Met officer faces gross misconduct hearing over arrest of Black teen

Met officer faces gross misconduct hearing over arrest of Black teen
Constable’s attitude towards 16-year-old was ‘disrespectful’, says IOPC

A Met Police officer faces gross misconduct proceedings for appearing to use excessive force while arresting a teenage boy in north London, a police watchdog has said.

A six-month investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found that he had possibly breached police standards, with a Scotland Yard hearing set to be arranged in due course.

The incident occurred on West Green Road, Haringey, at around 5pm on 8 December last year, after six police officers approached a group of black teenagers outside a school.

The constable in question tried to search one of the 16-year-olds, before handcuffing the boy, who “sustained facial injuries” during the arrest.

Footage of part of the incident was circulated widely on social media at the time.

In a statement, the IOPC described the officer’s attitude towards the boy as “disrespectful”, adding that race bias could not be ruled out, although “there was no evidence of overt racism”.

However, the watchdog, which obtained statements from eyewitnesses and examined recordings of the incident, found that the constable’s behaviour did not warrant disciplinary action.

The IOPC investigation also found that another officer failed to de-escalate the situation, and instead used “unprofessional language that could be considered inflammatory”.

Sal Naseem, the IOPC’s regional director, said: “Police use of force is an area of serious concern for our communities and we recognise the potential for incidents like this to damage public confidence in the police.

“It will now be a matter for the police disciplinary panel, to determine whether the allegations are proven.”

Superintendent Simon Crick, the head of police in Haringey told The Evening Standard that the incident had caused a “significant level of concern”.

“I ask my officers to do a very difficult job in often very challenging circumstances, and they must at all times act with professionalism, dignity and respect if they are to maintain the confidence of the communities they serve.”

The superintendent said one of his officers had a case to answer, but reminded the public that three officers were injured in the incident.