IPCC to probe 'attack' on protester


The protest against an increase in tuition fees on December 9 saw widespread violence across London

The police watchdog will supervise an investigation into complaints that a student fees protester was hit with a police baton, dragged from his wheelchair and pulled across the street.

Jody McIntyre said he was the victim of unprovoked action by the police after video footage of the incident was shown amid claims the police used disproportionate force in dealing with student demonstrators on December 9.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it received a complaint from the Metropolitan Police and decided it should be investigated further by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards under the supervision of the IPCC.

The IPCC said it has received a total of 111 complaints since the first student demonstration last month, with 100 of these relating to the Met, Britain’s largest force.

A spokeswoman said one aspect of Mr McIntyre’s complaint was that his treatment “amounted to discrimination on the basis of his disability”.

He claimed he was assaulted by an officer with a baton, then by officers who removed him from his wheelchair and carried him from the demonstration, she said.

He also claimed that, later the same day, he was assaulted by an officer who tipped him out of his wheelchair on to the ground and then dragged him across the road to the pavement.

Deborah Glass, the IPCC Commissioner for London, said: “There is no doubt that this footage is disturbing and it is right that it should be thoroughly investigated, both for Mr McIntyre and in the wider public interest.

“Supervising an investigation gives the IPCC the power to set the terms of reference for the investigation, which means we can also make sure that Mr McIntyre is consulted right from the start.

“The MPS DPS will regularly report to the IPCC on the progress of the investigation and update the IPCC at specific milestones, including when any officers involved have been identified and their accounts have been taken, and when eyewitness, video or CCTV evidence is gathered.”

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