A police officer has been suspended after being filmed kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed Black man in north London during an arrest.
Metropolitan Police’s deputy commissioner Sir Steve House described the footage as “deeply disturbing” and said some of the techniques, which are “not taught in police training”, caused him “great concern”.
He said one of the officers involved has been suspended and the other removed from operational duty, while the incident has been passed to the police watchdog for investigation.
Scotland Yard said officers were called to a fight in Islington on Thursday evening where they detained a man on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
The video footage, captured by an unnamed witness and posted on social media, shows two officers holding the handcuffed man on a pavement. One of the officers is at first seen kneeling on the man’s neck and has a hand on his head, while the other is restraining his legs.
The struggling man on the ground can be heard shouting: “Get off me... get off my neck. I ain’t done anything wrong – get off my neck.”
The officer is heard saying: “Are you going to behave yourself?” before telling him to “stay down”.
Members of the public are seen surrounding the officers and pleading for them to let him go, shouting: “That’s a human being.”
Sir Steve 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.
“We will co-operate fully with the IOPC investigation.”
Scotland Yard said the man detained and arrested at the scene remains in police custody.
The video is the latest to cause controversy amid growing scrutiny of police interactions with black people in the UK following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25.
Floyd, who was Black, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, sparking anti-racism protests in countries around the world.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I’m deeply concerned about this distressing incident and we have raised this with senior officers at the Met Police as a matter of urgency.
“I welcome the fact the incident has been reviewed quickly by the Met and it’s right that they have referred it to the IOPC.
“I look forward to a swift and thorough independent investigation, with all decisions made public.
“It’s crucial our police service continues to earn the trust of the communities it serves.”
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds added: “This an extremely concerning incident. It is right that it is quickly referred to the IOPC and an officer has been suspended.
“I will be following this closely: we are policed by consent and that relies on the highest levels of respect and professionalism.”