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Officer investigated for use of force was struck first

The IOPC has said there is “no case to answer” for an officer who punched a 70 year old man.

A Met officer who punched a 70 year old man was “acting in self-defence”, the IOPC has concluded.

Errol Dixon was stopped by officers for a broken brake light in south-east London on September 13 last year.

His daughter posted pictures of injuries he sustained during the stop, alleging that officers “beat up my dad” while his son told a local newspaper that his father’s face was “smashed to pieces”.

Now, the IOPC has confirmed that the officer has no case to answer and there was no evidence he committed a criminal offence.

Evidence, including from BWV, medical records and house-to-house enquiries, corroborated the officer’s story that he believed the man posed a threat and was acting in self-defence.

The officer was himself struck in the face and sustained an injury to his eye causing temporary loss vision. 

During the investigation he had been placed on restricted duties - restrictions which will now be reviewed. 

The IOPC said: “Prior to punching the man in the face, the officer was, himself, struck in the face by the man and sustained an injury to his eye causing temporary loss of vision.

“We found that the officers at the scene had been polite and professional in their dealings with him before the man became antagonistic.

“In those circumstances, we found the force used was reasonable, justified and proportionate, given the man was aggressively resisting police.”

The IOPC investigation concluded in September 2022.

The watchdog also investigated a complaint that Mr Dixon had been discriminated against because of his race.

It found that there had been a legitimate reason to stop him because of the broken brake light, and no evidence to suggest he had been treated differently because of his race.

Mr Dixon was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker- a file was passed to the CPS who concluded that the evidence did not meet the evidential stage of the full code test. No further action will be taken. 

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