Officer cleared of breaking woman’s arm during handcuff incident

Incident Date: Dec 2016

An investigation by the Police Ombudsman’s Office has cleared a police officer of breaking a woman’s arm by twisting it behind her back during an incident in Co. Derry/Londonderry last December.

The woman alleged she had been forced to the ground by police during an altercation outside a nightclub and said her arm was broken when an officer pulled it behind her to apply handcuffs.

She also alleged that the officers had refused to remove the handcuffs while she was being taken in a police car to a police station, despite it being obvious that she was in considerable pain.

The woman’s account was supported by her partner, who said he had been standing only a few feet away and had a clear view of what happened when her arm was broken.

Woman fell when her son intervened in arrest.

However, a Police Ombudsman investigator obtained CCTV footage which showed that the woman’s son had tried to interfere in her arrest by grabbing and holding onto her.

The officer tried to release the son’s grip by pulling him away from his mother. However, he resisted and both he and his mother fell to the ground.

The officer who applied the handcuffs denied having used excessive force and said it was more likely that the fracture had happened during the fall.

The officers also denied that they had refused to remove the handcuffs during the journey to the police station. They said they had stopped the police car and offered to adjust the handcuffs, but the woman had declined the offer.

The Police Ombudsman investigator concluded that the evidence did not justify disciplinary action against any of the officers involved in the incident.

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