An investigation has been launched over footage apparently showing a car windscreen being smashed by a policeman after the driver refuses to get out.
The clip, shared on social media on Saturday and viewed around 50,000 times, shows what appears to be a police officer – filmed from the position of the driver – repeatedly telling him to “get out of the car”, adding: “You’re not allowed to drive it.”
No arrests were made during the incident on 16 September. Video footage apparently shows an officer using what looks like a baton to hit at the car windows of a car with the driver still inside and then saw through the glass with a blade.
A police spokesperson said they were still working to “get to the bottom” of the incident.
The officers involved are still on their normal duties, pending the outcome of the investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards, a branch of the Metropolitan Police.
The moments leading up to the confrontation, which took place in Weedington Road, NW5, are not shown in the footage – which cannot be independently verified. Recording apparently began as the police officer appeared to listen to his radio and then tell the driver to get out of the car, shaking the window.
“Get out the car,” the officer is seemingly heard to say seven seconds into the video, then: “Get out the car, you’re not allowed to drive it.”
Immediately after being told the second time, the officer appears to hit the driver’s window with what looks baton – just six seconds after the driver was first asked to get out.
The officer is apparently heard shouting “get out the car!” and seemingly hits the driver’s side window several times.
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“I’ve got a licence, I’ve got insurance, you’re smashing this for no reason,” a voice is heard to say to the officer. The policeman then seemingly hits the windscreen with the baton-like instrument, causing it to fracture.
What’s the problem officer, why aren’t I allowed to drive the car?” the driver seemingly asks.
“You’re disqualified, you’re not allowed to drive,” the officer replies. He then using a cutting tool to apparently saw through the smashed area of the windscreen.
The driver then appears to move towards the passenger side door, where he is seemingly intercepted by another officer.
“Get out the car now, TJ,” the second officer is apparently heard to say. The driver replies “I’m not TJ…I’m recording for my safety.”
A man who wanted to be referred to by just his first name, Leon, told the Press Association he was the driver and the person who filmed the footage.
He said the incident took place on Friday evening in the Gospel Oak area of north London, and said it was a case of “mistaken identity”.
Leon, who said he spent the evening in hospital due to getting glass in his eyes, said it was “complete madness” and that he is “still in shock”.
“Every time he smashed the glass, fragments of glass were just ricocheting in my face,” he said.
Many on Twitter were quick to condemn the police officer’s conduct.
Pagan Lilley said: “Even if he is not legally allowed to drive this is not how you deal with it. Not at all. They have extensive training in negotiation.”
However, some defended the officer. Lewis Dimech said: “Why didn’t he just get out the car?”
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is aware of footage circulating on social media of an incident involving two uniformed officers in Camden.
“The incident took place at Weedington Road, NW5, at around 5pm on Friday, 16 September.
“The footage will now be subject to an investigation by officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS).
“As soon as the MPS was made aware of the footage, the DPS was contacted immediately.
“The individual who uploaded the footage has been contacted by DPS officers.
“As this matter is in its early stages, the officers have not been suspended or placed on restricted duties.
“No one was arrested during the incident.”