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Police did not break man’s wrists by throwing him into Land Rover

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A Police Ombudsman investigation has rejected a complaint that a man suffered broken wrists when he was “shoved” into the back of a police Land Rover while handcuffed behind his back.

The incident happened in north Belfast in May last year.

The man told Police Ombudsman investigators that he was handcuffed and offering no resistance to officers when they “shoved” him face first into the back of the Land Rover. He said a number of officers then sat on him, causing him difficulty breathing.

He claimed to have suffered two broken wrists, and severe bruising to his upper arms and left torso.

However, a hospital examination showed that his wrists had not been broken and he had instead sustained only “bruising, redness and warmth” to both wrists and a thumb. No other injuries were noted.

Police records also indicated that when asked whether he had any injuries while being taken into custody at a police station, the man said “no”.

The officers involved in the incident said they had “assisted” him into the Land Rover in the normal way after arresting him for disorderly behaviour, and said he had not shouted out in pain as they would have expected if he had broken his wrists.

They added that he had been acting aggressively and was placed in the recovery position on the floor of the Land Rover where one of the officers held his legs to prevent him kicking out.

While rejecting the man’s complaint about the level of force used during the incident, the Police Ombudsman’s investigation did uphold an allegation about the way he was spoken to during his arrest. An officer has since been disciplined for breaching police guidelines.

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