LONDON (Reuters) – London’s police force suspended an officer on Friday pending an investigation after video footage emerged of him kneeling on the side of a Black suspect’s head and neck.
Britain’s capital and other major cities have seen large Black Lives Matter protests inspired by concern about racial injustice following the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
“Some of the techniques used cause me great concern – they are not taught in police training,” Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Steve House said in a statement.
“The video footage that I have seen today and is circulating on social media is extremely disturbing,” he added.
Reuters was not able to independently verify the video.
The Metropolitan Police referred the incident for investigation by Britain’s independent police watchdog, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for a swift and thorough investigation of what he described as a “distressing” incident.
The suspect was arrested on Thursday evening on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon, following reports of a fight, and remains in police custody, police said.
Video footage showed one police officer, who was white, appearing to kneel on the suspect’s head and neck, while another officer of east Asian ethnicity assisted in the restraint.
The officer stopped kneeling on the suspect after the suspect said “Get off my neck”, and the suspect was later shown sitting up and speaking with the officers.
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