London, Greater Manchester Police have referred themselves to UK’s police watchdog on Saturday after a video of officers tasering a man twice in front of a child went viral on social media.
The incident reportedly took place at a petrol station in Stretford at around 11 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara, 34, was initially stopped by police for speeding.
He was with a boy when he was approached by policemen, tasered, and then shouted at to put his hands behind his back while lying on the floor. He was then tasered again.
The child, who was present and watching the entire incident, can be heard screaming “daddy” repeatedly throughout the incident.
Mombeyarara was stopped for speeding, and has since been charged with several offences, including: resisting arrest, driving over the speed limit, not having vehicle insurance, drink driving, failing to stop, and unnecessary travel.
The video went viral on social media and sparked a public outcry.
Greater Manchester Police announced they would refer the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Superintendent Mark Kenny said in a statement: “We are aware of public concern regarding this arrest and I want to reassure the public that this matter is being reviewed and treated seriously. In addition we have voluntarily referred this matter to the IOPC.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said in a separate statement: “From what I have been told, it would appear that the officers were right to apprehend the individual who was putting his child and others at risk by his actions.
“But it is not at all clear that the level of force used in this instance, particularly in front of a child, was proportionate or justified and that is why I have asked for an urgent and independent review to be carried out.”
According to Anadolu News that Dionna Allman, 19, had filmed the incident.
They quoted her as saying: “For most of it it just seemed like they were trying to detain him but there was no sort of progression with it, there was no trying to deescalate the situation.
“I was in complete shock. You don’t really believe that something like that could happen, especially in the UK. My immediate thought was, ‘Oh my God, that child just had to watch that.’”