Police officer who was convicted of assault is sacked from the force

Police officer who was convicted of assault is sacked from the force

September 7, 2021

Police officer who was convicted of assault after attacking black boy, 15, and black cyclist, 44, while on duty is sacked from the force

  • PC Declan Jones has been sacked from West Midlands Police force at a misconduct hearing after assaults on two members of the public  
  • One attack was on 15-year-old black boy while Jones was on duty in Birmingham
  • He kicked and punched the boy, who was wrongly accused of drugs offences
  • Jones, 30, was also filmed dragging a black cyclist off his bike in middle of street

PC Declan Jones (pictured), 30, carried out the attacks, one on a 15-year-old boy, on consecutive days in Birmingham in April last year

A police officer who was found guilty of assault after attacking a 15-year-old black boy and a black cyclist while on duty during the first Covid lockdown has been sacked from his force. 

PC Declan Jones, 30, was convicted by a district judge last month after committing the offences on consecutive days while working in Birmingham in April last year. 

The West Midlands Police officer was recorded on CCTV pulling a 44-year-old black cyclist to the floor before punching him and kicking him and later pushing his face into the bonnet of a patrol vehicle on April 20. 

Less than 24-hours later he was filmed kicking and punching a 15-year-old black boy after wrongly accusing him of possessing drugs in the Newtown area of the city.   

Jones was dismissed without notice on Tuesday by West Midlands Police Chief Constable Sir David Thompson at a hearing which could only be held after the verdicts in the criminal case.

Sir Thompson said the case also involved a ‘national concern’ surrounding the use of force by the police on members of the black community.

Jones, who joined the force in 2015, had been suspended since May last year following the two assaults. 

The assaults were investigated by the Independence Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) but the board did not find Jones guilty of gross misconduct over the discrimination allegations made by the victims.    

While his female colleague held Mr Rose down, Jones was seen on CCTV (pictured) punching him three times in the back while appearing to bang his head on the bonnet of the patrol car 

The next day Jones was caught on camera kicking a 15-year-old, who has not been named for legal reasons, on the ground

Observing that Jones’s conduct had brought discredit on West Midlands Police and police officers in general, Sir David told the hearing: ‘This case concerns two convictions of assault by a police officer while on duty.

‘Both assaults were captured on CCTV and widely seen. Any right-thinking member of the public would feel the force applied to be excessive and gratuitous.

‘That is clearly the finding that the court made in this case. The case shows a clear abuse of the officer’s powers while on duty.’

At a trial in June last year, the court was shown CCTV of Jones pulling innocent Michael Rose, 44, off his bicycle in the middle of the street in Frederick Road, Aston, on April 20 last year.

While Mr Rose was held down by a female officer, Jones punched him three times in the back while appearing to bang his head on the bonnet of the patrol car.

Disturbing footage shows the officer only stopping the attack when a silver Ford Focus drove past the scene.

The officer then appears to punch the man again before kneeing him in the side as his colleague puts the handcuffs on.

Several passers-by appeal to the officer to stop, but Jones responds by body slamming Mr Rose against the car.

The next day Jones was caught on camera kicking a 15-year-old, who has not been named for legal reasons, while on the ground.

Footage shows him grappling with the youngster in Melbourne Avenue in Newton the day after the attack on Mr Rose. 

Footage shows him grappling with the youngster in Melbourne Avenue in Newton the day after the attack on Mr Rose 

Jones claimed he had used reasonable force in self-defence but he was found guilty of using unlawful force after a five-day trial at Coventry Magistrates’ Court.

Presiding over an accelerated misconduct hearing, Sir David said of Jones: ‘The officer’s conduct has clearly fallen far below what ought to be expected of any police officer.

‘The conduct is criminal and has caused a serious impact on the public view of West Midlands Police.

‘I fully apologise to his victims in this case. I can see no sanction other than the officer should be dismissed without notice.’

The case would inevitably be seen in the context of concerns by the black community about police use of force, Sir David said, adding that Jones’s criminal acts had ‘made the work of good officers harder’.

Such cases were routinely reviewed, the chief constable said, to improve the performance of the force.

Jones was dismissed without notice on Tuesday by West Midlands Police Chief Constable Sir David Thompson (pictured) at a hearing which could only be held after the verdicts in the criminal case. Sir Thompson said the case also involved a ‘national concern’ surrounding the use of force by the police on members of the black community

The chief officer continued: ‘Getting this right and ensuring our black communities know this is an imperative for me and every right-thinking person on this force.

‘It requires each of us to strive to be better… so we can remove the stain that this police officer’s actions has placed on our force.’

In a statement issued after the case, Sir David said: ‘Police officers join the public to serve. They run towards danger and place themselves in harm’s way.

‘Every day I see examples that make me proud of officers in this force who wear the badge of the Crown and do great things for the community.

‘However this case will reinforce the view of some that his bad behaviour has only been acted upon because of clear CCTV. That other incivilities towards black people do not receive the attention that is unavoidable in this case.

‘Whilst I do not believe this to be true, as a force and a group of professionals we fail if we do not confront the realities of this view and the fact that force is used by us disproportionately on black men.

‘There is more that needs to be done by the force and each of us to address this. We do police an unequal society and there will be disparities. Where they exist we must account for them and take action to demonstrate we are acting fairly and in the public interest.’

Jones, who denied both offences during a trial at Coventry Magistrates’ Court, did not attend his misconduct hearing at West Midlands Police HQ.

During the trial, District Judge Shamim Qureshi said the first two complainants were of good character, rejecting Jones’ claims that the victims were only seeking compensation.

He said: ‘None of the complainants went immediately to the police to allege assault. They only did so after being advised in the community.’

Finding Jones guilty of assaulting Mr Rose, who he believed had stolen his mobile phone, Judge Qureshi said: ‘It follows the use of force to restrain him was unlawful.

‘The use of the knee and throwing punches was unlawful as was the use of spray by PC Edwards.

‘I conclude PC Jones was abusing his powers and was not using reasonable force to detain Michael Rose.

Jones (pictured outside court in August) was charged in October 2020 after an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) inquiry

‘Michael Rose did not throw any punches or kicks if he had he could be acting in self-defence.’

Finding Jones guilty of attacking the 15-year-old boy, Judge Qureshi said: ‘When a police officer can be seen on a video to kick at a 15-year-old boy on the ground, people would lose faith in the police force.

‘The offence in charge two was complete at the point of the punch and kick.

‘I find that PC Jones’ punch and kick were both unnecessary and an unlawful use of force against P, and I am satisfied so as to be sure that charge two is proved.’

Jones was cleared of a third count of assault, following another incident in April, during which he was filmed saying he did ‘not believe’ in Covid.  

Judge Qureshi said the third incident had seen the officer use ‘proportionate’ force as colleagues struggled to detain a man wearing a stab-proof vest. 

Clearing Jones of the third assault, Judge Qureshi said: ‘Since all other attempts including a baton to restrain the man had already failed, I go on to conclude that PC Jones used proportionate force.’

Jones is due to be sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court for the two assaults on Friday. 

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