Two Met Police officers sacked for punching and kicking boy, 14, during arrest

Two Metropolitan Police officers have been sacked after lying about using excessive force while arresting a teenager.

A misconduct hearing found PC Alexei Zalesskiy and PC Conor Ryan, both attached to North Area Command Unit, punched and kicked the 14-year-old boy.

The incident happened on April 17, 2021, when both officers went to Wilberforce Road in the Finsbury Park area of London. There were reports of a large number of youths, possibly armed with knives, causing disorder.

A number of police units attended the scene, and multiple stop and searches were carried out but no knives were found.

The 14-year-old boy in question spat at PC Zalesskiy and PC Ryan before running away from them. The pair followed him and used force to arrest him close by.

He was handcuffed and arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker, in relation to the spitting, and a public order offence.

Both were found to have used excessive force during the arrest, and then lied in statements about the incident.

PC Zalesskiy punched him at least once and PC Ryan kicked him in the neck/head area and struck him in the thigh with his knee. This was caught on CCTV as well as police body worn video.

The pair dishonestly claimed in their statements that they believed the boy would spit at them for a second time.

Detective Chief Superintendent Caroline Haines, who leads policing in the north area, said: ‘Officers have to act with restraint and the public of course would expect them to be honest about their actions.

‘Action will be taken against any officer whose behaviour falls below that which is expected. We are determined to drive up standards, and those who fail to meet those standards have no place in the Met.’

Both men have now been added to the barred list held by the College of Policing.

The Crown Prosecution Service did not pursue criminal charges against the police officers. The boy was not charged and no further action was taken against him.

Amanda Rowe, director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct which carried out the investigation, said: ‘The force used on this child was neither reasonable nor proportionate in the circumstances.

‘The public must have confidence that when officers are required to use force to detain and arrest members of the public, they will only use the minimum amount of force necessary.

‘To compound matters, they then tried to justify their actions by lying on their initial statements following the incident.  

‘Their dismissals send a strong message that there will be serious consequences for police officers who use gratuitous violence and are dishonest about their actions.’

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