Karim El-Bar :
Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner says viral social media footage of incident was ‘extremely disturbing’.
London’s Metropolitan Police suspended an officer on Friday for kneeling on a Black man’s neck after footage of the incident went viral on social media.
The two-minute video showed two police officers restraining a Black man, with one of the police officers kneeling on the man’s neck for several seconds. The man can be heard shouting “get off my neck.”
The police announced that they had suspended one officer and removed another from operational duty. They referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
The incident took place on Thursday in north London. Police said the man was arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
Deputy Commissioner Steve House said: “The video footage that I have seen today and is circulating on social media is extremely disturbing. I understand that many viewing the footage will share my concern.
“The man involved was arrested, taken to a police station and has now been seen by a police doctor. Some of the techniques used cause me great concern – they are not taught in police training.
“We have quickly assessed the incident, including the body-worn video footage from the officers and their statements and justification for their use of force. As a result we have referred the matter to the IOPC.
“One officer has been suspended and another officer has been removed from operational duty, but not suspended at this time. This decision will be kept under review.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I welcome the fact the incident has been reviewed quickly by the Met and it’s right that they have referred it to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. I look forward to a swift and thorough independent investigation, with all decisions made public. It’s crucial our police service continues to earn the trust of the communities it serves.”
Black Lives Matter gained momentum in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in police custody in the US.
Floyd, 46, died after being pinned down May 25 by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota after reportedly attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill.