RS2-X2 footage released to show officer’s perspective
Body camera footage of a man being detained under the Mental Health Act has been released after a mobile phone video was widely shared online of a police officer punching him in the face.
The original video – filmed by a member of public and posted on Facebook – shows a handcuffed man on the floor in Yeovil surrounded by three Avon and Somerset Constabulary officers – one male and two female.
Following twenty seconds of struggling between the man and the officers, the male officer strikes the detainee to the head.
However, there was no sound in the video of Wednesday’s (May 31) incident.
On Thursday (June 1), national and local media reported on the incident, with The Daily Mail suggested the force of the blow injured the officer’s arm.
In response, Avon and Somerset Constabulary released footage from an officer’s Reveal body-worn video camera – with sound – which shows the man digging his fingers into the arm of the male officer.
The officer asks the man to let go of his arm several times before counting down from five and hitting the man in the head. The punch cannot be seen on the camera.
An Avon and Somerset Constabulary spokesperson said the decision to restrain the man was “taken to safeguard the individual from harming themselves and others”.
“While we always act in the best interests of the person in crisis, there is sometimes a need for restrain to protect the person, our officers and members of the public.
“This man was taken to a mental health facility where he can receive the treatment he needs.
“The public rightly expects police officers to use force reasonably so we welcome their scrutiny.
“Our Professional Standards Department will now make their own enquiries into this matter.”