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Fedster

'Excessive use of force' officer gets his job back after two years

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Fedster

Hero to zero and back again for BTP constable after successful appeal.

Evidence: IPCC footage of the KIngs Cross incident

Evidence: IPCC footage of the KIngs Cross incident

Date - 12th April 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
1 Comment1 Comment}

 

A "life-saving" hero officer sacked for punching, kneeing and humiliating a train passenger who didn’t have a ticket has won his job back – two years after being dismissed.

The reinstatement of PC Kerry Reynolds with a final written warning following an appeal process represents an astonishing turnaround in fortunes for the long-serving British Transport Police officer in a roller-coaster four years.

His stock rose inexorably in April 2015 when, along with PC James Vinson, he collected a bravery award at the BTP Federation annual conference for a rooftop rescue – pulling back a distressed woman from jumping 80ft to certain death from an apartment block.

PC Reynolds, attached to the force’s counter-terrorism unit, brushed off the dramatic events as “routine”, telling Police Oracle: “I'm no hero. When you're put in that in situation, you've got no choice – no one to turn to.

"It's a case of total focus on saving that woman's life, I just did not want her to fall."

But in February 2016 he found himself at Kings Cross underground station in London confronted by a ticket evader – a young black man from Portugal – who was said to have sworn at officers. The accusations were later dropped.

Police on duty at the time said the man tried to "barge" past and leave the station, but the three officers blocked his way.

When the man was asked his name, he grabbed PC Reynolds by the neck and shoulder, then swore "F*** off, f*** you", according to the officers.

PC Andy Humes arrived at the scene and told investigators he saw PC Reynolds "punch" the detainee "twice to the back with a 'hammer' type blow" despite there being no apparent "tactical reason" to do so.

Colleagues also saw Reynolds "deliver a number of knee strikes" to the man while he was being restrained face down on the ground.

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  • PC Kerry Reynolds, left, with PC James Vinson with the bravery awards

PC Reynolds was also found to have used disrespectful and offensive language about the detainee during the arrest.

And in spite of knowing he was under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after a colleague informed a manager of his behaviour, PC Reynolds broke the rules further by discussing the subsequent enquiry with witnesses and investigators.

The subsequent IPCC report stated the manner of PC Reynolds referring to the man's race in messages had "negative undertones" and the use of "derogatory language" suggested the officer held "discriminatory views".

At a hearing in May 2017, he was dismissed without notice for use of force said to be “unnecessary, unreasonable and disproportionate” besides finding him guilty of being in breach of authority and confidentiality.

After his sacking, BTP Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: “Every day, our officers and staff do extraordinary things to protect the most vulnerable and safeguard the public from harm, and understandably incidents such as this undermine all of that decent work and damage public trust.

"It is regrettable that PC Reynolds did not demonstrate the level of professional control and restraint in line with his training and our code of behaviour when dealing with this incident.

“This incident does not reflect the professionalism of BTP officers."

DCC Hanstock went on to say the BTP continued to scrutinise its use of force in line with national guidelines.

“We place great emphasis on the careful recruitment and intensive training of our officers to uphold our high standards and recognise the responsibilities associated with the privileged role they hold,” he said.

Two years on, following a Police Appeal Tribunal, the former officer has been reinstated – with a final warning sanction replacing his original dismissal notice.

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Cathedral Bobby

Lucky man.

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Zulu 22

The actions taken appear to be more excessive than those of PC Mathew Thompson in Nottingham, who is awaiting sentencve at Court for actions much less than this.  I have said on the other topic that I hope he appeals his conviction. 

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Cathedral Bobby
Just now, Zulu 22 said:

The actions taken appear to be more excessive than those of PC Mathew Thompson in Nottingham, who is awaiting sentencve at Court for actions much less than this.  I have said on the other topic that I hope he appeals his conviction. 

We agree again, Ouch!

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