Sunday, July 05, 2015

UK: ‘Sickened’ eyewitness captures the moment police ‘punched drugs suspect three times as he lay restrained on the ground’

This shocking video shows the moment a police officer appeared to punch a drugs suspect three times as he lay restrained on the ground. The footage taken by a 'sickened' witness shows a plain clothes police officer pinning the man down as a second uniformed policeman seemingly lands three sharp punches on him.

But the police insisted the video showed 'just a tiny part of our response to the arrest', which involved 'approved restraint techniques'.

The concerned member of the public recorded the incident on June 21 after spotting two police officers chasing a suspect.

Two witnesses say the man was running away from the constables when a police car pulled up and an officer jumped out and tackled the man, bringing him to the ground.

The video, taken on a mobile phone, then appears to show an officer punching the man, who is a suspected drug dealer.

The witness said: 'I was truly sickened by what I saw and cannot believe that this is the way that members of our police behave.

'I do not have a grievance with the police and have always respected the work that they do. I do not know the suspect and do not know why he was being arrested. But he should not have been hit whilst he was down.'

Strict rules set out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary state that officers may only use 'reasonable force' as a last resort.

Force can only be used to apprehend a suspect, to prevent a crime, in self-defence or to protect property. If officers are deemed to have used excessive force, they can face a disciplinary investigation by their force or even criminal charges.

In a statement, the force said: 'At around Midday on Sunday 21 June officers spotted a man they suspected to be dealing drugs in Cecil Road, Erdington.

'The 25-year-old man fled as officers approached and ran into moving traffic. Another passing officer then tackled him to the floor and he was detained in Gravelly Hill North. 'The Sutton Coldfield man resisted arrest and attempted to swallow a package of suspected Class B drugs that he was found to be carrying.

'The suspect also refused to be handcuffed and approved restraint techniques were then used by officers to arrest him - he was taken into custody and released on police bail pending further investigation.

'The short video shows just a tiny part of our response to the arrest which is part of our crackdown on drug use and supply in Birmingham.

'Our officers receive a huge amount of training for these kinds of situations and are shown how to target pressure points in order to bring suspects who are resisting arrest under control. 'To date no complaint has been received by the force regarding the arrest.'

Asked if the video would spark an investigation, the force spokesman added: 'There's no investigation as we haven't received a complaint and our Professional Standards Department has no misconduct concerns.'

Original report here

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