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Outrage as UK officer seen tasering black father in front of son

London, United Kingdom – A UK policeman who tasered a father in front of his young child is facing accusations of using excessive force unnecessarily after the moment was caught on video and shared widely on social media. In the video, two policemen can be seen at a petrol station in Manchester, northern England, arguing with the…

Outrage as UK officer seen tasering black father in front of son

London, United Kingdom – A UK policeman who tasered a father in front of his young child is facing accusations of using excessive force unnecessarily after the moment was caught on video and shared widely on social media.
In the video, two policemen can be seen at a petrol station in Manchester, northern England, arguing with the driver, 34-year-old Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara, outside a police car as his son stands by his legs, distressed and shouting “Daddy!”.
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One of the officers releases the taser on Mombeyarara, who is Black.
The taser makes a bang and Mombeyarara falls to the ground.
His son shouts “daddy!” again, cries and stamps his feet in a traumatised manner.
The officer who fired the taser orders Mombeyarara to “put your hands behind your back, now!”, but he appears unable to do so.
The other officer then picks the crying child up and takes him away.
Tasers disable people by firing an electric charge into their bodies through needle-tipped darts.
According to the College of Policing, a professional body for policing in the UK, the usual reaction of someone who has been tasered “is loss of some voluntary muscle control accompanied by involuntary muscle contractions”.
During the discharge, the subject may “not be able to respond to verbal commands during the discharge” or could “freeze on the spot”.

This just happened a few hours ago @gmpolice pic.twitter.com/0sIwn3NrHI
— Yaa🇬🇭 (@essmurph) May 7, 2020

In a statement on Friday, Greater Manchester Police said the incident took place on Wednesday before 11pm, local time.
“Police officers observed a vehicle being driven unsafely at high speed on Chester Road, in Stretford,” said the statement, adding they stopped Mombeyarara and arrested him.
Mombeyarara was charged with resisting arrest, speeding, not having car insurance, failing to stop when required, refusing a test and being unfit to drive through drink.
He was also charged with “one count of unnecessary travel”, which refers to violating current coronavirus lockdown measures in the UK, under which only essential travel is allowed.
He was remanded in custody and appeared before Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
According to Manchester Evening News, Mombeyarara pleaded guilty to several charges, but denied guilt in obstructing or resisting a constable in the execution of duty.
A hearing was adjourned until July 31, Mombeyarara was granted unconditional bail and an interim driving disqualification was imposed.
“We have voluntarily referred this matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), to ensure transparency and independence in terms of reviewing the circumstances of the arrest,” said Greater Manchester Police.
Superintendent Mark Kenny said: “We are aware of public concern regarding this arrest and I want to reassure the public that this matter is being reviewed and treated seriously. In addition, we have voluntarily referred this matter to the IOPC.”
The IOPC is a police watchdog, sponsored by the UK Home Office.
Andy Burnham, Manchester mayor and a politician with the opposition Labour Party, said: “I was concerned about what I saw … It is not at all clear that the level of force used in this instance, particularly in front of a child, was proportionate or justified and that is why I have asked for an urgent and independent review to be carried out.”
He added, however: “From what I have been told, it would appear that the officers were right to apprehend the individual who was putting his child and others at risk by his actions.”
‘Tasers should be last, not first resort’
Deborah Coles, head of Inquest, a UK charity providing expertise on state-related deaths, wrote on Twitter that she had “serious questions”.
Greater Manchester Police “must answer as to why a taser was discharged in a petrol station and with a young child present. Tasers should be a last not first resort. Reinforces concerns about disproportionate use of force against black people”.
Aamer Anwar, a Scottish-based lawyer, tweeted: “Force used must be reasonable, legitimate & proportionate – using a taser at a petrol pump, do they not realise the deadly danger of using it near flammable material? Doing it right in front of the man’s toddler? A lot of questions.”
Twitter user Michael Morgan said: “This taser incident is yet another example of institutionally racist policing and disproportionate use of force.”
Example, a British musician, said: “This is disgraceful. There’ll be so many people saying ‘why didn’t he cooperate?’ But how can two male police officers not deal with this WITHOUT a taser !!?? And the poor kid. Scarred for life. The cycle continues.”
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UK: Police officer suspended after kneeling on Black man’s neck |NationalTribune.com

