudden an unmarked police car stopped, grabbed the child from his BMX and, while I was leaving another car , an officer said, ‘We have I have one’. He looked violent and aggressive. It was wrong; I expected it to be in response to a serious crime. ”

The Met referred the other incident, which occurred in Greenwich, south London, at 10 p.m. on May 22, to the IOPC. Jade Xavier, 35, was immobilized there by three police officers and sprayed with pepper.

“I felt an injustice and a threat to my life. The way I was treated was despicable, “he told the Guardian. “I was doing nothing wrong and I had nothing to hide. My cell phone was in the car and I wanted to get it back to record my brother’s detention. ”

He said his unnamed brother was arrested and later released, and the police reacted to his presence by seeking to search him, which prompted the incident filmed by his son.

“I told them” I can’t breathe “and” please don’t kill me “. I was on the ground with a lot of pressure on me. I said sorry – I don’t know why – and asked them to stop, “he said. “I did what they asked me to do. They first knelt me ​​down while I was standing, then they hit me while I was on the ground.

Video shows black police officer “kick and pepper spray” handcuffed to the ground

“Then I turned my face to the left because my neck was aching and I couldn’t get any air, and I was soaked. I’ve never felt such pain in my life. ”

Police said Xavier, father of six, was suspicious of a vehicle and became hostile when police attempted to detain him for a search under the drug abuse law, which he had tried to resist.

The force said that the Pava spray had been deployed after continuing to fight with the officers. He was arrested on suspicion of hitting a police officer and was searched but was later released without further action.

The Met said it could not disclose additional information after the incident was referred to the IOPC, as this could be part of its investigation.

Ch Supt, Rob Atkin, of Met police, said: “The video of an arrest using force will naturally spark comments and conversations in the local community. All police are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions. Each stop and each search is treated on its own merits, at the discretion of the officers concerned, taking into account various aspects, including the behavior and compliance of the person concerned.

“Officers must make these calls for judgment regularly on a daily basis, often in difficult circumstances. I am aware of a complaint regarding this arrest, which is the subject of an in-depth investigation by the local professional standards unit. ”

Katrina Ffrench, executive director of StopWatch, a coalition that promotes fair and accountable policing, said, “It is precisely incidents like this that make communities wary of the police.” She called on the Met to refer the most recent incident to the IOPC. .

Blacks in England and Wales are more than nine times more likely to be arrested and searched by police than whites, according to statistics from April 2018 to March 2019.


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