Camden police under investigation after video of officer smashing car goes viral
PUBLISHED: 22:59 17 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:37 18 September 2016
The behaviour of police in Camden is under investigation after an officer was caught on camera smashing a car windscreen and attempting to saw it open with a knife as he furiously orders the driver to get out.
The video, taken by the driver in Weedington Road, Gospel Oak, shows the officer being informed by radio that the driver is disqualified, before he shakes the window and shouts: “Get out the car, get out, you’re not allowed to drive it.”
He then strikes the car repeatedly with his baton, as he continues to order the driver to get out.
The driver – reportedly Leon Fontana, 25 - can be heard telling the officer: “I’ve got a licence. I’m allowed to drive. I’ve got a licence, I’ve got insurance, MOT …What’s the problem officer? Why aren’t I allowed to drive the car?”
But the police officer refuses to listen and repeats: “You’re disqualified, you’re not allowed to drive.”
Once the windscreen is smashed, the officer pulls out what appears to be a pen knife and begins cutting out a section of the windscreen, prompting the driver to get out of the car, where he is immediately surrounded by another officer.
Mr Fontana repeatedly tells the officer, “I’m not TJ, I’m not TJ! I’m recording for my safety!” as he gets out – in what he claims was a case of mistaken identity.
He then asks the officer: “You’re on camera. Do you know what you just done?” to which the officer replies: ‘I’ve done absolutely nothing, I just need to know who you are.”
Mr Fontana asks why the officer has smashed the windscreen, to which the policeman says: “I can’t see who you are in that car”.
The driver tells the officer his name is “Leon”, to which the officer responds: “Leon that’s it. I’ve not seen you in a long time fella.”
Mr Fontana told the Press Association he had to go to hospital after the incident to have shards of glass removed from his face.
He reportedly described the officer’s behaviour as “completely unlawful”.
The footage, taken by Mr Fontana on his mobile at around 5pm on Friday evening, went viral on social media on Saturday, after it was shared by a former member of urban music group, So Solid.
Users of Twitter and Facebook expressed widespread disgust at the officer’s actions.
Scotland Yard said the footage will be investigated by officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS).
Police revealed that the officers involved have not been suspended or placed on restricted duties.
A statement from Scotland Yard said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of footage circulating on social media of an incident involving two uniformed officers in Camden.
“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.”
It continued: “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.”