Police officer given final warning for using excessive force and sending 'disrespectful' messages - The Rugby Observer

Police officer given final warning for using excessive force and sending 'disrespectful' messages

A POLICE officer has been given a final written warning after he was found to have used excessive force against a suspect and sent ‘disrespectful or discriminatory’ messages about a female member of the public.

A hearing held by Northamptonshire Police in relation to PC Matt Downes heard that he pushed a suspect into a police van, causing the suspect to hit his head.

In December 2022, PC Downes attended an incident in relation to Person A who was alleged to have been causing criminal damage at their home address.

Person A was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and remained uncooperative.

After he was punched by the suspect, PC Downes tasered him several times before further arresting him for assaulting a police officer.

Having cuffed the suspect’s hands behind his back, PC Downes pushed Person A from behind with a double palm strike without warning, pushing him into the van and causing him to hit his head.

The officer left Person A on the floor of the van before exiting the vehicle and aiming swearwords at the suspect.

When PC Downes completed a witness statement, he omitted that he had pushed Person A into the police van.

It was also alleged that PC Downes sent ‘disrespectful or discriminatory’ messages commenting on the physical appearance of a woman to a WhatsApp group which contained 14 other persons, including police officers.

The conduct was deemed to be unprofessional and inappropriate.

The panel considered the available evidence and found both matters proved as Gross Misconduct, and determined that the most suitable outcome was a final written warning for a period of five years.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/mss8ekc4 to read the full outcome.


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