Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Use of force on protestor at Kurdish rally was proportionate

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation launched after footage of an arrest at a political protest emerged showing an officer striking a man while he lay face down on the road has concluded the officer used reasonable force in the circumstances.

Footage of the incident, which took place on Sunday 4 February 2018 on Wood Green High Road, North London, was shared on social media and attracted national news coverage. As a result, we received a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service indicating the officer may have breached professional standards and may have committed an assault.

Our investigation examined body-worn video footage, CCTV footage and the unedited footage of the video that had been shared online. We interviewed the man involved, key witnesses and obtained comprehensive statements of officers in attendance including interviewing the officer who struck the man under criminal caution.

We also sought specialist advice from an independent expert about the use of force seen in the video.

Our investigation, which finished in July this year, concluded that in our opinion a disciplinary tribunal was likely to find that the force used was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances and thus the officer had not breached standards of professional behaviour. In addition, there is no indication he may have committed a criminal offence as he was able to justify his use of force.

IOPC Regional Director for London, Jonathan Green, yesterday said:

“The incident, captured on camera at the rally, raised concerns from the media and the public so it was important for public confidence that we independently investigate the matter.

“The law recognises that there are situations where police officers may be required to use force. That use of force must be necessary, proportionate and reasonable and the individual officer must justify their use of force.

“Having the benefit of analysis of all of the available evidence, gathered from a wide number of different sources, we have concluded that on this occasion the officer was able to justify using a recognised technique known as ‘distraction dysfunction strikes’ in order to create an opportunity to take control of a suspect who represents a risk to the public.  There was evidence available to the officer to suggest that the man may have assaulted someone immediately before the incident and despite repeated requests to do so he would not co-operate.”

All concerned parties have been advised of our findings.


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