Derry woman 'dragged across road and left in bus lane by police' calls for officers to be sacked

Bridget Mongan admits being drunk at time but says police actions ‘totally unacceptable’

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The Independent Online

A woman in Northern Ireland who appeared in video footage being dragged across the road and left in a bus lane by police officers has called for those involved to lose their jobs.

Bridget Mongan, 23, has said she "could have been killed" in the incident, which occurred as she protested angrily against the arrest of her boyfriend.

Admitting she was drunk at the time, the woman from Londonderry told the BBC she should still have been treated as "a human being", and that the behaviour of the officers was "unacceptable".

Northern Ireland's police ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire has said an official inquiry will be carried out into the incident, and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

Mobile phone footage posted to Facebook appeared to show two officers carrying Ms Mongan away from the car towards the pavement, stopping once they got to an area demarcated for buses, and dropping her in the road.

They then appear to leave her, getting in their unmarked vehicle and then driving off.

CCTV footage acquired by the BBC seemed to show the incident from a different angle - including the earlier arrest of Ms Mongan's boyfriend and her desperate attempts to intervene with officers.

A spokesperson for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) told the BBC that the officers featured in the mobile phone video have been identified, and the force said it will fully support an investigation by the ombudsman.

Ms Mongan admitted she was drunk at the time but said: "My boyfriend was arrested and I got a bit upset.

"I could have been killed stone dead. What they did to me is totally unacceptable.

"I was drunk, yes, but they could've at least left me on the footpath. It's out of order, it's as simple as that.

"It's not their job to do that. I cried when I saw the footage. I am a human being you know.

"They should lose their job now. If they did to me, they could do it to everyone."

The footage has provoked angry reaction from politicians in Derry, who claim police failed in their duty of care to take the woman out of harm's way.

Stormont's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who lives in Derry, expressed his views on Twitter.

"Viewed video showing 2 police officers failing to ensure the safety of an incapacitated woman on a public roadway - totally unacceptable," he tweeted.

PSNI assistant chief constable George Hamilton said the organisation expected its staff to behave "professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times".

"Any conduct, whether on or off duty, which brings discredit on the Police Service will be investigated," he added.

"This matter has been referred to the Police Ombudsman and we will fully support their investigation."