Met Police officer criminally investigated after ‘kneeling on black man’s neck’

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A Metropolitan Police officer is under criminal investigation after claims he knelt on a black man's neck during an arrest in Finsbury Park last month.

Video of the arrest in north London was posted online and caused outrage on social media in July.

It shows a man lying on the footpath and pleading with the two officers detaining him, who said he fit the description of a suspect in a fight reported in the area.

One of them, a white officer, appears to be kneeling on the man as concerned people surround him and film the incident in Islington.

The officer was suspended and is now under criminal investigation by the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct), while the second officer is subject to a misconduct investigation.

"One officer has been advised that they are subject to a criminal investigation for Common Assault and investigation for Gross Misconduct on use of force; authority, respect and courtesy; discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity," the IOPC said in a statement.

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"A second officer has been advised they are subject to a misconduct investigation on challenging and reporting improper conduct; authority, respect and courtesy and honesty and integrity."

The IOPC has also launched a witness appeal and wants to hear from anyone who witnessed the arrest on Isledon Road, London N7, on Thursday 16 July 2020.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: "We are independently examining whether the use of force and the stop and search on this occasion were appropriate and proportionate in line with approved police policies. We will also investigate whether the officers treated the man differently because of his race.

"This incident took place in public and was witnessed by several members of the public. A video of the incident has been widely shared on social media platforms.

"We would ask anybody who was in the area that day and saw police activity to get in touch with us."

In the footage of the arrest, the man on the ground is heard saying: "Get off me, get off my neck, I ain't done anything wrong, get off my neck."

An officer is heard asking: "Are you going to behave yourself?" before telling him to "stay down".

The clip caused outrage after months of worldwide protests at the killing of George Floyd, an African American man who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes.

  • MET Police

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