Belfast Telegraph

Officers in excessive force claim are cleared

By Caitlin Curley

The Police Ombudsman has cleared officers of using excessive force in the arrest of a youth who was suspected of throwing a petrol bomb.

The youth said that his arrest, which occurred in Londonderry in April 2013, was unlawful because he had done nothing wrong before.

He said that prior to being arrested, about 16 police officers ran towards him and two of them grabbed him and threw him against a wall.

The youth said that while the police were holding him an officer put his hand on his neck and kept nipping it, and while he was in the vehicle an officer verbally abused him.

A Police Ombudsman investigator interviewed officers involved in the incident and reviewed police records, including video footage captured from the air, in order to find out whether the arrest was lawful and whether a reasonable amount of force had been used.

The footage showed that the youth was wearing clothing similar to that worn by the young people suspected of possessing petrol bombs nearby, and that he was stopped by police as he was walking away from the same area.

The officer who arrested the youth said he was acting on the order of a supervising officer, who was acting based on information provided by the police aircraft.

The investigator concluded that there was sufficient grounds for the officers to arrest the youth.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph