Footage circulating on social media of a Met police officer beating a handcuffed, 17 year-old suspect has shocked the community, and has prompted a backlash on social media with accusations of police brutality.
Lee Jasper, former Deputy Mayor of London said “As a former Deputy Mayor of London responsible for policing, I wish to make a formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police Service and Mayor of London about this wanton act of apparent police brutality” . He continued
“I am aware that a complaint can be submitted through Twitter and wish to exercise my rights to do so now.
“This type of police racism and brutality is going to cause a riot.
”You have no legitimacy in policing people like this and soon from now, I predict your officers will be routinely resisted, in some areas, as a consequence of your utter failure to reign in officers such as this.”
A petition launched calling for the immediate suspension of the police officer received almost 35,000 signatures within 24 hours.
The Met Police has released the following statement:
The Metropolitan Police Service has made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following a recent arrest made in Romford.
Police were on patrol in Heath Park Road, Romford around 15:00hrs on Monday, 22 April when they found reason to stop and search two teenagers under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
A 17-year-old male was searched and was found in possession of class B drugs and was subsequently arrested. He was later released under investigation.
We are aware of footage circulating on social media.
A full review into the circumstances surrounding the incident was carried out by the East Area Command Unit professional standards team, in liaison with the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.
A public complaint was received, then referred to the IOPC, who have now launched an independent investigation.
The MPS continues to work with our communities and will listen and act with regards to community concerns; we remain committed to keeping Londoners safe.
Later this afternoon, (Friday 26 April 2019) the IOPC released a statement:
We are independently investigating an incident in Romford on Monday this week (22 April) in which an officer used his baton during the arrest a 17 year-old.
Part of the incident was filmed by a member of the public and was subsequently shared on social media. The Metropolitan Police Service referred the incident to us today (26 April) after a member of the public who witnessed the incident complained that the use of the baton was excessive.
The investigation is at very early stages and we will provide further detail about its scope and initial activity in due course.
Interim Regional Director for London Sal Naseem, said:
“We recognise that this incident has generated significant concern amongst the local community, as well as comment from police officers, concerning the officer’s decision to use his baton during the arrest. The video circulating on social media only captures part of the arrest, so it is right we independently investigate to establish what happened during the entirety of the incident.”