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The Metropolitan Police Federation has rejected “trial by social media” and called for the release of body worn camera footage showing the arrest of a 70-year-old Black man who was left hospitalised last week.
A “struggle” took place between Errol Dixon and a Metropolitan Police officer on Monday after he was pulled over in Bromley, south London, over a faulty brake light, the force said.
This came after a woman identifying herself as the man’s daughter posted photos of his injuries in Instagram which quickly went viral, saying he suffered a broken nose, fractures to the upper cheek and cuts, and said that officers assaulted her father. The injuries have reportedly been confirmed by Kings College Hospital.
The Met have since made a mandatory self-referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Mr Ken Marsh, chairperson of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said “Yet again colleagues in the Metropolitan Police are being subjected to trial by social media – and subsequently traditional media – based on unsubstantiated ... allegations,” in reference to the Bromley arrest.
“Police officers have no issue with being held accountable for their actions – we are the most accountable of public services and we look forward to the Independent Office for Police Conduct bringing this matter to a swift conclusion.
“The team from the Metropolitan Police Federation have witnessed the body worn footage of this latest incident in question. We can say we will be robustly defending the actions of these officers and are supporting them at this time.
“These police officers acted incredibly professionally.”
Mr Dixon, a Windrush pensioner who moved to the UK from Jamaica aged 12, told Antoine Allen of ITV News on Friday that he’s in “a lot of pain and distress”.
“Every time I hear that siren, I start trembling.
“I’ve been pulled over by the police hundreds of times (...) You never stop getting pulled over by the police as long as you’re Black in this country. Being at my age, I thought this would stop (...) they would look at me as an old man. But nothing’s changed.”
Condemning what he described as “trial by social media” Mr Marsh said: “Enough is enough. We can’t keep carrying on letting policing – and our brave police officers – get vilified in the media when they have done nothing wrong.
“All our colleagues are wearing body worn video. We have nothing to hide.
“There are always two sides to every story. And yet when it comes to the actions of police officers – and in particular video footage of the difficult work we do being put into the public domain – we only see and hear about one side.”
“The Metropolitan Police Federation has consistently called for the prompt release of officer’s body worn camera footage. Let’s release the footage now – that would soon end much of the nonsense we see on our screens and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
“We are transparent. We have nothing to hide.”
The IOPC have been approached for comment.