At the beginning of the clip, one of the officers, who was white, appears to be applying pressure to the man’s neck with his knee. [Screenshot/@RealAiRavish] London’s police force has suspended an officer pending an investigation after footage emerged of him kneeling on the side of a Black suspect’s head and neck. Footage of the…

UK: Police officer suspended after kneeling on Black man’s neck |NationalTribune.com

At the beginning of the clip, one of the officers, who was white, appears to be applying pressure to the man’s neck with his knee. [Screenshot/@RealAiRavish]
London’s police force has suspended an officer pending an investigation after footage emerged of him kneeling on the side of a Black suspect’s head and neck.
Footage of the arrest in north London on Thursday shows two officers holding down the handcuffed man.
At the beginning of the clip, one of the officers, who was white, appears to be applying pressure to the man’s neck with his knee. The officer’s hand is on the head of the man, who is on a pavement on his side.
Another officer of East Asian ethnicity assisted in the restraint.
“Get off me … get off my neck,” the struggling man can be heard shouting in the video that appeared on social media. “I haven’t done anything wrong, get off my neck.”
One of the two officers asks, “Are you going to behave yourself?” He is told to stay down.
The suspect was later shown sitting and speaking to the police officers.
Police said he was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon, following reports of a fight, and remains in custody.
The Metropolitan Police referred the incident for investigation by the UK’s independent police watchdog, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for a swift and thorough investigation of what he described as a “distressing” incident.
“The video footage that I have seen today and is circulating on social media is extremely disturbing,” Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Steve House said in a statement on Friday.
“Some of the techniques used cause me great concern – they are not taught in police training.”
Major cities around the world, including London, have seen large Black Lives Matter protests over concerns about racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in police custody in the US city Minneapolis on May 25.

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Atlanta

Atlanta officer kills black man; police chief resigns

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta’s police chief resigned Saturday hours after a black man was fatally shot by an officer in a struggle following a field sobriety test. Authorities said the slain man had grabbed an officer’s Taser, but was running away when he was shot. Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down as the killing of…

Atlanta officer kills black man; police chief resigns

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta’s police chief resigned Saturday hours after a black man was fatally shot by an officer in a struggle following a field sobriety test. Authorities said the slain man had grabbed an officer’s Taser, but was running away when he was shot.

Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down as the killing of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks sparked a new wave of protests in Atlanta after turbulent demonstrations that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis had simmered down.

Protesters on Saturday night set fire to the Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks was fatally shot the night before and blocked traffic on a nearby highway.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the police chief’s resignation at a Saturday afternoon news conference. The mayor also called for the immediate firing of the unidentified officer who opened fire at Brooks.

“I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer,” Bottoms said.

She said it was Shields‘ own decision to step aside as police chief and that she would remain with the city in an undetermined role. Interim Corrections Chief Rodney Bryant would serve as interim police chief until a permanent replacement is found.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the shooting, said the deadly confrontation started with officers responding to a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the restaurant’s drive-thru lane. The GBI said Brooks failed a field sobriety test and then resisted officers’ attempts to arrest him.

The GBI released security camera video of the shooting Saturday. The footage shows a man running from two white police officers as he raises a hand, which is holding some type of object, toward an officer a few steps behind him. The officer draws his gun and fires as the man keeps running, then falls to the ground in the parking lot.

GBI Director Vic Reynolds said Brooks had grabbed a Taser from one of the officers and appeared to point it at the officer as he fled, prompting the officer to reach for his gun and fire an estimated three shots.

The security camera video recorded Brooks “running or fleeing from Atlanta police officers,” Reynolds said. “It appears that he has in his hand a Taser.”The footage does not show Brooks‘ initial struggle with police.

L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Brooks’ family, said the officer who shot him should be charged for “an unjustified use of deadly force, which equals murder.”

“You can’t have it both ways in law enforcement,” Stewart said. “You can’t say a Taser is a nonlethal weapon … but when an African American grabs it and runs with it, now it’s some kind of deadly, lethal weapon that calls for you to unload on somebody.”

He said Brooks was a father of four and had celebrated a daughter’s eighth birthday Friday before he was killed.

The shooting came at a time of heightened tension over police brutality and calls for reforms across the U.S. following the May 25 death of Floyd in Minneapolis. Atlanta was among U.S. cities where large crowds of protesters took to the streets.

