Home Breaking News Met Police officer tasered man for 14 seconds then lied about it

Met Police officer tasered man for 14 seconds then lied about it

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A former Met Police officer tasered a man for 14 seconds while trying to make an arrest at a London train station.

Then-PC Robert Powell tasered a man in drive-stun mode for 14 seconds when the man was already on the floor and posed no threat in an incident in 2019, with acting Police Sergeant Lee Smith, who corroborated his version of events.

Mr Powell’s and PC Smith’s actions were described as gross misconduct and misconduct, respectively.

The disciplinary panel said that Mr Powell would have been fired for tasering the man with excessive force – had he not already been fired for a previous act of misconduct in which he let a suspect go free after giving him a fist bump.

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Officers claimed the man attacked them first

PC Robert Powell and acting police sergeant, Lee Smith, both part of the South-East Command Unit, were called to reports of a man breaking into a car at 1.15am at Barnehurst Railway Station, Bexley, South East London, on November 1, 2019.

The two police officers attended a call at the train station

After locating the man, the panel found that Mr Powell used excessive force by activating his taser in drive-stun mode for 14 seconds against the detainee when he was already on the floor and no longer posed a threat.

Drive-stun involves applying the taser directly to the body of the individual, rather than from a distance.

Because of the levels of pain associated with this, taser use advice states that this should only be used when necessary to achieve control using pain compliance.

The man was arrested and taken to a police station where he collapsed and was subsequently taken to hospital.

Both officers claimed that the suspect attacked them first so the force used was necessary.

But when body camera footage was checked, this was found to not be true.

The case was then sent to Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for investigation, which after five months found that the officers had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

The disciplinary panel decided on Monday (September 13) that Mr Powell provided a false account when he said that his colleague was grabbed around the throat by the suspect.

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It was also said that the tasering of the detainee had an element of “retribution” to it.

“Former PC Powell used a gratuitous level of force against this man when he activated his taser on someone who no longer posed a threat to himself or his colleague,” IOPC regional director for London Sal Naseem said.

The case against Mr Powell was proven at gross misconduct level for breaches of use of force and honesty and integrity

The panel, led by a legally qualified chair, found that acting Police Sergeant Smith, who did not taser the suspect but corroborated Mr Powell’s story, had breached standards of behaviour at the level of misconduct. He received management advice as a result of his behaviour.

The panel found that he used derogatory language towards the detainee, referring to the suspect as “greasy”.

Ex-cop fist-bumped suspect and let him go

Mr Powell was already sacked earlier this year following a separate investigation that found he lied about losing a set of handcuffs and let a suspect go.

On a drug stop on December 31, 2019, a suspect managed to run away while wearing handcuffs.

Mr Powell was put in contact with the person by a member of the public so he could get them back.

When he found the suspect, Mr Powell promised he would not arrest the man if he returned the handcuffs, and was videoed by a member of the public fist-bumping the suspect.

Mr Powell then lied over radio and said that a vehicle had driven past and the handcuffs had been thrown out of the window.

He now remains on the police barred list, as a former officer previously dismissed from the Metropolitan Police Service.

Sanction sends ‘strong message’

The IOPC said that Mr Powell’s would-be dismissal and acting Police Sergeant Smith receiving management advice sent a strong message to fellow officers and the public.

Mr Naseem, IOPC regional director for London, said: “The panel’s sanction sends a strong message that this kind of breach of the standards of professional behaviour has no place in policing.”

The IOPC also highlighted its recommendations that they “continue to monitor the use of taser in drive-stun mode and actively discourage officers from using taser in this way”.

Chief Inspector Matt Cox, of the Directorate Professional Standards, said: “This case has been formally brought to a conclusion via the findings of an independent panel. PC Powell – who used excessive force and then attempted to justify it by changing the facts of the incident – fell far below these expectations and has rightfully received the highest sanction available to the panel.”

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/met-police-officer-tasered-man-21600239