Three police officers have been suspended after film emerged of them brutally attacking a shoplifter.
The CCTV footage shows the handcuffed suspect taken into the back room of a department store by three officers.
He is uncuffed and sat down but trouble flares as the group go out of view of the camera.
Seconds later they reappear with two officers grappling with the suspect and forcing him into a corner of the room.
A third grey-haired officer then puts his left hand to the suspect’s throat and keeps his head pinned against the wall as he uses his radio.
The same officer holds his right arm and clenched fist back before suddenly punching the man twice to his head and face.
The suspect falls to the floor before he is hauled back to his feet and put face-first into another wall as he is handcuffed behind his back.
The officer who hit him uses the hood of the suspect’s top to wipe his mouth and face before preparing to leave the room with him.
The incident happened in Canterbury, Kent in July and the footage was posted online on August 22.
Police yesterday confirmed all three officers have been suspended pending a criminal investigation.
There are unconfirmed claims that non of the three officers wrote details of the force they used in their notebooks.
A Kent police spokesman said: “Kent Police is investigating following an allegation of assault in Canterbury on July 11, 2013.
“Three police officers from east division were suspended from duty on Thursday 24 October pending the outcome of this inquiry.”
The force referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) the day after the officers’ suspension.
However a spokesman for the watchdog yesterday said they would not be investigating.
An IPCC spokeswoman said: “We are not investigating this and the complaint was sent back to Kent Police.
“We sent it back on the 25 October. We decided it was suitable to be investigated locally by the police.
“By the time it had come to us Kent Police had already taken a number of steps to investigate the incident.”
The footage shows the suspected thief is attacked by the officers while he is still handcuffed at the Debenhams store in Canterbury, Kent.
He can be seen wearing them during the struggle with the three officers – including the moment he is punched.
Debenhams yesterday said the thief had attempted to take two bottles of perfume worth a total of £100.
He was spotted taking the items in the store by a member of the public who reported him to store staff.
Police were then called.
A spokesman for the department store chain said: “It would be inappropriate while an investigation is ongoing.”