Six police officers are being investigated after a PILLOW CASE was put over a suspect’s head while they arrested him over an alleged assault.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched a probe into the arrest of the 45-year-old man in Wolverhampton, West Mids., on February 7.
Six officers from West Midlands Police swooped on the man’s house to take him into custody on suspicion of assault.
The force has admitted putting a pillow case over the man’s head but claimed they did so to stop him spitting at officers.
The pillow case was not removed until the suspect was at Wolverhampton Police Station and put in a cell.
He was later seen by a police doctor and transferred to hospital complaining of breathing difficulties and chest pains.
The man remained in hospital for seven days – receiving treatment for a punctured lung and a fractured rib.
Now the IPCC are investigating the arrest to determine whether any force used by the officers was disproportionate and whether it contributed to the man’s injuries.
They are also looking into how officers responded to his request about securing his property and whether officers acted in accordance with policies and procedures including the use of the pillow case.
IPCC Commissioner Sarah Green said: “The man’s complaints arise from him sustaining serious injuries.
“It is right we independently examine how these were caused.”
An IPCC investigator has met with the complainant and the commission is reviewing CCTV footage from the custody suite as well as gaining accounts from the officers who attended.
Detective Chief Inspector Julian Harper, from West Midlands Police’s professional standards department, said: “Police were called to an address in Wolverhampton on February 7 this year to arrest a man on suspicion of assault.
“During the arrest, after allegedly spitting at officers, a pillow case was placed over his head and he was taken into custody.
“He was taken to Wolverhampton Police Station where the pillow case was removed and he was placed in a cell.
“The man was later seen by a police doctor, after which he was transferred to hospital when he complained of breathing difficulties and chest pains.
“Following a complaint made on February 16 regarding his treatment on arrest, West Midlands Police referred the matter to the IPCC who are carrying out an independent investigation, which the force is fully co-operating with.”