British policeman suspended after video shows him kneeling on Black suspect’s neck

Knee on the neck in the UK

LONDON — London’s police force has suspended an officer after video footage emerged showing him kneeling on the head and neck of a Black man during an arrest.

The Metropolitan Police referred the circumstances of the arrest, which took place two Thursdays ago in north London, for investigation by the independent police watchdog for England and Wales.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Steve House described the video footage which he has seen and which is circulating on social media as “extremely disturbing.”

“Some of the techniques used cause me great concern – they are not taught in police training,” House said.

Video filmed by an onlooker showed one white police officer appearing to kneel on the side of the man’s head and neck, while another officer of east Asian ethnicity helped to restrain the man on the ground.

The white officer stopped kneeling on the suspect after he cried out “get off my neck,” and the man was later shown sitting up and speaking with the officers while in handcuffs.

“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,” House said.

House said the man, who was arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon after officers were called to reports of a fight on Isledon Road, Islington, , had been seen by a police doctor.

“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,” House said.

After the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards reviewed video of the arrest filmed by members of the public and footage from the officers’ body cameras, the decision was made to refer the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London  said he was “deeply concerned” about the incident and called for a swift and thorough investigation.

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 last