Jody McIntyre: Met police cleared over wheelchair complaint

  • Published

Police were justified in removing a man from his wheelchair during a violent demonstration against tuition fees in central London, Scotland Yard has said.

Jody McIntyre said he was tipped out of his chair and dragged across a road on 9 December, and was hit with a baton.

A police probe found officers were right to remove him from the wheelchair based on the "perceived risk" to him, while the baton hit was "inadvertent".

The 20-year-old said he would appeal against the "shockingly poor" findings.

"Any person with any ounce of logic or morality in their brain would be able to quite easily work out that the best way to move a disabled person is not by pushing them out of their wheelchair," Mr McIntyre said.

'Doesn't make sense'

The Directorate of Professional Standards at the Metropolitan Police (Met) said violent disorder had been taking place and officers were "under sustained attack and were required to use force to protect themselves".

Image caption,
Jody McIntyre (centre) said he was hit with a baton and dragged across a road in central London

"Whilst there is evidence that Jody McIntyre was inadvertently struck with a police baton, the investigation found that the actions of officers were justifiable and lawful given the volatile and dangerous situation," the force added in a statement.

"His removal from his wheelchair was also justifiable given the officers' perceived risk to Jody McIntyre."

The Met's probe was supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, but Mr McIntyre asked: "Why are the police investigating themselves?

"Does that make sense to you, that the police attacked a man in a wheelchair and then they investigate themselves?"

He went on: "Throughout the report the police officers involved have stated that they were acting in my best interests, and this appears to have been accepted by those carrying out the investigation."

The force appeared to believe that "the fact someone has a disability renders them incapable of determining their own best interest or to act with autonomy", he said.

Following the investigation, internal guidelines will be drawn up on the most appropriate way to move a wheelchair user in such circumstances.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.