Watchdog probes tazering of driver off Old Kent Road

The police watchdog is carrying out an investigation into the tazering of a car driver who was arrested outside a church hall on May 2.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) would like to hear from anyone who witnessed a man being restrained during a stop and search by police in Southwark.

The driver of a black Range Rover, with three passengers, was stopped by police in front of St Phillip’s Church Hall on Avondale Square – off Old Kent Road – Bermondsey on Saturday 2 May around 10pm.

During the incident, a Metropolitan Police officer deployed the red-dot function Taser on the man. He was subsequently placed in handcuffs and searched. The other passengers were also handcuffed and searched.

The IOPC requested a voluntary referral be made by the Metropolitan Police after video footage of the incident was widely shared in media and social media, and the man lodged a formal complaint. An independent investigation was launched on Thursday 7 May.

We have recovered CCTV, body worn video footage, the footage shared online, and are taking statements from several witnesses.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “This incident took place in public view late at night and was likely witnessed by passers-by and members of the public. The video was widely shared on social media platforms and used by local media outlets.

“To uphold public confidence in the police complaints system, we will be investigating the use of stop and search tactics in this incident and whether the actions of those officers were appropriate and proportionate and followed approved police policies.

“We will also investigate if racial profiling or discrimination played a part in the incident and whether any coronavirus legislation was breached.”

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