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Police officer ‘under criminal investigation’ after Finsbury Park arrest

Police watchdog to explore whether suspect was 'treated differently because of his race'

10 August, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Protest outside Islington Police Station after a video of the arrest circulated online

A Met officer is “under criminal investigation” the police watchdog confirmed today after a video of an arrest in Finsbury Park showed an officer kneeling on a suspect’s neck.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an independent probe into the conduct of two Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers after Marcus Coutain was arrested in Isledon Road last month.

The IOPC will explore whether, as a black man, Mr Coutain was treated differently by the police because of his race.

A video posted online of the arrest sparked fury with protests outside Islington Police Station in Tolpuddle Street.

The Met suspended one officer while the other was placed on “restricted duties” and also referred themselves to the IOPC.

Today, Monday August 10, the IOPC announced that one of the officers has been advised that they are “subject to a criminal investigation for Common Assault and investigation for Gross Misconduct on use of force; authority, respect and courtesy; discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity”.

A second officer has been advised that they are subject to a misconduct investigation “on challenging and reporting improper conduct; authority, respect and courtesy and honesty and integrity”.

The IOPC are appealing for witnesses of the incident to come forward.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “We are independently examining whether the use of force and the stop and search on this occasion were appropriate and proportionate in line with approved police policies. We will also investigate whether the officers treated the man differently because of his race.

“This incident took place in public and was witnessed by several members of the public. A video of the incident has been widely shared on social media platforms.

“We would ask anybody who was in the area that day and saw police activity to get in touch with us.”

To contact the IOPC with information you can call  03003035724 or email isledonroad@policeconduct.gov.uk

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