The Metropolitan Police have released a statement after partial footage of an arrest in Wembley was uploaded and widely shared on social media.
In the partial video clip, which does not show what happened leading up to the arrest, two response team officers can be seen trying to detain a male who appears to be resisting them.
As the officers continue to try and detain him, several bystanders stand over the officers with their phones out, filming the incident.
One of the males can be heard shouting: ‘don’t put your knee on his neck’ even though, at no time during the footage, does an officer appear to put a knee on the suspect’s neck.
As the male and the two officers fall on their backs, the suspect then places one of the officers in a headlock.
The male can be seen placing one of the officers in a headlock
The officer then places himself above the suspect, as his colleague remains underneath the suspect’s waist.
The officers manage to gain control of the male as the bystanders continue to shout at them. Other officers then arrive on the scene, shortly before the footage stops.
North West Area Commander, Roy Smith, said:
“I am aware of the footage, which shows approximately 30 seconds of an encounter which lasted over 15 minutes; and have personally viewed the body-worn video taken by my officers.
“Officers were on routine patrol when they stopped the driver of a vehicle, who was informed that he was being detained for the purposes of a search under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act. He was not handcuffed.
“The driver pushed one of the officers in the chest and grabbed at the second officer’s PAVA spray. Officers subsequently detained the man, and a Taser was deployed due to his behaviour. The officers were struggling on the ground with the man and surrounded by a crowd, some of whom filmed the incident.
“The man was arrested for obstruction of a drugs search and assaulting an emergency worker. He was taken to Colindale Police Station and later released under investigation.
“At one point in the social media footage, the arrested man can be heard to comment that he could not breathe. It is not clear to me why this might be the case, given he was able to resist the officers and communicate with them clearly. In line with their training, the officers moved the man onto his side at the earliest opportunity ensuring his airways were not obstructed.
“Two officers suffered minor injuries during the incident, with one requiring hospital treatment having been spat at in the eye.
“Partial footage of incidents and related commentary can cause concern for everyone. In this case, having seen the footage, I am of the opinion that the officers were trying their best with a man who did not want to cooperate with them in any way. Officers need our support.
“We expect them to police our streets without fear or favour; to uphold the law and act with professionalism and restraint. Despite being assaulted and subjected to completely unnecessary abuse, I believe these officers did just that.
“When we get it wrong we are committed to listening and learning and officers accept that they should be subject to appropriate scrutiny. Where they act lawfully and proportionately to uphold the law it is only right that we defend those actions.”
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