Met police criticised over video of forceful restraint of black man

The Metropolitan are facing criticism over a stop and search of a young black man caught on video in which several officers wrestle him to the floor before one uses CS spray while he is on the ground.

The man, aged 23, was later found to be innocent of the main reason given for the use of the controversial stop and search powers, the Met said.

Following the circulation of the video on social media, the chair of a stop and search scrutiny panel set up by the mayor of ’s office for policing and crime called for an investigation and told the Guardian that the suspect had been “taken down to the ground like an animal”.

On Friday night, the Met confirmed that it would conduct an internal inquiry: “The incident has been referred to the Met’s directorate of professional standards.”

The incident happened on Thursday afternoon in north-west London. As the man is sprayed with the CS spray, he shouts “I can’t breathe”.

The video begins with four officers surrounding the man who is on the ground with his arms behind his back, with officers seemingly in control of him. He is then pulled to his feet.

The suspect shouts at them to “calm down” and appears baffled as to why he is being grappled with over a cannabis joint.

An officer shouts at him to “release your hand now” and another officer makes a comment about a knife.

The incident occurred shortly after 3pm in a street in Brent, north-west London. Bystanders stopped to watch it unfold.

In the video, the suspect is heard to shout “don’t kick my foot’” at an officer and the situation escalates as more officers join the melee. A woman bystander shouts at officers that “he’s not resisting” and warns officers they are placing his life in danger. Another woman shouts: “You can’t kick him like that”.

The young man then falls to the ground, surrounded by officers.

One officer can be seen with CS spray and fires it from position a few inches away from the man’s face. The suspect then shouts: “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.”

 

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