"Police are a public service, not an occupying force": Ex-Met Superintendent

18 July 2020, 09:23 | Updated: 18 July 2020, 09:30

By Seán Hickey

The former chair of the Black Police Association was blunt in his criticism of a police officer who was suspended for kneeling on a person's neck.

A Met Police officer was yesterday suspended for seemingly kneeling on a person's neck while carrying out an arrest. The former chair of the Black Police Association Leroy Logan branded the incident "it's unprofessional and disproportionate" and is evidence of a problem within the forces.

Andrew Castle asked Mr Logan what needs to be done to avoid incidents like this in the future. He told listeners that "we need to get the right officers."

"We need to get them to understand they're a public service, they're not an occupying force" said Mr Logan. He acknowledged that the majority of officers are aware of this but there are other officers that "sometimes lose a sense of what they were trained to do and how they're going to deal with that person" when they find themselves in a violent encounter.

"Trying to contain someone to reduce risk is different from putting a pressure point on a person's neck" said the former Superintendent, clearly infuriated by the news of the officer's suspension.

Andrew wondered if Mr Logan could acknowledge that "things have changed" since he was out on the beat as an officer. He accepted the argument but argued that "there was always that threat of violence" and it is unfortunately "part of the job" of a police officer.

Leroy Logan branded the actions of the suspended officer as "unprofessional and disproportionate"
Leroy Logan branded the actions of the suspended officer as "unprofessional and disproportionate". Picture: PA

Mr Logan stated that police officers "have the training to contain people, they have the personal protective equipment" and should not need to take disproportionate action to contain a situation given their training.

"To be putting a knee on someone's neck, which is not trained, it is totally unprofessional."

The former superintendent told Andrew that in internal investigations, results need to be seen faster to maintain the public's faith in the forces. "They need to bring a fast track process not only for the officer, but for the public because they want to see that if these things are wrong that the officers are dealt with" he said.

Mr Logan called on authorities to "at least get the independent oversight clear and swift so people know where they stand."

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