Officers dealing with man injuried after arrest acted 'proportionally'

Officers from Police Scotland acted “proportionally” in dealing with a man who claimed he had coronavirus and spat at a member of pharmacy staff, an independent investigation has found.

May 27, 2020

The 32-year-old man had entered the premises in Glasgow on the afternoon of Friday, May 8, and failed to comply with social distancing guidelines.

He demanded methadone from the staff and when this was refused, he became verbally abusive. He then left the premises but returned a short time later and spat and coughed at a staff member.

A member of the public in the pharmacy took hold of the man and removed him from the premises. The man threatened to shoot the person and set fire to the building.

Police officers were called to the incident, arrested the man and placed him in handcuffs. The man told the officers that he had coronavirus.

He was placed in a police van where he deliberately struck his head on a seat causing a cut to his forehead before he then struck his head with the handcuffs, further injuring himself.

The man was taken to hospital, where officers put on full Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before entering the hospital. Following treatment to a cut to his forehead, the man was released into police custody.

The man was later charged and remanded in custody.

Police Scotland referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), which subsequently found that the man’s injuries were self-inflicted after he was arrested.

Commissioner Michelle Macleod said: “This man’s behaviour was extremely concerning and distressing for the pharmacy staff and arresting officers given the seriousness of the current Covid-19 crisis. The police officers involved conducted themselves professionally and their response was proportionate and necessary in the face of extreme provocation.”

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