A Metropolitan Police officer, PC Imran Mahmood, assigned to the Met’s Territorial Support Group, was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm by a jury last week.
Despite this, he now faces the prospect of disciplinary proceedings for ‘potential breaches of police professional standards’, as stated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
PC Mahmood, 36, was on patrol with his colleagues in Harringay, north London, in May 2020 when they encountered 23-year-old Jordan Walker-Brown.
Upon seeing the officers, Walker-Brown attempted to flee. He ran down Burgoyne Road, and climbed onto a wheelie bin to scale a wall when PC Mahmood deployed his Taser.
During the trial at Southwark Crown Court, it was presented that Walker-Brown fell ‘vertically onto his head’ onto the pathway on the other side of the wall, breaking his back and resulting in paralysis from the chest down.
PC Mahmood defended his actions in court, stating that he feared Mr Walker-Brown had a knife and felt that the situation necessitated containment.
In 2022, Haringey recorded a 10% surge in knife crime offences, hitting a total of 1,024, primarily committed by young adults aged 18-24. The predominant type of offence involved knife possession, followed by assaults using knives.
Males formed the majority of the victims, with incidents commonly taking place on the streets, particularly during evening hours.
After nearly ten hours of deliberations, the jury cleared PC Mahmood, who wept in the dock as the verdict was delivered. The trial lasted four days.
Sources told ESN that the Territorial Support Group (TSG) has not been invited back to Haringey by the Boroughs’ Senior Management Team following the incident.
It remains uncertain whether TSG units will be asked back to assist the Borough in combatting crime following the not-guilty verdict.
The IOPC collected evidence, including officers’ body-worn footage and statements from several witnesses and Mr Walker-Brown. PC Mahmood was also interviewed under criminal caution.
A file of evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in February 2021, leading to the charge against PC Mahmood, contrary to section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
Despite the not-guilty verdict, PC Mahmood now faces potential disciplinary proceedings for potential breaches of police professional standards.
IOPC Director Amanda Rowe stated, “We note the jury’s decision and acknowledge the devastating impact this incident has had on Mr Walker-Brown, who sustained life-changing injuries. We will now be considering evidence from the trial and liaising with the Metropolitan Police regarding disciplinary proceedings.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Caroline Haines, responsible for policing in Enfield and Haringey, shared her thoughts on the matter in a statement after the verdict.
She expressed regret over the incident and its impact on Mr Walker-Brown, his family, and the community. She also addressed the police use of Taser as a controversial tactic and assured that its use would be constantly reviewed.
The Metropolitan Police Federation has yet to release any statement regarding the outcome of the trial or the welfare of the officer.
DCS Caroline Haines’ statement in full:
“My thoughts today are with Mr Walker-Brown and his family whose lives have been changed forever.
“I don’t underestimate the effect this incident will have had on them and have offered to meet with them when appropriate to listen to their concerns and discuss the matter in further detail.
“It is always a matter of deep regret when an individual comes to harm following contact with police and officers know that in such circumstances their actions will be subject to the highest scrutiny.
“I am also very aware of the significant impact this incident has had on the wider community.
“We know that today’s outcome may reignite those feelings, which is why we have been working closely with key members of the community and partner agencies across the borough to listen to concerns and build on our existing relationships with all communities.
“We are aware that police use of Taser is seen by some as a controversial tactic, and incidents like this raise very legitimate concerns about its use.
“We are concerned too, and want to improve how we engage with our communities around this issue, by encouraging a two-way dialogue and having those we serve more involved in monitoring how we use the tactic.
“We do believe that it remains a vital tool, but will continue to keep its use under constant review and regularly train our officers to ensure they use the tactic appropriately.”
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Whilst by the sound of it, it could have been done differently.
Tasers are a VITAL part of police safety. We don’t hand them out to all cops, and nor should we.
I feel in some circumstances when a copper has tased it should go to an independent review, the same way an American cop is investigated in a shooting or discharge of weapon.
Unless there is a clearly stated by a caller, he had a knife, or he had a reputation for attacking with a knife, or one was clearly seen, then a taser whilst someone is off the ground, IS going to cause an injury, the same as if they just shut their eyes, and flopped over … As that’s what happens when tasered.
I always try to support our cops, and they have a shit job not many want to do, they’re generally unloved (politically and publicly), but without our wonderful blues, our streets would look like that of so enof those undeveloped countries. We’d be under constant guard against gangs.
We need public order, and we need police with tasers. These should be locked in the car, and have to be authorised each time they’re removed and carried.
I dont know if the American style baton is better than ours, and would be good to see proper trials, and proper training in a martial art tool.
The Officer was motivated by his oath to uphold the law, the injured party’s attitude was to avoid contact with the Officer and frustrate his actions. It will be an interesting trial. Doubtless the Defence will focus on, inter alia, the circumstances in which the Taser was deployed, a situation in law that could be described as the ‘agony of the moment’, in which under extreme pressure, a person takes a decision that has adverse consequences. The law would exclude the consequences of his actions, if accepted, as negating the mens rea of the offence. I wish the Officer, and defence team,well..
Just wondered. Why did he run away ?