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‘I can’t breathe’: Police investigate whether officers used ‘excessive force’ when arresting man in Finsbury Park

PUBLISHED: 10:08 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:30 07 February 2020

Picture: Met Police

Picture: Met Police

Archant

An investigation is under way after police “used force” when arresting a man in Finsbury Park on Thursday.

This comes after a video posted online appears to show cops punching a man they're restraining while he shouts: "I can't breathe."

Police chased a vehicle after it failed to stop at about 12.30pm in Stroud Green Road. The driver, a man in his 20s, collided with a stationary car before fleeing on foot.

A man was arrested in Upper Tollington Park on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop and possession of Class A drugs and theft from a motor vehicle. He remains in police custody.

The footage appears to show two officers jabbing and kneeing a man while restraining him on the floor, while a third stands and points a Taser at him.

His head is forcefully and repeatedly pushed to the ground as he struggles, with one officer holding him down by the back of the neck.

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The arresting officers can be heard telling him to stop struggling.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: "The man resisted arrest therefore officers used force to restrain him. He did not suffer any injuries during the arrest.

"We are aware of a video that appears to capture some of the circumstances surrounding the incident. It is important that the full circumstances are established.

"To that end, the matter has been referred to the BCU [Basic Command Unit] professional standards unit.

"We will continue to engage with the local community to listen and respond to any concerns."

Islington's Stop and Search Monitoring Group chair Sheri Lawal told the Gazette: "I'm very concerned about the footage because, unfortunately, I receive a lot of complaints and it's usually for young black men receiving this kind of treatment.

"This man on the ground is clearly disorientated but the police are still punching him and kneeing him and I just don't understand how these incidents can continue to happen. He is not showing any weapons. Do what you have to do without the punching and the knee to the back, that to me has become excessive force. I don't understand why the additional violence is necessary."

Did you see what happened? Contact Lucas at the Gazette newsdesk on 07785 616244


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