Police investigation criticised as officer who knelt on suspect is let off
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Islington Council has criticised the decision to not punish a police officer who knelt on the neck of a Black man who was suspected of a crime.
The officer was said to have used “more force than necessary” when stopping and searching the suspect, who has now been named as Marcus Coutain, near Finsbury Park last July.
But an investigation ruled this week that the unnamed policeman should reflect on his actions, and faces no further action. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said there was no racial aggravation.
The incident was only weeks after the death of George Floyd.
Islington councillor Sue Lukes, portfolio holder for community safety, said she was shocked by the incident and “disappointed” by the IOPC's decision.
“We are disappointed that the officer involved will not be facing disciplinary action,” she said.
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“No one is safe until everyone is safe, and no-one is safe if they do not believe they will be treated fairly and with respect by local services such as the police, and that there are consequences if they are not.
“It is vital that local people and all our communities feel able to trust local police but that trust needs to be earned.
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“Incidents like this damage that trust and undermine the police’s ability to do their work well, and we all need that trust to be regained.
“We will work with our communities to ensure that policing in Islington is done with fairness and respect and that, where this is not the case, justice is served.”
Sal Naseem, from the IOPC, said: “Following our investigation, we now understand the whole picture and on this occasion we found that officers had initiated the stop and search appropriately, based on the information they had been provided with.”