Pc cleared of brute force kneeing boy to ground in Poplar arrest

Met police officer cleared of excessive force arresting suspect in Poplar. Picture source: MPS

Met police officer cleared of excessive force arresting suspect in Poplar. Picture source: MPS - Credit: MPS

A Met police officer who ‘kneed’ a boy to the ground during an arrest in Poplar has been cleared of misconduct.

The suspect was 14-years-old when police were called to a row at the family home in East India Dock Road in March last year.

The lad fled before officers arrived. His mum joined in their almost hour-long search. Police had to chase him across a building site before finally catching him.

But he continued to struggle even though there was a police officer on each arm and his hands were cuffed behind his back, the hearing was told.

Pc Palmer, responding to a call for help, arrived and in a bid to get the youngster under control kneed him to his body, causing him to drop to the ground.

The force he used was “unnecessary, disproportionate and unreasonable” in all the circumstances, it was alleged.

The lad was struggling and the policeman worried that other officers would be injured, the hearing led by independent chair Hilary Norris was told.

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But the youngster, known only as B, told the hearing: “When [Pc Palmer] came up to me and screamed to me to get on the floor, I didn’t really understand what was going on.”

He added that he couldn’t understand why the police had got involved following an argument with his mum.

“I didn’t think it was that big a problem,” he said.

But witness Pc Sandra Stretton told the hearing his mum, known only as A, was fed up with his behaviour.

“He was disrespectful to his mother’s property,” she told the panel.

Pc Stretton agreed that B was being aggressive and that even though handcuffed a suspect could still pose a risk to officers or themselves. Getting a suspect to the ground was another way of getting suspects under control, the hearing was told.

A misconduct hearing over allegations that Pc Palmer “breached standards of professional behaviour” using force and discreditable conduct cleared him on Tuesday.

Pc Palmer “honestly believed he needed to intervene” and the force he used was “reasonable” in the circumstances, the hearing concluded.