The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) released the findings of its investigation into the incident on Wednesday, claiming the police officers from West Midlands Police used “reasonable force” in handling the situation, according to the Independent newspaper.
“A man who had been watching the police incident appeared to be reluctant to move when asked to do so by officers and a verbal altercation ensued. It is alleged that the man made several offensive remarks to the officers prior to his arrest,” the IOPC watchdog said on May 9.
“Based on the evidence available, our opinion was that the force used by the officers was necessary, proportionate and reasonable throughout the situation. We found no indication that any person serving with the police may have behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings.”
The altercation occurred in July 2017 after police found cannabis stashed inside a van and told bystanders to move away.
A man who was “reluctant to move” was kicked, hit with a baton by police constables and sprayed with an incapacitant spray, while other bystanders recorded the skirmish with their smartphones.
One of the bystanders accused the two police officers of unnecessarily escalated the situation, shouting “You escalated the situation, it was calm. You’ve kicked his leg and now you’re causing tension. You guys are police officers.”
The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) later accused the police of “starting a fight with Asian locals.”
Footage of the incident can be viewed below: