Police inspector who used ‘unnecessary violence’ against 17-year-old admits gross misconduct

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Police inspector, 49, who used ‘unnecessary violence’ on ‘aggressive’ machete-wielding 17-year-old in custody and mocked him for crying, admits gross misconduct

  • Drunk man, 17, was taken into custody for threatening a man with a machete
  • He was transferred to Oldbury, West Mids, imprisoned where he was searched
  • Inspector Matthew Downs, 49, got involved and used ‘free violence’
  • Disciplinary hearing heard that he made the teenager cry and pushed him around
  • Downs admitted serious wrongdoing during the hearing at the West Midlands Police Headquarters in Birmingham

A police inspector who made fun of a detained teenager for crying in a cell and using unnecessary force to get him off the floor has admitted serious wrongdoing.

During a disciplinary hearing by West Midlands Police, it was reported that Inspector Matthew Downs also cursed a colleague and turned off the light of a cell after the 17-year-old inmate said he was afraid of the dark.

During the hearing at police headquarters on Tuesday, it was learned that the youngster named AB was taken to Oldbury prison after being ‘dotted red’ with a Taser when threatening someone with a machete while drunk in Walsall .

49-year-old Downs gave evidence after camera footage of the incident was shown to a misconduct panel in the cell, saying he reacted instinctively after a threat was directed against other agents.

While setting out the facts of the charges admitted by the officer, the adviser Andrew Waters said: a machete.

During a disciplinary hearing by West Midlands Police, it was reported that Inspector Matthew Downs also cursed a colleague and turned off the light of a cell after the 17-year-old inmate said he was afraid of the dark.  Pictured: Police headquarters in Birmingham where the hearing is taking place

During a disciplinary hearing by West Midlands Police, it was reported that Inspector Matthew Downs also cursed a colleague and turned off the light of a cell after the 17-year-old inmate said he was afraid of the dark. Pictured: Police headquarters in Birmingham where the hearing is taking place

Officers attended the property and AB, to use police expressions, was dotted in red with a Taser.

“He was arrested in reasonably peaceful circumstances and taken to Oldbury Jail by two PCs.”

According to the panel, Inspector Downs had seen other officers conducting standard search procedures before he decided to get involved.

Mr. Waters continued: ‘He entered the cell and used unnecessary and unnecessary force against AB – specifically to pick him up … push him around.

In addition, he abused AB in two cases. He yelled and cursed at AB and when AB started to cry he mocked him for doing so.

“When he left the cell, he asked AB if he was afraid of the dark and when AB said he was, he said” Good “and turned off the light.”

In his evidence to the panel, Downs, who has been a police force for over 22 years, said the inmate had behaved very aggressively.

“I just wanted to tell him to behave,” said Downs, acknowledging that he had made a mistake in trying to get the boy up.

When the officers left the cell, AB made a threat. It was like “You see what’s happening now,” to which I reacted instinctively, “said Downs.

When asked how he felt after watching the camera images, Downs replied, “I was disappointed in myself. It was a mistake, I shouldn’t have done it.

“I’ve abandoned myself.”

The QC of the officer, Adrian Keeling, urged the panel to issue a final written warning regarding the behavior towards the youth, who had not made a complaint about the incident.

Mr. Keeling added: “The debt and damage is low. It is a single incident and it is not targeted or planned in any way – it arises from a spontaneous set of circumstances. ‘

When asked if he would agree to be downgraded if the panel decided to impose it as a sanction, Downs replied, “Absolutely. I am proud to serve. ‘

The panel will announce an outcome in the case later on Tuesday.

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