London’s MET police have suspended an officer and removed from operational duty another one.
The move comes after a video circulated on social media shown them arresting a black man in Islington, north London, on Thursday evening.
In the video, an officer appears to place his knee on the man’s neck while he’s pinned to the ground, as the other officer helps to keep the man down.
In the footage, the handcuffed man, named as 45-year-old Marcus Coutain, cries “Get off my neck!”
MET Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House described the video as “extremely disturbing”.
“Some of the techniques used cause me great concern – they are not taught in police training”, he added.
The arrest is being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Coutain’s lawyer, Timur Rusten, said on Saturday that the incident “mirrors almost identically what happened to George Floyd” – a Black man who died in May after being restrained by Minneapolis Police – and demanded authorities an apology.
Coutain was arrested “on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon”, according to the police, and “remains in custody at a central London police station”.
He was later charged with possession of a knife in a public place.
His lawyer said he was carrying it to fix his bicycle.
Coutin plans to plead not guilty. A further hearing is set for August 17.
The incident comes in the middle of a global wave of protest against police brutality and racial discrimination in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Around 2,700 marched in France on Saturday calling for justice for Adama Traoré, a black man who died in police custody four years ago in circumstances that remain unclear.