A criminal investigation has been launched after a police officer was filmed apparently kneeling on a teenager’s neck in July during an arrest.
The incident, on July 17, came as Leeds United fans celebrated their club’s promotion to the Premier League. Just one day earlier, a Metropolitan Police officer in London had been suspended, and another placed on restricted duties, after a separate video appeared to show one of them kneeling on a man’s neck in Islington.
The West Yorkshire Police officer will be interviewed on suspicion of common assault by investigators from the police watchdog and investigated for gross misconduct.
Footage shared on social media shows a 17-year-old boy restrained by officers on the ground outside Elland Road stadium, with one appearing to use his knee.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is appealing for witnesses to the incident at around 5pm on July 17.
IOPC regional director Miranda Biddle said: “We understand why the images that were circulated caused considerable public concern.
“After the footage was shared on social media, a voluntary referral was made to us in relation to the conduct of the officer.
“Having examined a range of evidence including body-worn video and initial accounts from the officers involved in the restraint, we have taken the decision that this is now a criminal investigation.
“A criminal investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.
“It is vitally important that the circumstances of this incident are subject to an independent investigation so we can fully understand what happened and impartially determine the facts.
“We have already begun to gather evidence but would like to speak to anyone else who was at Leeds United’s ground at the same time for these celebrations and may have witnessed the incident.”