Belfast Telegraph

Officer should be suspended over baton incident: Sinn Fein's O'Dowd

Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd has called on the PSNI to suspend a police officer while an investigation takes place into an incident in which a young man was hospitalised.

The Upper Bann MLA said the disturbance outside a bar on William Street, Lurgan was "the most serious and shocking incident involving police I have dealt with in this last 15 years", after meeting with District Commander, Superintendent Davy Moore on Wednesday.

In a statement following the incident on Monday, the PSNI said it had responded to "a large aggressive crowd" and that "batons were used by our officers and a male received a head injury".

"The police and the Police Ombudsman must act quickly and suspend the officer," Mr O'Dowd said.

He also questioned the police description of a "large aggressive crowd".

In a statement, District Commander Superintendent Davy Moore said: “I understand the anger and frustration felt by many people following the events in Lurgan early on Monday morning.

"I am limited around what I can say given that we informed Police Ombudsman of the circumstances at the first opportunity and they are now carrying out an independent and impartial investigation.

"What is paramount is the wellbeing of this young man who remains in hospital with injuries sustained in the incident.  I sincerely hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.

"We will continue to fully cooperate with Police Ombudsman until the matter is resolved.”

The Police Ombudsman confirmed it was "investigating the circumstances surrounding PSNI involvement in the incident after receiving a public complaint".

It has asked for witnesses of anyone who captured the incident on camera to contact the Police Ombudsman on 02890828777.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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