Police officer accused of kneeling on Leeds United fan’s neck faces criminal investigation

A West Yorkshire Police officer is subject to a criminal investigation after he appeared to kneel on a Leeds United fan’s neck.

The investigation was launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after a video emerged of the officer appearing to use his knee while arresting a 17-year-old outside Elland Road.

The IOPC says the officer will be interviewed on suspicion of common assault and investigated for gross misconduct.

The police watchdog is also appealing for witnesses and information about the incident, which took place at around 5pm on July 17, when thousands of fans gathered outside Elland Road to celebrate after Leeds won the Championship title.

West Yorkshire Police referred the incident to the IOPC after the video was published on social media and the officer was removed from front-line duties.

Miranda Biddle, IOPC regional director, said:

“We understand why the images that were circulated caused considerable public concern.

“After the footage was shared on social media, a voluntary referral was made to us in relation to the conduct of the officer.

“Having examined a range of evidence including body worn video and initial accounts from the officers involved in the restraint, we have taken the decision that this is now a criminal investigation.

“A criminal investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.

“It is vitally important that the circumstances of this incident are subject to an independent investigation so we can fully understand what happened and impartially determine the facts.

“We have already begun to gather evidence but would like to speak to anyone else who was at Leeds United’s ground at the same time for these celebrations and may have witnessed the incident.

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