Metropolitan Police Officer Who Knelt On Black Man’s Neck Told To ‘Reflect’ On His Actions
A Metropolitan police officer has been asked to ‘reflect’ upon his actions a year after footage emerged of him kneeling on a Black man’s neck.
The mobile phone footage, which was taken in Finsbury Park, north London on July 16, 2020, bears striking similarities to the fatal arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
In the footage, 48-year-old Marcus Coutain could be heard asking an unnamed officer to ‘get off my neck’ during an arrest.
Back in February, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) stated that the officer wouldn’t be facing any criminal charges, as reported by BBC News.
Now the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has determined that the officer should ‘undertake reflective practice’, having found that he may have used unnecessary and excessive force during the arrest.
Rather than face a misconduct hearing, it has been decided that the officer will instead ‘reflect and learn from the incident to prevent any issues identified from reoccurring’.
Coutain’s lawyer, Timur Rustem, has given the following statement about this decision, which does not constitute either a ‘disciplinary process or a disciplinary outcome’ according to IOPC guidelines:
You have a situation where an officer places a knee on a man’s neck during an arrest. This is not a technique police are authorised to use, which can lead to injury or death – as seen in America with the case of George Floyd.
To allow the police to take a reflective period over such a serious case undermines public confidence in the policing.
After the arrest, one officer was suspended and another placed on restricted duties. The subsequent IOPC report said that investigators had not found any evidence to suggest the man had been treated any differently on account of his race.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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