The police watchdog is investigating the arrest of a teenager who was repeatedly beaten with a baton by a plain-clothes officer officer.
Distressing footage shows the 17-year-old screaming ‘What the f*** are you doing to me? I’m a f***ing child!’ as the officer whacks him with a cosh. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed it has launched an investigation into what happened on Easter Monday afternoon on an east London street. The Metropolitan Police referred the incident to the watchdog on Friday after a member of the public who saw what happened complained that the use of the baton was excessive, the IOPC said. Footage posted online appears to show a black male in handcuffs on a pavement being struck several times by an officer using a baton. In a statement, the arrested boy’s mother said she was ‘appalled’ by the ‘violent arrest’ and that the family had been ‘traumatised’ by it.
The unnamed woman added: ‘We are enormously grateful for the huge amount of support we have received since the publication of the video.’ IOPC interim regional director for London Sal Naseem said: ‘We recognise that this incident has generated significant concern amongst the local community, as well as comment from police officers, concerning the officer’s decision to use his baton during the arrest. ‘The video circulating on social media only captures part of the arrest, so it is right we independently investigate to establish what happened during the entirety of the incident.’ Police said they had stopped and searched two teenage boys on Easter Monday afternoon in Heath Park Road, Romford, east London, under the Misuse of Drugs Act. A 17-year-old boy was found in possession of class B drugs and arrested for possession with intent to supply and obstruction of a drugs search, Scotland Yard said. The second boy, aged 14, made off to his home address in Brentwood Road but was later detained there, the force said. Police said that, during a struggle, an officer was assaulted. The boy was arrested for obstruction and assault on a police officer.
Both teenagers were later released under investigation. In a statement, Scotland Yard said: ‘We are aware of footage circulating on social media. ‘A full review into the circumstances surrounding the incident was carried out by the East Area Command Unit professional standards team, in liaison with the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards. ‘A public complaint was received, then referred to the IOPC, who have now launched an independent investigation.
A petition calling for the suspension of a police officer said to have been involved in the incident has gained more than 34,000 signatures. The change.org campaign, started by the BAME Lawyers for Justice group, said: ‘We condemn the recent, aggressive and disproportionately violent arrest of two young black brothers.’ The group added: ‘This arrest has caused huge outrage and concern amongst Londoners and many more concerned citizens throughout the country are appalled at what they’ve seen.’