Police officer filmed Tasering shoplifter is cleared of wrongdoing

Police officer who was filmed Tasering then stamping on elderly shoplifter, 60, leaving him with a bloodied face is cleared of wrongdoing after tribunal declares his actions ‘appropriate’

  • The arrest was filmed in Stevenage town centre, in Hertfordshire, last week
  • Social media users raised concerns about the level of force used
  • Hertfordshire Police said officer’s conduct was ‘appropriate in circumstances 

A police officer who left a man’s face covered in blood after he stamped him to the ground during an arrest has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The police officer’s conduct was reviewed after he was caught on camera booting an ‘old man’ in the back as he lay on the ground in Stevenage town centre, Hertfordshire.

A video of the arrest has since circulated online and the town’s MP said that he was ‘shocked and deeply disturbed’ by the incident, which happened on October 19.

But today, Hertfordshire Police said that its officer’s conduct was ‘appropriate in the circumstances’ after a review by its professional standards department.

A police officer who left a man’s face covered in blood after he stamped him to the ground during an arrest has been cleared of any wrongdoing. The police officer’s conduct was reviewed after he was caught on camera booting an ‘old man’ in the back as he lay on the ground in Stevenage town centre, Hertfordshire

It came after social media users raised concerns over the level of force used by the male officer, who tasered the man before kicking him to the ground.

Stephen McPartland, Conservative MP for Stevenage, said on Twitter yesterday: ‘I was shocked and deeply disturbed by what I saw & immediately contacted the Chief Constable on Thursday.

‘He confirmed it is with the Professional Standards Department for review.’ 

Footage of the arrest, filmed by Andy Symonds, 36, from Welwyn Garden City, shows the man, aged 60, left with a bloody face after his head hit the cement due to the officer kicking him in the back. 

It begins with two male officers and a female officer trying to restrain the man on the ground before they get off him and one of the male officers draws his Taser on the man.

The man gets to his feet and steps towards the officer with his arms outstretched and is immediately Tasered, causing him to drop to the ground.

The officer says: ‘Right, you’ve been Tasered mate.’

A video of the arrest has since circulated online and the town’s MP said that he was ‘shocked and deeply disturbed’ by the incident, which happened on October 19 

When the man tries to get up the officer shouts ‘stay down’ and another Taser shot can be heard.

As another male officer arrives at the scene, the man is lying facing away from the officer who fired the Taser, who then shouts ‘put your hands behind your back’.

The man has his back to the male officer holding the Taser, who then appears to stomp on his upper back, sending his face into the concrete ground.

Three officers then attempt to handcuff the man as the camera moves to show the man’s bloodied face, with blood drops on the concrete.

Mr Symonds, a car transporter, called the response ‘disgusting’. He said: ‘The bloke clearly wasn’t a strong old man. There was no active violence from him whatsoever.

As another male officer arrives at the scene, the man is lying facing away from the cop who fired the Taser, who then shouts ‘put your hands behind your back’

‘He got up off the floor and he had his hands up when the Taser was out and the officer shot him. 

‘When he was on the floor with his back to the officer he had no threat of violence.

‘The officer kicked him with such force that his head smashed into the floor and he had a bloody face. 

‘As soon as the police officer kicked him they called for an ambulance because he realised what he’d done.’ 

As the clip ended a bystander said ‘he’s got a big cut on his head from the kick they just gave him’.

A female officer asked if anyone had a first aid kit before another male officer told his colleagues to call for an ambulance. 

The man was treated in hospital for ‘minor injuries’ and was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and criminal damage.

Hertfordshire Police said that the video of the arrest ‘shows only part of what happened’.

A force spokesperson said: ‘Prior to the arrest of the male, numerous attempts had been made to communicate and pacify him without resorting to force. These were ineffective and the man continued to behave aggressively.

The footage, filmed by Andy Symonds, first shows two male officers and a female officer trying to restrain the man on the ground before they get off him and one of the male officers draws his Taser on the man

‘The male was arrested as he was deemed to be a risk due to his behaviour and officers present were acting to protect themselves and members of the public.

‘The matter has been referred to the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Professional Standards Department, and CCTV footage of the whole incident reviewed.

‘The officer’s actions were deemed appropriate in the circumstances.’

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