IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Finsbury Park arrest: How often do police officers kneel on suspects?

'I was shown another video on Saturday from a parent whose child was subjected to exactly the same thing'

24 July, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

THE lawyer for a man whose arrest triggered police station protests believes there are more cases where officers have used similar restraint techniques.

Timur Rustem is representing Marcus Coutain, who has been charged with having a Stanley knife.

He told the Tribune: “This case was sent to the crown court because it has points of national interest and will be heard next month.

“If you had followed the George Floyd case then obviously one of the things in the national debate in the UK is the claim that police in this country do not use this technique. That is far from the truth.”

He added: “I was shown another video on Saturday from a parent whose child was subjected to exactly the same thing. So clearly officers for whatever reason are using it. I don’t know why. And clearly it is inappropriate.”

Timur Rustem 

Mr Rustem said he did not know why the technique of kneeling on suspects was being used by UK police, but that he intended to investigate this for the case.

Sir Steve House, the Met’s deputy commissioner, has already said that techniques which appeared to be used in the video are not taught in police training.

Islington borough commander Chief Superintendant Raj Kohli said this week that he wanted to give some “perspective” to the case, adding: “A great deal of thought was given before the decision was made to suspend – care and consideration of all factors was taken. A suspension, however, does not imply misconduct is proven – any finding into this matter will be done so independently and via the IOPC.”

Ch Supt Raj Kohli added: “The arrest in Isledon Road on July 16 has clearly made national and inter­national news but I would like to provide some perspective.

“Every day I ask my officers on the frontline of policing to tackle crime and keep the people of London safe and every day they do that in often very difficult circumstances. “I am proud of how hard they work and it’s a fact that the vast bulk of the amazing work they do is rarely recognised by the public.”

The officers involved have not been charged with any wrongdoing.

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