British police are standing by an off-duty officer who was filmed subduing a man suspected of theft, making threats, and carrying a knife on a crowded London Underground train by headbutting him to the floor.
The viral video footage shows a highly agitated man with a foreign accent loudly remonstrating with a tall white male — later revealed to be an off-duty police officer — thrusting his head towards him aggressively and appearing to jostle with him.
The officer brings the confrontation to a decisive end by delivering a resounding headbutt to the shouting man’s face, to cries of “Ooh!” following by approving laughter from onlooking passengers.
Just seen this posted on Telegram. Does anybody know what train service this is ? Do you know the context ? Has it been reported ? pic.twitter.com/s0hTBkM0KY
— Dr Mariana (@MarianaSteal) October 3, 2019
Despite often being accused of throwing frontline officers under the bus when they have to use force to subdue suspected criminals, it seems that senior police are on this occasion standing by their man, with the Metropolitan Police Force telling the Metro that they were “aware of social media footage showing an off-duty Met officer on a mainline train on the afternoon… [it] is a limited capture of the incident, which is believed to have lasted in excess of 20 minutes.”
The force added that its “Directorate of Professional Standards [has] reviewed the video and the details surrounding the incident and are satisfied that there is no indication that the officer committed a criminal offence, nor that he behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.”
British Transport Police (BTP) have also defended the officer via their official Twitter account, telling one of the few respondents who did not approve of the officer’s use of force — a user with “#RevokeA50” and a European Union flag in their handle — that the suspected criminal “had been making violent threats to passengers and was in the process of being detained when he was headbutted,” and was subsequently “arrested at #Upminster for possessing an offensive weapon and theft”.
Reports indicate that the suspect was also arrested for making threats with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.
Good morning. The man had been making violent threats to passengers and was in the process of being detained when he was headbutted. He was further arrested at #Upminster for possessing an offensive weapon and theft.
— British Transport Police (@BTP) October 4, 2019