Claims of officers using excessive force untrue, say police

The police have denied using excessive force on an 18-year-old man after video clips showing officers pinning him down were posted on Facebook.

The man was one of two 18-year-olds and a 22-year-old who were arrested after they were allegedly involved in a fight that took place on Friday in Clarke Quay.

The three men had allegedly fought among themselves and were being a public nuisance, said the police yesterday.

Officers were alerted to the fight in Merchant Road at 9.40pm on Friday.

During the scuffle, the 18-year-old in question had allegedly head-butted the 22-year-old.

He is said to have sustained facial injuries during the fight. He was also bleeding from his forehead.

The police said the videos posted online do not present the full account and sequence of events.

They said: "There are allegations that the officers had used excessive force on the 18-year-old man resulting in him bleeding from the head. These allegations are untrue.

"The officers had assessed the situation and applied necessary force on the 18-year-old man including the use of a baton in the course of arrest as he had put up a violent struggle to resist arrest."

Officers and paramedics on the scene had rendered medical assistance to the 18-year-old as well as the 22-year-old man, who had a broken tooth.

The 18-year-old was taken to hospital. He had a laceration on his forehead, according to a preliminary medical report. No other serious injuries were reported.

Refuting allegations that officers had hit the 18-year-old man in the face using a baton, the police advised the public not to spread unsubstantiated information.

A fourth person, a 16-year-old, was also arrested after he hurled vulgarities at police officers as he tried to stop them from arresting the 18-year-old.

The police said anyone who has more information regarding the incident can call them on 1800-255-0000.

If convicted of affray, the three men could each be jailed for up to a year, fined $5,000, or both.

For being a public nuisance, an offender can be jailed for up to three months, fined up to $2,000, or both.

Those who use abusive language against a public servant can be jailed for up to 12 months, fined $5,000, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 07, 2021, with the headline 'Claims of officers using excessive force untrue, say police'. Subscribe