Demonstrators, including members of Brooks‘ family, gathered Saturday outside the restaurant where he was shot.

Among those protesting was Crystal Brooks, who said she is Rayshard Brooks‘ sister-in-law.

“He wasn’t causing anyone any harm,” she said. “The police went up to the car and even though the car was parked they pulled him out of the car and started tussling with him.”

She added: “He did grab the Taser, but he just grabbed the Taser and ran.”Shields, Atlanta’s police chief for less than four years, was initially praised in the days following Floyd’s death last month. She said the Minnesota officers involved should go to prison and walked into crowds of protesters in downtown Atlanta, telling demonstrators she understood their frustrations and fears. She appeared at Bottoms’ side as the mayor made an impassioned plea for protesters to go home when things turned violent with smashed storefronts and police cruisers set ablaze.

Days later, Shields fired two officers and benched three others caught on video May 30 in a hostile confrontation with two college students whose car was stuck in traffic caused by the protests. The officers fired Tasers at the pair and dragged them from the vehicle. When prosecutors later charged six of the officers involved, however, Shields openly questioned the charges.

The shooting of Brooks two weeks later raised further questions about the Atlanta department. In a statement, Shields said she chose to resign “out of a deep and abiding love for this city and this department.”

“It is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Shields said.

Reynolds said his agents will turn over results of their investigation to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, whose office will decide whether criminal charges are warranted against either of the unidentified officers.

Howard said Saturday his office “has already launched an intense, independent investigation of the incident” without waiting for the GBI’s results.

Brooks died after being taken to an Atlanta hospital. One of the officers was treated and released for unspecified injuries.

___

Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia. Associated Press writer Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

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Federal

Federal officer fatally shot during violent protest in Oakland

A Federal Protective Services officer was shot and killed Friday night in Oakland, California, during the riots over George Floyd’s death, the FBI said Saturday morning. In a statement, the FBI the shooting occurred at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in downtown Oakland. A vehicle pulled up to the building and a suspect fired…

Federal officer fatally shot during violent protest in Oakland

A Federal Protective Services officer was shot and killed Friday night in Oakland, California, during the riots over George Floyd’s death, the FBI said Saturday morning.

In a statement, the FBI the shooting occurred at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in downtown Oakland. A vehicle pulled up to the building and a suspect fired gunshots at security officers outside the building, the FBI said.

The shooter hit two contract security officers, with one dying from his injuries. The second officer was wounded, but the FBI did not list his injuries.

The FBI said it is working with the Oakland Police Department on the investigation.

Federal Protective Services officers prevent and protect terrorism and criminal acts threatening government infrastructure and buildings. It is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Oakland’s interim police chief Susan Manheimer released a statement calling for demonstrators to remain peaceful and lawful.

“They started out peaceful, and we stood with our community here in the city of Oakland to provide safe spaces and respectful spaces for demonstrators,” the statement said. “What we saw later in the evening turned violent and disruptive.”

All told, 22 people were arrested in Oakland with 18 arrested by local police and four by other agencies. In addition, authorities detained 60 looters for further investigation.

Lewis Schiliro, a former head of the FBI’s New York field office, said the investigation could become a terrorism probe because the attack occurred at a federal building.

“A life lost is a priority, but coupled with that, someone attacked a federal building,” he told The Washington Times. “That goes to the heart of the government and its institutions. That raises the bar on whether future attacks are planned.”

“If it was a group that planned this, there could very well be a terrorism charge along with the homicide charge,” Mr. Schiliro continued.

Mr. Schiliro said investigators’ first steps will be to examine camera coverage in the area where the shooting occurred.

Authorities will pull video images from federal, state, and local cameras in an effort to identify the car, capture the image of a license plate or the individuals inside the vehicles, he said.

“The first thing they are looking for is any camera coverage of the area,” he said. “Federal buildings generally have state-of-the-art video surveillance. That is going to be the most critical.”

Simultaneously, investigators will look for witnesses, although Mr. Schiliro acknowledged that it may be difficult to find witnesses among the chaos of the riots.

“It was a difficult time, whether that will be fruitful or not, I don’t know,” he said.

Mr. Schiliro said other steps in the investigation include searching for forensic evidence such as tire tracks and bullet casings. He also expects officers to examine intelligence reports, including any talk of a planned attack on a federal building.

“Intelligence is going to play a big role in this,” he said

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