Police officer involved in Halifax 'choke' arrest will not face criminal proceedings

A police officer involved in a Halifax arrest where a video emerged appearing to show the suspect struggling to breathe will not face criminal proceedings

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 11:47 am
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 12:04 pm
An officer will now face a gross misconduct hearing at some point in the future West Yorkshire Police confirmed

The incident was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and an investigation was launched into the actions of the officer in August 2020.

The video that circulated on social media showed two officers pin the man to the ground while an officer shouts at him in Spring Hall Gardens on August 16.

The Crown Prosecution Service has now said there was "insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction".

A spokeswoman for the CPS said: "After a careful examination of all the evidence submitted to us, the CPS concluded there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any criminal offence."

The officer will now face a gross misconduct hearing at some point in the future West Yorkshire Police confirmed

An IOPC spokesman said: "Our investigation into the actions of a police officer who restrained a man in Spring Hall Lane, Halifax in August last year began in August 2020 and concluded in January this year.

"Footage of the incident was shared widely on social media. The images circulated caused considerable public concern which was one of the reasons we took the decision to independently investigate this incident, to fully understand what happened and impartially determine the facts.

"During the investigation, we gathered CCTV and body-worn video evidence. We obtained statements from witnesses and accounts from the officers involved in the restraint.

"At the conclusion of our investigation, and based on the evidence we found, we referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who decided not to charge the officer.

"However, our investigation found that the actions of the officer may have breached standards of professional behaviour, and that a properly directed panel could find a case to answer for gross misconduct, which the force agreed with. A hearing will be scheduled by the force in due course. This hearing will be chaired by an independent Legally Qualified Chair."

West Yorkshire Police has refused to identify the officer involved.