Video: Man handcuffed, kicked and punched on ground by police - for being drunk and disorderly

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Humberside Police has paid five-figure damages to a man who was punched and kicked by officers after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

CCTV caught the moment when David Prosser, 27, fell to the ground with his arms handcuffed behind his back, before being kicked by a police sergeant.

David Prosser: "I am so glad the officers got caught on CCTV"

David Prosser: "I am so glad the officers got caught on CCTV"

The CCTV operator alerted the police with concerns after viewing the arrest in 2013 in Hull city centre.

When the footage was played back to the officers, the sergeant offered a full apology, admitting he had "overstepped the mark" and begging to be allowed to keep his job.

The second officer was found to have punched Mr Prosser twice and admitted using a knee strike manoeuvre, but claimed it had all been reasonable action in making the arrest.

Both were found guilty of gross misconduct and using "excessive force" at an internal disciplinary hearing.

They were given final written warnings, but allowed to remain in their jobs.

But Mr Prosser, who hit his head in the fall, causing extensive bleeding and concussion, said the officers were "not fit to wear the police uniform."

He admits he was drunk on the night but says the officers' actions have destroyed his faith in the police.

He initially found himself charged with assaulting one of the two officers in the execution of his duty, as well as a public order offence, but when he made an official complaint, an investigation was launched and the CCTV footage was reviewed.

Both charges were subsequently dismissed by Hull Magistrates Court as no evidence was offered, although Mr Prosser did admit resisting arrest.

Mr Prosser said: “These police officers are meant to be honest and are meant to serve and protect people, yet they attacked me and punched and kicked me on the ground.

"Then, when they were back at the station, the first thing the sergeant was doing was looking to cover his back.

“He denied doing any wrong until the video footage was shown to them, and was only apologetic when he saw the CCTV and started thinking about saving his job.

“I was also the one initially charged with an offence, and had the CCTV not caught what happened, I wouldn’t have been able to prove what happened to me. I’d have been found guilty of assaulting them.

“I am so glad they got caught on the CCTV. I don’t think they are fit to wear the uniform and I didn’t think they should have kept their jobs.”

As part of legal action through Hudgell Solicitors, papers lodged at the court criticised the officers for trying to "conceal their actions", highlighting how the sergeant had approached his colleague afterwards saying CCTV had "captured me booting him on the floor" and that they "needed to compare notes."

Mr Prosser’s lawyer, Andrew Petherbridge says the force’s representatives made a "derisory" amount to settle following initial legal representations.

Subsequent investigations revealed Mr Prosser to be suffering from postconcussion syndrome – a mild form of traumatic brain injury – persistent headaches and long-term psychological injuries.

The force denies the officers’ actions had caused long-term injuries, however they still offered a substantial increase in damages, and a five-figure settlement.

Mr Prosser was left with his arm in a cast for six weeks after the incident, cuts and scarring to his face, a bloodshot eye and blurred vision.

Longer term, he still suffers from daily headaches, black spots in his vision, persistent tinnitus and poor memory and concentration and says he is still reluctant to go out with his friends.

Mr Petherbridge said: “It has taken a long time to bring this case to a successful conclusion for Mr Prosser, and for Humberside Police to offer settlement which reflects the impact of the actions of the officers on that night. The indisputable facts in this matter are that unreasonable force was used."

Head of Professional Standards Department, Detective Superintendent Matt Baldwin said: "This was clearly a distressing incident for Mr Prosser and he should not have had to suffer this action at the hands of our officers. Our role should be about keeping people safe and protecting people – and that includes our duty of care to those who are in our custody, as much as to victims of crime. The behaviour of these officers during the incident fell well below the standard we expect at Humberside Police."

Det Supt Baldwin said the evidence, including the CCTV footage, did not meet the threshold for a dismissal.

At the time they were not required to name officers in disciplinary proceedings. Now unless there are exceptional circumstances staff are named.

Det Supt Baldwin said given the time that had elapsed it would be unfair to name them now. He added: "Both officers continue to work with the force and have otherwise unblemished records. As their employer, we have a duty of care to them when they are out serving and protecting our communities."

Claire Stead of Smoothwall

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