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Met Police officer under investigation over 'deeply disturbing' arrest of black man
10 August 2020, 19:11
A Metropolitan Police officer is being investigated for common assault and gross misconduct over the "deeply disturbing" way he arrested a black man last month.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is looking into the manner of the arrest after footage appeared to show the officer kneeling on the man's neck.
The man who was arrested - Marcus Coutain - was filmed pleading with officers to "get off my neck" as he was handcuffed on the pavement in Islington, north London, on 16 July.
Launching a witness appeal, the IOPC said: "One officer has been advised that they are subject to a criminal investigation for common assault and investigation for gross misconduct on use of force; authority, respect and courtesy; discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity.
"A second officer has been advised they are subject to a misconduct investigation on challenging and reporting improper conduct; authority, respect and courtesy and honesty and integrity."
Mr Coutain was subsequently charged with possessing a knife in a public place, but has called for a formal apology from Scotland Yard and for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to drop the charge.
His lawyer, Timur Rustem, said the case “mirrors almost identically what happened to George Floyd” in the US.
One officer was suspended and another placed on restricted duties over the incident on Isledon Road.
The IOPC said it will also "investigate whether the officers treated the man differently because of his race".
Scotland Yard deputy commissioner Sir Steve House has described the footage as "deeply disturbing" and said some of the techniques, which are "not taught in police training", caused him "great concern".
Regional director Sal Naseem said: "We are independently examining whether the use of force and the stop and search on this occasion were appropriate and proportionate in line with approved police policies.
"We will also investigate whether the officers treated the man differently because of his race
"This incident took place in public and was witnessed by several members of the public.
"A video of the incident has been widely shared on social media platforms."
Mr Coutain appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court last month charged with having a knife in public.
He indicated a not guilty plea and was granted technical bail as the case was sent to Snaresbrook Crown Court on 17 August by District Judge Gillian Allison.
Witnesses are being urged to call 0300 303 5724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any information.