Investigation into police leaving woman in bus lane

From BBC News:

The Northern Ireland Police Service are to refer a video, which appears to show officers leaving a incapacitated woman at the side of a road, to the police ombudsman, the BBC understands.

The video shows a woman being lifted from the middle of the road on John Street in Londonderry.

The woman was then moved to a bus lane and the police drove off.

Assistant chief constable George Hamilton said “at a first view” the police were seriously concerned.

Mr Hamilton said the behaviour, was “well below the standards we expect from our officers in dealing with vulnerable people whether the vulnerability is due to alcohol or anything else”.

Cllr Elisha McCallion said it was a "shocking video"
Cllr Elisha McCallion said it was a “shocking video”

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness tweeted that the video was “totally unacceptable”.

He said it showed two police officers “failing to ensure the safety of an incapacitated woman on a public roadway”.

Sinn Féin have said they are to meet the police on Wednesday morning to discuss the incident.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin said: “As soon as we saw it we referred it to the ombudsman.

“The officers have not yet been identified. I only knew about it this morning.

“We hope to identify the officers in the next couple of hours.

“On occasion, when officers are investigated because of a breach of standards, there a number of things that can be done. They could be suspended or repositioned depending on the investigation.

“I expect my officers to do their upmost to serve the community.”

Sean McCallion, who filmed the video, alleged that the woman was assaulted before the police arrived, however, this has not been confirmed by the PSNI.

“She was probably still in concussion,” said Mr McCallion.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin said the police officers had yet to be identified
Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin said the police officers involved had yet to be identified

“They (the police) lifted her and dragged her onto the bus lane. They didn’t drag her onto the footpath, which was about three feet away. They drove away.

“Somebody helped straight after I stopped the video. I was shocked whenever I saw the police drive away. She could have been run over or anything.”

‘Shocking’

It is understood the video was recorded on St Patrick’s Day.

Derry Sinn Féin councillor Elisha McCallion said it was one of the “most shocking videos” she had seen in “terms of PSNI behaviour”.

“Any normal, right-thinking person would have thought that what would have happened was the police would have taken her out of harm’s way, but what actually happens after is something which can only be described as disgusting,” she said.

“Two members of the police come out of the car. They lift the young lady and instead of taking her to safety, they move her about two feet to the left and leave her lying in a bus lane.

“They then get back into the car and drive away to leave the girl to fend for herself, which obviously she wasn’t able to do.

“Thankfully what wasn’t shown in the video, but what we do know from the people who actually recorded the video, is that two young men came to her aid.”

Ms McCallion said the PSNI had shown no “duty of care” to the young girl and said “serious questions need to be answered at the highest level possible”.

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