THE POLICE watchdog has confirmed it has launched an investigation into the actions of West Midlands Police officers at a student protest in December.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is looking into the allegations that officers from the force used ‘disproportionate’ force and deployed CS gas “repeatedly in a dangerous and excessive manner” on protestors at the University of Warwick last year.
Commenting on the investigation, a spokesperson from the IPCC said: “Following a referral from West Midlands Police, the IPCC are independently investigating the interaction between West Midlands Police officers and students on December 3, 2014 during a demonstration held at Warwick University.
The investigation is in its early stages and we hope to provide further comment in due course.”
The IPCC intervention follows a number of complaints and the widespread circulation of photos and videos from the incident, which many at the time claimed depicted a “disproportionately violent” response from the officers, who used CS gas on the students and sparked taser guns as a visible and audible warning method.
Officers from WMP were called to the univerisity’s Coventry campus by security staff to break up a sit-in protest by the Warwick Free Education group after it is alleged that one of the security staff received “blows to the head and stomach” from one of the students, his arm since being placed in a sling – a statement which occupying students refute ever happened.