Police Officer Filmed Punching Man Restrained Under Mental Health Act
1 June 2017, 15:54 | Updated: 1 June 2017, 16:13
The footage of the incident in Yeovil was recorded by a member of the public and shared on Facebook.
The video shows a man lying on the floor in handcuffs surrounded by three officers. He appears to be holding onto the arm of the male officer.
The officer says to the man “I’m going to ask you one more time to let go of my arm; let go of my arm,” with his fist raised in the air.
He then counts down from five before punching the man in the head and saying “let go of my arm” again. At this point the man lets go and rolls over.
Avon and Somerset police have released body cam footage and say their professional services department is now looking into the incident.
They have confirmed that they were called by the ambulance service in Yeovil just before 5pm on Wednesday, June 31, about a man who was acting aggressively towards ambulance staff.
They said; “it appeared the man was in mental health crisis,” and so they decided to detain him under the Mental Health Act. He was taken to a mental health facility for treatment.
The force said in a statement: “While we always act in the best interests of the person in crisis, there is sometimes a need for restrain to protect the person, our officers and members of the public.
“The public rightly expects police officers to use force reasonably so we welcome their scrutiny.”