Great Britain

Police officer guilty of assaulting two people after punching and kicking lad, 15, he falsely accused of having drugs

A COP has been found guilty of assaulting two males including a 15-year-old boy he punched after falsely accusing him of having drugs.

PC Declan Jones, 30, assaulted the two men while on duty in Birmingham on consecutive days during the first lockdown.

A judge described the West Midlands Police officer's actions as “embarrassing” and “disastrous” for public relations.

It comes after he and other officers had stopped members of the public for breaching covid laws.

The court heard Jones dragged an innocent cyclist onto a car bonnet and punched him repeatedly on April 20 last year, and the following day went on to kick and punch a teenager he wrongly accused of carrying drugs.

CCTV footage of the attack on the teenager was played to the court by prosecutors, who alleged Jones was annoyed the youth had "broken free" and was running off.

Jones said it was his "honest belief" the teenager had made a downward movement with one of his hands, causing him to fear for his safety, the court heard.

The videos do not show the police in a good light at all.

District Judge Shamim Qureshi

District Judge Shamim Qureshi, sitting at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, told Jones the force used against the 15-year-old victim after he "stood in a surrender pose" was totally unnecessary.

The judge said videos of the incidents, in which officers were shown not wearing face masks, were "disastrous" for police-public relations and "embarrassing" to watch.

The judge told Jones: "It is noteworthy that in all three incidents, not a single officer wears a mask or face-covering despite being issued with it by West Midlands Police.

"Nothing turns on this point in this trial, but I have to make the comment that the videos, some of which were released on social media, are disastrous for public relations.

"It is embarrassing for the court to watch police officers selectively enforcing coronavirus laws when it suits them to order people off the streets and to go home, and yet those officers are ignoring the coronavirus laws and operational orders themselves.

DISASTROUS

"The videos do not show the police in a good light at all."

After a week-long trial at Coventry Magistrates Court in June, District Judge Qureshi cleared Jones of assaulting a third complainant who was punched in the face on April 23.

The judge said the third incident had seen the officer use "proportionate" force as colleagues struggled to detain a man wearing a stab-proof vest in Handsworth.

The inquiry followed a probe by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into claims of excessive force by police officers in the city.

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