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Sep 16 2011

Off-Duty Fireman Tasered by Harrow Police

This story made the local press in Harrow within the last week or so. Here’s a copy of a statement made by Edric Kennedy-Macfoy, following his being tasered simply for trying to help the police with information on an incident of criminal damage. Bear in mind that this is only one side of a clearly two-sided story, perhaps we should be grateful that police aren’t generally issued with firearms – the ending could have been completely different. There’s a Facebook page here, dedicated to an appeal for witnesses.

This is the unedited statement, taken from the Facebook page. Note that it contains strong language in places, which we’ve left unedited.

This is a statement I wrote on Sunday 4th September at unknown time between 6am and 9am in a cell (South Harrow Police Station), within five hours of the incident that took place. I wasn’t aware how long I was going to be in the cell, so I wrote this statement whilst events where fresh in my head.

I was driving from Watford Sunday morning (approximately 0345hours) heading down harrow view towards south harrow. As I travelled the road I was forced to stop as there was a police van in a fend off position blocking the road. I could see nothing ahead at this point. Initially my thoughts were that there was a possible RTA ahead. Whilst I sat in my car waiting to manoeuvre around the police vehicle, there were youths traversing the pavement on my right side. One of the youths picked up what I thought to be a big rock and launched it at the driver window of the police vehicle. I took a description of the youth in order to relay it to the officer when he turned the van around. Surprisingly to me, this took over a minute. I knew he had not seen the individual who committed the offence, so I flagged him down in order to pass on the description. ‘”Sorry mate,”’ I said, but before I could finish my sentence the officer replied, ‘”Fuck off you prick!!’” I was shocked at this response and felt extremely disrespected.

The van was out of the way, and I could now see the road block ahead. Police cars and dozens of officers. Most holding shields to my recollection. I pulled in relatively close to them in order to:

  • Identify the officer driving the van as I felt there was no need for the manner in which he spoke and I wished to report it.
  • Relay the description of the youth who threw the rock
  • Request the quickest diversion route to my final destination

An Asian officer 35-48 approached me cautiously holding his shield and told me to turn around and get out of there. I attempted to voice my question and information and found myself once again met with swearing and hostility. ‘” Fuck Off!”’ is all I can recall at this time. I replied, ‘”There’s no need for that, who do you think you’re talking to you fucking mug.”’ More of the officers began to hurl verbal abuse at me. All this commotion and I just wanted to assist. I wanted to turn my car around, park up, and speak to someone with sense in order to explain the situation. More than 10 officers began charging at me with their asps once again hurling abuse and telling me that my car was about to get smashed up. A few officers reached in through my car window grabbing my neck and ripping my shirt buttons as they did so. Officers on the other side also grabbed me viciously and attempted to remove the keys from the ignition. I quickly removed my keys and placed them in my pocket. I was then dragged out of the car into the middle of the road. I stood up as they all attempted to grab a piece of me and bend me up. I made my body rigid and maintained a calm and collective manner whilst saying to the officers, ‘”What are you doing? Is any of this necessary? I’m not putting up a fight. I’d just like to explain something”’. It was as if I was talking to a brick wall. No one was interested. They just wanted to bend me up. They were like wild animals. I managed to release myself from the grasp of the officers by making a quick dash out of there. When I was approximately 5-10 metres away, I faced the mob once again saying, ‘”What is wrong with you guys? I pose you no threat. I’m a firefighter, I work with you lot and just want to explain something. I’ve showed no aggression towards any of you.”’ Once again my words fell on deaf ears and they began to run at me with their asps. I wasn’t just going to stand there as I’d never come across ‘animal like’ officers before, so I took a quick jog which was enough to escape the grasp of the slow and unfit officers. They continued to hurl abuse whilst chasing me.

I was now faced with the dilemma of my £30,000 vehicle being in the middle of the road, both doors open with these wild officers around it. All I wanted to do was explain the situation, retrieve my vehicle and go home. Once again I tried to address the officers in a calm and civilised manner. (At no point throughout this incident did I demonstrate aggression or give the impression that I was a likely threat). As I slowly walked towards them, they had their asps out and looked like they wanted to use them. I began to traverse backwards as they advanced towards me. The next thing I knew I was having multiple spasms on the ground after being shot with a taser gun. This seemed to go on for more than 5 seconds. Officers laughed in the background as this took place. I was then jumped on, stood on, bent up, and handcuffed in such a manner I thought my shoulders were going to pop out. I was then roughly marched up the road to the meat wagon.

When speaking to the officers at this time. It was clear to me that they knew I wasn’t a threat. * I requested my handcuffs be taken off or put to the front of me as my shoulders had been in constant pain since applied. They used my ‘size’ and the possibility that I could be a ‘super star martial artist’ to try and justify their actions. I laughed and said, ‘”Look into my eyes, you know I’m no threat. *The cuffs where then removed and I relocated my hands to the front.

I then spoke to the officer who tasered me in the presence of the other officers telling him there was no need for that. Once hearing my explanation, one officer said, ‘” It’s a case of wrong place, wrong time mate.”’ That seemed to be the general consensus with the officers around at that time.

I was then escorted back to the station where the standard booking and procedures took place.
* Due to the fact that I sustained injuries and had been tasered, I had to see the Dr in attendance at the station. When I was escorted to the room, the officer opened the door. The Dr looked up and said, ‘”What is this man doing in here?! He should not be in here. This is a good man!”’ This happened to be my Dr of the last 15 years who knows me very well. When explaining what happened, he sat their speechless shaking his head whilst examining my injuries.

Whilst these events took place, many witnesses were present. Some merely spectating, others recording the event. On seeing this, officers shouted, ‘”Turn those fucking cameras off!”’ I’ll endeavour to get these recordings. It will then be clear to see how WRONG my treatment was early hours this morning. I’m still in shock.

If you have any camera phone recordings of the incident, please get in touch with Edric via his Facebook appeal page.

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