Met cops to face gross misconduct hearing over excessive force and discrimination in detention of teenage boy

Two Met officers will face a gross misconduct hearing following an investigation into whether they discriminated against a black teenage boy and used excessive force in a stop-and-search last year.

The 14-year-old schoolboy was detained by police officers in Blackhorse Road, Croydon on June 23, 2022 and allegations were made that officers used excessive force in restraining and handcuffing him.

The boy also alleged officers took him to the floor and kneeled on his back. He and his mother complained that his treatment was motivated by discrimination on the grounds of his race and age.

The officers were responding to a report that a 13-year-old boy had been robbed at knifepoint by four secondary school children at a nearby tram stop. Their grounds for detaining the boy were that they believed he was one of the suspects.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) started an investigation after a complaint from the boy’s mother was referred to it by the Met.

It also investigated the grounds for the stop-and-search.

The watchdog concluded in July 2023 that a police constable and an acting police sergeant should face a gross misconduct hearing for alleged breaches of police standards of professional behaviour.

The reasons they gave were the use of force in handcuffing the child, the officers’ actions and comments made during the stop-and-search, and allegedly discriminating against the child because of his race and age.

IOPC director Mel Palmer said: “Mobile phone footage of part of this incident was shared to social media and widely viewed on mainstream news outlets, which led to public concern.

“It was important that we investigated the full circumstances surrounding this incident to determine what occurred.

“We have now decided that two officers have cases to answer for gross misconduct and should face a hearing where a police disciplinary panel will decide whether the gross misconduct allegations are proven.”

The IOPC said it would now be for the Met to organise proceedings for the officers.

(Picture: The Met)

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