Police stand guard during the student protests last December

Officer faces disciplinary action after dragging disabled protestor

Officer faces disciplinary action after dragging disabled protestor

By Ian Dunt

A disabled protestor who was dragged out his wheelchair by police and hit with a baton has partially won his appeal.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the police decision to drag Jody McIntyre from his wheelchair during the tuition fees riots in Parliament Square last year was reasonable, but it criticised officers for later dragging him along the ground, saying it amounted to "excessive force".

Click here for politics.co.uk's eyewitness account of the protest.

The watchdog said the incident could amount to a criminal offence of common assault and that it should have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

However, the six month time limit in which such a prosecution could be commenced had already passed by the time this appeal was lodged.

Nevertheless, the IPCC said the officer's actions had "fallen below the standards of professional behaviour" and said he should be subject to disciplinary action.

The watchdog found that Mr McIntyre was struck with a baton at one point but it could not find out which officer was responsible.

"The IPCC considers that Mr McIntyre does have a legitimate grievance in respect of the baton strike and therefore his complaint should have been upheld," the watchdog said.

"We have suggested that an apology would be an appropriate way of dealing with this particular part of the incident."

Mr McIntyre enjoyed a popular social media presence after the incidence, which was widely reported, but he lost his position on the Independent's blogging team after speaking out in favour of the recent riots in England.