Police officer suspended after black man pleaded ‘get off my neck’ during arrest

London’s Metropolitan police called the video 'extremely disturbing'

The headquarters of London's Metropolitan Police. AFP/File image
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A British police officer has been suspended after video footage surfaced of him kneeling on the side of a black suspect’s head and neck.

The video shows a handcuffed suspect lying on the ground, shouting “get off my neck”.

London’s Metropolitan police called the video “extremely disturbing” and confirmed that one officer has been suspended and a second removed from operational duty.

They have referred the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which will decide whether to launch a full investigation.
The video has not been independent verified but was shared with the BBC. It opens with an officer apparently having his knee on the man's neck.

The man’s position lying on the ground is reminiscent of the way George Floyd died, during an arrest by police officers in the US city of Minneapolis, which was also captured on video.

His death sparked global protests against racial injustices, including in the UK where protesters questioned the country’s colonial history and statues honouring slave traders who were also philanthropists.

The force’s deputy commissioner, Steve House, said: “The video footage that I have seen today and is circulating on social media is extremely disturbing. I understand that many viewing the footage will share my concern.

“The man involved was arrested, taken to a police station and has now been seen by a police doctor. Some of the techniques used cause me great concern – they are not taught in police training.

“We have quickly assessed the incident, including the body-worn video footage from the officers and their statements and justification for their use of force. As a result we have referred the matter to the IOPC.

“One officer has been suspended and another officer has been removed from operational duty, but not suspended at this time. This decision will be kept under review.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he wanted a speedy thorough investigation of the "distressing" incident.