Police officer 'threatened to stamp on man's broken leg'

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The Independent Online

A Metropolitan Police officer has been suspended and others are being investigated over an incident in which a man lying handcuffed and helpless with a broken leg was allegedly threatened with violence.

A Metropolitan Police officer has been suspended and others are being investigated over an incident in which a man lying handcuffed and helpless with a broken leg was allegedly threatened with violence.

The episode was captured on video by a householder's security camera after his attention was alerted by the noise outside his home in Erith, Kent. The film appears to show Colin May, 43, being intimidated by a group of five police officers as they awaited medical assistance. An ambulance did not arrive for 38 minutes.

The film shows a uniformed officer threatening to run the police car over Mr May's head and to stamp on his injured leg. The officer places his foot menacingly over the prostrate man and on the soundtrack he can be heard taunting him.

"I am getting very close to your leg now," the officer says. "The next form of torture, I'm going to let the handbrake off the car and roll over your head." When Mr May, a DIY store worker, pleads for medical help, the group, which included a female officer, responds with laughter and sarcastic comments. One says: "He wants us to call him an ambulance." Another says: "You're an ambulance. You're a very naughty ambulance."

When Mr May repeats his plea for an ambulance, the film shows the female officer saying: "It's Friday night. They're very busy." Another officer says: "You'll have to walk it, mate."

Mr May was eventually taken to hospital where he was detained for five days. He has since claimed that the incident, which happened about three years ago, was caused by his efforts to uphold the law, not break it. He said his neighbourhood was plagued by vandalism and he went outside to investigate a noise without realising that neighbours had alerted police. He admits he "foolishly" armed himself with a knife.

He says he became involved in a confrontation with police and was knocked over by a car as he tried to flee. He has been charged with carrying an offensive weapon in a public place but says he is suing the force.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman of the Metropolitan Police said: "The Met are determined to establish the full facts ... and to act swiftly. The Met will not tolerate behaviour from officers unacceptable to the community."

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