'Three police officers are under investigation after they were filmed striking a man and pinning him down while he appeared to be having a seizure during a traffic stop.
The incident took place at about 5.30pm on a residential street in Poplar, east London, when police told the man of Moroccan origin to move his car, which had a blue badge, from a single yellow line.
In video filmed by onlookers as officers wrestle him to the ground, one appears to be kneeing him and another can then be clearly seen hitting him three times with a pair of handcuffs on his torso and upper leg/hip. By the time the officers release him, he appears to be unconscious.
In a document sent to local community leaders amid widespread concern about the tactics deployed by the officers, police admitted to “holding him [in] place” while it appears “he is having a fit”. They said footage from officers’ body-worn cameras showed the man “lashes out his arm and appears to attempt to bite the arresting officer”.
Nevertheless, the incident has been referred to the central east command professional standards unit, but community leaders have said that given its seriousness it should be handled by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).
In a video apparently filmed by the man, the police give him a “five-stage warning” (five chances) to move his vehicle or produce his driving licence. It ends when the officer attempts to handcuff him and the man says: “Don’t touch me.” Later footage shows the man repeatedly shouting: “I can’t breathe,” and “my heart” as the officers hold him down on the pavement.
At one point, an officer appears to drag a pair of handcuffs across the man’s head, causing it to bleed. The man then begins having spasms as officers continue to restrain him, while his wife, who addresses him as “Youness”, screams at them: “You’re killing him.”'
Read more: Inquiry begins after police filmed pinning down man ‘having a fit’
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