Man files complaint following 'unlawful arrest' by police officers

Andre Wilkins has filed a complaint over police aggression

André Wilkins has filed a complaint over police aggression during an 'unlawful' arrest - Credit: Polly Hancock

A Gospel Oak man has filed a complaint against the police following what he described as an "aggressive, unlawful arrest".

André (Dré) Wilkins was arrested on suspicion of common assault and handcuffed on May 10 before being released without any further action.

Dré got into an argument with Camden parking attendants over tickets. The police were called, and in front of stunned neighbours, Dré was arrested and handcuffed by four officers.

Camden parking wardens called the police over issues with Dre Wilkin's parking ticket

Camden parking wardens called the police over issues with Dré Wilkin's parking ticket - Credit: Polly Hancock

The incident was captured on video by a neighbour, where officers who can be heard telling Dré to "stop resisting" and with him replying that he's "not resisting". 

In the video Dré can be heard asking officers, who have handcuffed him from behind, whether they are "trying to break my finger" which was bent back against his thumb.

One officer says: "I'm sick of looking at your face."

Dré said: "I was just having a discussion with traffic wardens and they said they would call the police. I said that's fine, call the police, because I wasn't doing anything.

"The way the police approached me was just crazy. I'm standing here in my socks, outside my house. 

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"We were discussing the situation and there was one particular officer who is trying to instigate, or it seemed that way with his responses and the way that he is and the things he was saying.

"He said 'we need to speak to both parties to find out what's going on' and I said 'ok, off you go then', and he said 'Off I go? You're under arrest' and he grabbed my arm and then it just goes ham at it.

"I ask why are you arresting me? I'm standing here, I haven't tried to run, I'm not posing a threat, I haven't been threatening towards you, I'm not calling you disgusting names, and they said I was being aggressive."

The 30-year-old, who works as a maintenance engineer, said he let officers put his wrists behind his back and cuff him because they allegedly threatened to pepper spray him.

"I don't want to be pepper sprayed outside my house like that, I don't want to be pepper sprayed anyway," he added.

One officer pushing his left shoulder "as far forward as he could", and had a finger against his back. "The other officer has my thumb against my forearm and they're telling me to stop resisting and all this while they are putting loads and loads of pressure on my wrist and shoulder. It was horrible."

He said he asked them to loosen the cuffs because they hurt. "Eventually they let me go. They established I hadn't done anything to the traffic wardens and that was it. They went."

The father-of-one said he has filed a complaint.

"Although I was stoic and strong and I kept my reserve, an hour later I was on the floor, hyperventilating," he said. 

"I was incapacitated for about 30 minutes, I thought I was going to pass out. It was horrible, I thought he was going to break my finger. He had his whole hand around my finger."

Dré said he has been previously stopped by police just walking down the street. "I don't walk anywhere anymore, I just drive my car.

"This was a guy with his ego who unlawfully arrested me with excessive force."

Neighbour Nick Kaufmann said Dré had conducted himself with "dignity and humour". 

"The police were violent and they didn't need to be," he said. "They had no cause to arrest him. It seemed an unlawful arrest and all over a disputed parking ticket."

Neighbour Valeria Pensabene said: "Usually the police in this country are better trained in these situations. In this case, they raised the tension, they were shouting at him, telling him to stop resisting when he wasn't resisting."

Dre Wilkins

Dré Wilkins was 'hyperventilating' and 'incapacitated' after an "aggressive arrest" by police officers - Credit: Polly Hancock

A spokesperson for the Met Police said: "An allegation was made and as a result, the man was arrested on suspicion of common assault.

"Minimal force had to be used as the man was resisting officers’ attempts to apply handcuffs.

"He was detained at the scene without further incident while further enquiries were conducted.

"The other parties involved confirmed they did not wish to pursue any formal allegations. The man was informed he was being de-arrested and his handcuffs were removed.

"A complaint has been received in relation to the incident and is being assessed by officers from the Central North Professional Standards Unit."