Over 52,000 people call for the suspension of officer assaulting teen in Romford

By Toyin Agbetu | Sun 28 April 2019

The petition calling for the suspension of police officer Kevin Rawley attracts over 51,000 supporters

A petition calling for the suspension of police officer Kevin Rawley has attracted over 52 thousand signatures following the sharing of a video that captures him assaulting a teen in East London.

The sharing of a video capturing the assault of a teenage boy by the Metropolitan Police force on Easter Monday has brought details of the incident to the wider public after a wave of collective Afriphobia saw an initial whitewashing of the incident by the mainstream media.

The incident which took place outside 143 Heath Park Road in Romford on 22 April 2019, shows the plain-clothes officer Kevin Rawley beating a handcuffed teenager with a baton who is not resisting arrest or posing any threat of danger to the public. The officer only takes control of his rage when he becomes aware that he is being observed and filmed by members of the public challenging his actions. Throughout the assault the teenage pleads for him to stop.

The incident occurred after a fourteen-year-old boy and the seventeen-year-old victim had been targeted by stop and search operations in the area. Defending the assault on the child, the police have told the media that the teenager had been arrested for possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply and that there had been a 'struggle' leading to the arrest.

The attack carries echoes of the deadly assault by police that led to the death of 20 year old Rashan Charles in Hackney on 22 July 2017. Like the teen in the video, Charles was assaulted while officer PC Matt (also known as BX47) used unjustifiable force in a fit of uncontrollable rage.

Raged Assaults: Viral video shows Kevin Rawley using his baton on defenceless teen (left) / Assault by PC Matt (BX47) kills defenceless Rashan Charles in Dalston, Hackney (right)

Cover up?

A petition organised by BAME Lawyers for Justice (BLJ) calling for the immediate suspension of the officer involved has attracted over 52,000 signatures. Speaking on the issue, a representative of BLJ said “Yesterday I received a phone call from the boy concerned. He had been depressed, anxious and of course traumatised as result of his arrest.”

Lee Jasper, former Deputy Mayor of London responsible for policing raised a formal complaint about ‘this wanton act of apparent police brutality’ after being made aware of the incident via social media.

The Romford Recorder reports that on Thursday, April 25 the Met Police confirmed on that an internal review is being conducted and that a police spokeswoman said: “There has been no formal complaint made to us… However, we are aware of the footage and we will conduct our own review.”

This is untrue, the Ligali organisation was amongst many who made online complaints via the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) website. Our organisation also wrote to several major media organisations such as the BBC and Channel 4 news requesting them to cover the story which had been ignored up to that point in time.

An official investigation into the police, by the police?

The Evening Standard which failed to cover the story on the day following the assault has now reported on the incident stating the police have said that "A public complaint was received, then referred to the IOPC*, who have now launched an independent investigation.”

The BBC who has also now decided to cover the story reports that the Met Police force has confirmed the officer had been put on restrictive duties.

*The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is the latest version of disgraced police watchdogs – The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the Police Complaints authority which all consistently failed to eradicate Afriphobia and deliver justice to victims of police brutality, corruption and malpractice.

Police Complaint systems: Biased police watchdogs consistently fail to protect public and deliver justice.

External Links
Change - We Call For the Immediate Suspension Of Romford Metropolitan Police PC Kevin Rawley
Thousands sign petition calling for suspension of police officer after video of teenager
Shocking video of plain-clothes officer using his baton to repeatedly hit 17-year-old as teen pleads Im a child is probed by Met
Romford baton arrest: Officer investigated by watchdog
Watchdog investigates video of officer appearing to use baton on teenager

Ligali is not responsible for the content of third party sites

IPCC: Protecting corrupt police, betraying public confidence
Justice4Rashan – An alternative verdict

Speak Out!

Should the officer Kevin Rawley be suspended, fired or rewarded for his actions? Do you have confidence in the governments Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to deliver justice?
Click here to speak out and share your perspective on this article.
Met officer Kevin Rawley only takes control of his rage when he becomes aware he is being observed by members of the public challenging his actions. Throughout the assault the teenage pleads for him to stop.

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The Daily Mail is amongst those who seek to lead a blame the victim campaign. Leading to disturbing Afriphobic comments on Ligali’s Youtube page with some also likely to be coming from off duty police officers.

Some challenge the description of the teenager as a young boy claiming he is:

- 17, tall and muscular and caught in the act.

- Whether he is young or not, if a cop feels reasonably threatened after taking into the Home Office step by step guide to utilizing force, then he is well within rights; youth or not.

- The youth has blood on his hands for going out with the intent of supplying drugs.

- He should have done what he was told maybe he will have a bit more respect for the police next time.

- Due to the youth not listening, and not being restrained by an known handcuff technique, the officer was forced to draw his baton.

Another argues the cuffs on the teen themselves posed a deadly threat to the officer stating

- The officers behaviour could be justified if he was being assaulted and struggling to detain the person. The suspect is cuffed to the front, so he has a steel and hardened plastic block between his wrists. You can be maimed or killed from being hit in the head or face by handcuffs, and it is incredibly easy to strike forward if cuffed to the front. he also has bands of steel around his wrists which again can be used as a deadly impact weapon. The officer made a mistake by not handcuffing the guy behind his back.

- I see a policeman giving instructions and someone resisting those instructions. Simple as that. Not saying its right at all. But the law is the law.

However support for the boy and his family, who due to his age must remain anonymous is growing by the minute.

- This officer should be sentenced for GBH theres no justification

- This angered me soo much!!! He has NO RIGHT beating anyone like that, Hand cuffs or No Hand cuffs because he was not a threat!! He was compliant.

- PC Kevin Rawley appears to be completely off his nut! Any sane individual can see he only escalated the situation by becoming violent like that.

- Its not right to beat up a young boy with a baton stick

- Just imagine if UK police carried guns

- The truth is if the Police want support from the community they CANNOT justify this action. The boy was handcuffed and walked compliantly until he realised he was in for a beating. This brutality must stop. Sadly, I have no faith that justice will be done.

- Nothing justify an officer of the law taking actions into their own hands, especially corporal punishment. Even parents get their children put into Child protect or social care for hitting with a tool or device

- Looks like a man deciding to take out his frustration on a teenager.

- The UK Governments Hostile Environment Policy is intergenerational, affecting Grandparents down to the Great Grandchildren in the black community. Policy names change but the results are the same

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