suspended Metropolitan Police officer has been placed under criminal investigation after footage emerged of him appearing to kneel on a man’s neck during an arrest.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct has launched a probe into the behaviour of two officers involved in the arrest of Marcus Coutain, 48, in Finsbury Park last month.
Mr Coutain, who is black, was filmed pleading with officers “get off my neck” while being handcuffed on the pavement in Isledon Road on July 16.
He was subsequently charged with possessing a knife in a public place, but has called for a formal apology from Scotland Yard and for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to drop the charge.
After footage of part of the arrest was shared widely on social media, one of the officers was suspended and the other placed on restricted duties.
Following a voluntary referral from the Metropolitan Police over the incident, on Monday the IOPC announced that one of the officers was under criminal investigation for common assault.
He is also being investigated for gross misconduct on use of force; authority, respect and courtesy; discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity.
The other officer is being investigated for misconduct on challenging and reporting improper conduct; authority, respect and courtesy and honesty and integrity.
Sal Naseem, IOPC Regional Director, said the watchdog would “also investigate whether the officers treated the man differently because of his race”.
Launching an appeal for witnesses to the arrest to come forward, he 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.”
Mr Coutain appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court last month charged with having a knife in public.
He indicated a not guilty plea and was granted technical bail as the case was sent to Snaresbrook Crown Court on August 17 by District Judge Gillian Allison.
Anyone with information should call the IOPC on 03003035724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.