Met officer filmed 'kneeling on man's neck' during arrest as bystanders plead to stop in chilling echo of George Floyd
THIS is the moment a handcuffed suspect screams "get off my neck" as a police officer kneels on him in chilling echos of George Floyd.
Concerned members of the public surrounded the officer and his colleague and pleaded with them to stop as they restrained the visibly-distressed man in Islington, North London.
The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
The incident happened when officers were called to reports of a fight in Isledon Road around 6.30pm.
An officer was captured on video using his knee to pin the suspect down – despite apparently having already detained him – as horrified witnesses cried: "That's a human being."
After several seconds, the officer finally took his knee off the suspect – then told one onlooker to "shut it" when criticised over his use of force.
The man was and arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon and remains in custody at a central London police station.
The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) carried out an assessment the arrest.
A police spokesman said: "We are aware of a video showing part of this wider incident where two officers have detained the man on the ground and appreciate this looks very concerning.
"This footage has been viewed, along with body worn footage from the officers who attended. Both officers involved have also provided statements.
"The officers’ initial interaction with the man and the events that led to him being detained have also been analysed."
Dramatic footage of the incidentin London filmed by an anonymous witness circulated on social media yesterday.
It shows an officer pinning the suspect to the pavement with his knee on his head, telling him to "stay down" – while a colleague restrains the man's legs.
The handcuffed suspect appears in great discomfort and shouts "get off my neck" as he struggles to pull his head free.
The officer continues to kneel on him and asks: "Are you gonna behave yourself?" To which he replies: "I ain't done anything wrong."
Several members of the public plead with the officer to "stay calm" and urge him to take his knee away from the man’s neck.
The officer removes his knee and orders bystanders to "back up" – before telling one to "shut it" when they challenge him.
The officer continues to use his hand to force the suspect's head down as he writhes on the concrete, and witnesses plead with everybody to "relax".
The first officer then stands up and walks towards the crowd, ordering them back – as a woman shouts: "That's a human being. Do not press on his head."
The second officer eventually allows the suspect to sit up and the man filming says: "Thank you, officer."
'DON'T PUSH HIS HEAD'
A second clip shows several more police officers arriving on the scene as tension among the crowd escalates.
Witnesses tell the newly arrived officers that they have been videoing the incident and urge them to "arrest the officer".
A woman heard giving a statement to a constable says: "It's okay to arrest him but don't push his head and then kneel on him. It might kill him, it might injure him."
Another officer is then heard telling the crowd that the suspect "matches the description" of a male they were searching for, before the footage cuts out.
A police spokesman said: "Our officers carry out their duty on a daily basis across London in often difficult circumstances.
"Where force is used, officers must be able to justify this as lawful, proportionate and necessary.
"Our officers understand that their actions will be scrutinised as they go about their work and that the public have the right to hold them to account where appropriate."
In May, the death of George Floyd, 46, sparked worldwide Black Lives Matter protests after a video showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck and back as he pleaded for his life.
Chauvin, who was charged with second-degree murder, and fellow officers Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao were arresting Mr Floyd.
The three other officers have also been charged over Mr Floyd's death.
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