There are times when the only appropriate reaction is laughter. And surely the Met’s finding on the treatment of Jody McIntyre at the student demonstration on the 9th of December is such an occassion. You can find the full conclusion here, but this particular explanation for the now famous incident in which Jody was dragged from his wheelchair has to be the highlight:

“his removal from his wheelchair was also justifiable given the officers’ perceived risk to Jody McIntyre.”

Yes, that’s right. The Met claimed their officers ran over to Jody, dragged him from his wheelchair, and left him lying on the pavement for his own good.

I think the term is “LOL”.

It’s funny because it looks to me like a massive cock up. There have been many ludicrous findings from such investigations over the years. Few people I know who have had any interaction with them have in anyway found the experience satisfactory.

Police investigations have never been neutral. But normally the examples of their failures are quiet, hidden from view, and largely unscrutinised. It is rare for such a case to involve someone as articulate, media savvy and high profile as Jody McIntyre – whose famous interview with Ben Brown should be shown at all workshops on how to communicate your message on TV.

And, equally importantly, this case is extraordinary because what was being investigated – certainly in the second case of Jody being dragged from his wheelchair – was not the facts. These were essentially already established. They were caught on video. Other than that the police officer involved seems to have claimed he was dragging Jody from his wheelchair for his own good, the findings do not mention any new information. So, what the Met are making is a judgement on facts that we can all see. This is not an investigation in the sense of ‘attempt to establish the truth’. It it an investigation in the sense of ‘was this reasonable behaviour’. And so, unlike most Met investigations, we can all make up our own minds. Do we believe that the officer running over to Jody’s wheelchair in the footage below, and dragging him from it is doing it for Jody’s own good? If so, why does another officer pull the first one physically from the scene? Will the British public believe this account? If they don’t then the Met have a problem.

Adam Ramsay

About Adam Ramsay

Adam is Co-Editor of Open Democracy UK and a green activist based in Edinburgh. He co-founded Bright Green in 2010.

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