British police announced on Tuesday that they have suspended the officer who was filmed in an amateur video posted on YouTube apparently hitting a woman with a baton at the G20 protest earlier this month.
AFP - British police, under fire over the death of a man caught up in a G20 demonstration early this month, said Tuesday they have suspended an officer who was filmed apparently hitting a woman at the protest.
In the amateur video, posted on YouTube, a line of police officers faces an angry crowd. One officer pushes back a shouting female protester, and when she refuses to back off, hits her on the leg with a baton.
A spokeswoman for London's Metropolitan Police said the policeman's actions "raise immediate concerns", and later issued a statement saying: "The officer has been identified and suspended pending further investigation."
The spokeswoman said the case had been referred to the police watchdog.
He is the second policeman to be suspended following the demonstrations on April 1, on the eve of the G20 economic crisis summit in London, amid accusations of a heavy-handed police response to the protests.
About 4,000 people descended on the financial district for a march marred by violence and an attack on a bank, and scores of arrests were made.
An investigation is already underway into the death of Ian Tomlinson, 47, who collapsed and died when he was caught inside the protest area as he walked home from work.
Video footage showed an officer shoving him to the ground shortly before he died. The officer has since been suspended.
In response to the latest footage, the police spokeswoman said: "Every officer is accountable under law, and fully aware of the scrutiny that their actions can be held open to.
"The decision to use force is made by the individual police officer, and they must account for that."
A spokeswoman for the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), confirmed it was aware of the video.
"As soon as we get the referral we will look into it and decide the best way to progress an investigation into the actions of the officer involved," she said.
Date created : 2009-04-15